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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past Review

Quick Look:

Designer: Kevin Wilson
Artists: Kevin Eastman, Tony Vargas
Publisher: IDW Games
Year Published: 2016
No. of Players: 2-5
Ages: 14+
Playing Time: 60-90 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past. We understand that everyone has different tastes in games and we consider that when reviewing the game.


Rules and Setup:
When opening the game, all the pieces and components might overwhelm you with rules and setup when first playing the game. But with some time you will soon understand the rules, which will be about the same throughout campaigns. Also, different maps, cards, and minis are used in different campaigns. For this you won't be using all of the many pieces every time you play. There is a book that helps with setup for each campaign, and is very helpful and easy to follow. The book includes pictures of which maps to use, which cards to use, and which bad guys to use. The game follows a campaign where you play from the beginning to the end. Though, you could always just play a random scenario if you really wanted to. The rules are set so that the turtles are powerful from the beginning, yet the enemy has a chance still to win as well in any of the scenarios. No one is overpowered over the other. One player will play the enemy while the other players will split the ninja turtles, with always having all the turtles played in every scenarios of the campaign.

Theme and Mechanics:
I love the theme as I grew up with the Ninja Turtles, and of course love that there is a great game for them. The game would be described as a dungeon crawler, as you are one of the Ninja Turtles (or the enemy), and you are attacking the enemy by rolling dice and using your character's stats. The difference with this game and other dungeon crawlers is that you don't need to change your stats ever, as they always stay the same. Cards played can change how many dice you use on attacks and things like that, but you don't level up, and you are already a leveled-up Ninja Turtle.

They use a dice mechanic where you roll your dice and then situate them in a row. The dice on each end is used by players or characters that are on the corresponding ends. So each Ninja Turtle has 3 dice, and uses those 3 for actions plus 1 from each side of them, making a total of 5 action dice. Since Raphael is known as more of a loner, he has 6 dice and doesn't use neighboring turtle's dice for actions. Although neighboring turtles will still use his dice from whatever side they are located next to him. When you do an action, you place a man-hole cover token over the dice to keep track of actions taken.

If you love chucking dice, then this definitely has dice to use for doing that. First the dice will determine the actions you can take, then when attacking, you will roll the intended dice to attack or defend.

Artwork and Components:
The artwork for the game is comic book style. The game actually includes a comic book that the game is based on. The boards or maps are modular, they are double sided and can be used for different scenarios. All the dice are D6 and have the corresponding color for whoever they belong to. There are many minis used in the game. All the enemy minis are grey, and the turtles are all green. Of course, all the minis can be painted and made to look super cool. I wish at least there was a better way to keep track of which turtle is which on the board besides looking at what weapon they have. If their headbands were all colored, or their weapons were a different color, it would make it look better, and be a lot easier to know who is who on the map. But very good components, and you will know if you like the artwork from looking at the box of the game.

The Good:
This game is great if you love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The game works out to be a great campaign game where one scenario might change your path to the next depending on who wins. I very much enjoy the 1 vs "the rest" type games, which this game is. The dice mechanic and how you place them for use of other players is awesome, and fun for the brain, and for communication with other players.

The Bad:
The only thing that really mattered during a scenario is if you won or not. There was not way to become better or stronger in any way. The map can be confusing of what you are actually standing on, and how the terrain changes. After playing through the entire campaign, its hard to get back to the table.

Final Thoughts:
I love the fact that this game is an uncomplicated dungeon crawler type game. It is a lot easier to keep track of how many dice to use for attacks, and for that the rules are easier to follow. The components are minis are awesome and I wish I was a painter to make them look even better. The character cards that give the turtles special moves make the game more enjoyable by not using the same attack or move every time. I love the dice mechanic where you use your neighboring player's dice for actions.

Players Who Like:
I would recommend this game to those who want an introduction game to dungeon crawlers, for anyone who likes the Ninja Turtles, and for anyone who like to play through a great campaign where it matters who wins the scenario or not. If you like or want to try a dungeon crawler game, this game is for you as it very beginner friendly.

I am giving Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past a 8.5 out of 10 super meeples.

8.5 10

Check out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past on:


Get your copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past at your FLGS or online at AMAZON.

About the Author:
Brody Sheard played board games with his large family growing up. He continues his love of games by teaching his family, local gaming guild, and friends about new and exciting games. Brody believes that board gaming keeps your mind healthy while also having fun interacting with others.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past Review Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past Review Reviewed by Brody on October 11, 2017 Rating: 5

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