Power Rangers has been a staple in US television since it debuted in 1993. As a child born in 1990, I became OBSESSED with these super powered teenagers with attitude. I even have my official Mighty Morphin Power Ranger fan club card to prove it! While there have been various Power Ranger board games released over the years, none of them come close to Renegade Game Studios‘ Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid.
Renegade Game Studios launched the Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid Kickstarter back in August of 2018. Their pledge goal of $100,000 was met in under 8 hours with a final sum over $700,000 in pledges! With the necessary funding in place, only one question remained… Would the game actually be good?… I’m not going to leave you in suspense. Yes, the game is unapologetically amazing! Morphenominal even!
Heroes of the Grid is a 2 to 5 player co-op strategy game in with you and your friends take on the personas of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (MMPR) to defeat classic monsters and the evil Rita Repulsa. Each round of play begins with the deployment phase in which putty patrollers, and potentially monsters, are placed throughout 4 locations. These locations include Angel Grove High, Angel Grove Park, the Industrial District and of course, Ernie’s Juice Bar. Rangers will begin the game at the Command Center.
After the enemies are deployed, the rangers enter the action phase. Each ranger has 2 action tokens which can be utilized to move, battle or recover. Players must coordinate well in order to ensure there is enough action tokens remaining to initiate battles to clear out enemies. Players will battle using their respective ranger card decks, unique abilities and even Zords. Zords are unlocked one at a time by defeating 6 putties or a single monster. Once all Zords have been unlocked, the next time the track is filled, they are able to form the Megazord!
Based on what enemies are confronted in battle, their own enemy decks will be used to defeat the rangers. Battle is turn based with only 1 ranger able to play a card (unless special abilities say otherwise) before the putty patrollers or monsters take their turn (unless their card says FAST, indicating that they go before the rangers). Turns go back and forth between rangers until all enemy cards have been resolved, thus terminating the battle.
When one of the four locations meets their villain quota of putties OR a monster/boss is placed, that location immediately becomes panicked. In order to resolve a panicked location, all enemies in that are must be defeated. The rangers lose if all areas become panicked simultaneously. Additionally, rangers will lose if they are defeated in battle with no remaining energy tokens at the Command Center. Energy tokens essentially serve as additional lives. The amount of energy tokens placed at the command center is based on how many players you have in your party.
Power Rangers are defeated in battle when they no longer have cards to draw from their personal deck. They are immediately teleported from the battle back to the Command Center to power up using any remaining energy tokens previously mentioned. The Power Rangers win if they are able to defeat all monsters as well as Rita Repulsa. Unlike putty and super putty patrollers who, monsters require 4 of their cards defeated before they are removed from the board. Rita is even more difficult as you must defeat 6 of her cards before claiming victory.
If you couldn’t tell from the intro, this game is a blast. Games with well known IPs are generally hit or miss as many rely more on the popularity rather than making a good game. Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid perfectly blends the heart and soul of this beloved franchise with a brilliantly intellectual board game.
The battle mechanic is unbelievably fun. When rangers take damage, they must reveal the top card of their deck. If the shields on the bottom of that card are more than the damage taken, the card is placed on the bottom of their deck. If the damage is equal to the shields, the card is discarded. And finally, if the damage exceeds the shields, the player must reveal the next card of the their deck until all damage is resolved. This is crucial as ranger decks do not comprise of many cards and once their deck is depleted, they are defeated.
At first glance, you may think this game would be easy due to the subject matter… WRONG! This game can absolutely destroy you in just a few turns. You have to consistently think ahead and combine character abilities in order to survive. And once you finally get the hang of the base setup, you can increase the difficulty by using the B side of locations to introduce area effects, include more than 2 monsters into the deployment deck, reduce the number of energy tokens in the command center, or even have enemies deploy to the Command Center. And those difficulty modifiers are just in the base game alone!
The box art is STUNNING! The player cards, decks and board are made from sturdy materials that will survive many rounds of play for years to come. The ridiculous amount of minis from this base game alone is worth the purchase. They are extremely detailed and look exactly like their tv counterparts. They’ll look even better once I paint them!
I’ve been praising this game since you clicked the link, but it’s time to talk about where the game falls a bit short. The explanations for when to use character abilities and Zords isn’t clearly detailed. My party spent quite some time trying to figure out if a ranger needed to be in a specific battle to use their character ability or Zord to help. The rulebook also fails to specify if individual zord card abilities can be used after summoning the Megazord. And in all honesty, that’s about it! If a couple of vague rules are the only thing negative to say about a game you know you have a winner on your hands.
A major benefit to this expansive universe is the potential for game expansions. The Shattered Grid expansion (based on the comic book storyline which is INCREDIBLE!) introduces the Evil Lord Drakkon, an entirely new team of rangers AND increases the player limit from 5 to 6 rangers. Gotta have that sixth ranger! There are so many other expansions and minis for this game that I’ll have to review them as I get them… And rest assured, I will own it all. Even the Kickstarter exclusives which I missed out on because I learned about this after it had already ended, cue sound of heartbreak.
Overall, Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid is a phenomenally well crafted game that will hit all the right spots for any Power Ranger fan. From the detailed minis to the intelligent battle mechanics, Heroes of the Grid is a must have for any gamer even remotely interested in this franchise. What I appreciated most was the overwhelming care, love and devotion put into producing a legitimate board game for such a nostalgic and beloved franchise. I couldn’t stop smiling throughout the entire game… even when we were getting the crap kicked out of us. And yes, I DID play the extended MMPR theme song on loop while battling Rita Repulsa. Power Rangers for life!
You can order your copy of Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid by clicking the link right here! Now to go order some of those expansions…