CMON's Massive Darkness 2 is easily one of our most anticipated games, but they've got another game that is quickly rising on the anticipation rankings coming to Kickstarter in 2021, and that's their Masters of the Universe Board Game. While we're still waiting to see more of it in action, CMON recently released a new Designer Diary and preview of the game with co-designer Michael Shinall, who broke down how they are bringing the characters and the world from the classic toy line to this new tabletop interpretation. Up first was the focus on character authenticity, but not just for the heroes, but for the villains as well.
"First and foremost, we took a look at the huge cast of characters: what makes each one of these special and so memorable? Why did they become so iconic, not just a group, but individually? And by characters, I don’t mean just the heroic Masters of the Universe, but also the sinister members of the Evil Horde, who have just as many (sometimes more!) fans than the 'good guys'. With this in mind, when designing the game, we always made sure that the characters were the focus. Whether it’s the major players, like He-Man or Skeletor, or the supporting (but still equally as important!) cast such as Ram Man or Tri-Klops. Everyone has their favorites (my favorite was always... actually, I’ll save that for another Diary), and each one had to be treated with respect," Shinall wrote. "We not only want for people to pick up the game and say, 'Yes, that feels like Masters.' We want Trap Jaw fans to say, 'Wow, that is exactly how I remember Trap Jaw’s harpoon!'
Then Shinall went into detail on each hero's style of play. "When it comes to playing the game, it needs to feel like that character and the player needs to feel powerful: He-Man can perform heroic actions befitting the Strongest Man in the Universe. Man-At-Arms wields a vast array of technical gadgets but also brings strategic and tactical mastery," Shinall wrote. "Orko brings immensely powerful sorceries unlike Eternia has ever seen to the battle... or at least that’s how he’d describe them."
As for the feel of gameplay, CMON wants to bring those nostalgic days of battling with your action figures and weave them into a system that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
"And speaking of battle... That was the other important aspect we wanted to focus on as well! As I mentioned before, there is a sense of wonder and excitement when it comes to Masters of the Universe," Shinall said. "The image of action-figures clashing together in scenarios and epic battles created simply by the imagination of their owner... This! This was the feeling we wanted to capture in the board game: when playing the game, players should experience as many moments of 'Wow! That was awesome!” as possible."
The Masters of the Universe Board Game hits Kickstarter in 2021.
What do you want to see from the game? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things tabletop with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!