Renegade Game Studios already has one successful Power Rangers franchise going in Heroes of the Grid, and now they're tackling the world of Deck Building with the aptly titled Power Rangers Deck-Building Game. Like Heroes of the Grid, Renegade weaves the franchise's more iconic elements into the game seamlessly, creating a deep and satisfying deck-builder that will deliver sound mechanics and fast-paced gameplay to longtime board game players. For fans of the Power Rangers franchise, however, it will deliver so much more, and no Power Rangers fan should miss out on all the fun.
The Power Rangers Deck-Building Game is a game for 2 to 4 players, either playing against each other one on one or in teams in a two vs two scenario; and either way, your goal is to take down the other players by getting their health to zero. Like other Deck-Builders, you will start with a small set of starter cards and build out your deck by purchasing cards from The Grid with Shards (which are represented on your cards). This core mechanic is mostly unchanged from other titles in the genre, so those familiar with those core mechanics will have no issue hitting the ground running.
The game sets itself apart in how each side plays, as one side will play the heroes and the other will play the villains, and they do play a bit differently. Regardless of which side you choose, your character of choice will have two forms, and both feel like natural extensions for fans of the show. Heroes are Rangers, and you have your unmorphed and fully morphed forms. Your morphed form is more powerful naturally, so you'll attempt to purchase cards and attach them to your character quickly so you can enter that second form. Not only will you be more powerful and have access to more abilities after morphing, but you'll also have access to your Zords, and tieing this to the morphed state incentives you to purchase and attach cards, changing up The Grid lineup and helping to keep new cards in play.
The same goes for the villains, and it's a treat to play as characters like Finster, Rito Revolto, Lord Zedd, and Scorpina. Each villain has their own unique abilities, but Renegade helps balance things out with the Rangers by allowing you to purchase other villains from the deck and add them to your Lair. Not only does it give you a response to the Zords through handy ongoing effects, but it also makes you feel as if you're assembling an all-star villain team. Your characters also have Signature Weapons to purchase to further their abilities, so there is always something to strive for and work towards as you head into the endgame.
The options at your disposal keep you invested even during an opponent's turn, as you can use certain abilities or blocks when the right opportunity comes along. You need to pay attention to your opponent's moves and strategies, which in my case directly fueled decisions like attacking and removing their cards from The Grid or causing them to discard an attached card to keep them from achieving their powered-up status. There is a stark line in the sand between heroes and villains, so you can't mix and match, and while I initially thought this was limiting, I ended up not really missing it after a few games were played.
On the artistic side of things, the game utilizes artwork from the comics to great effect, and each image pops off the card while also allowing enough space for ability text to be easily read. That said, there are a few things that hold it back from perfection. It took a few tries before the differences between Attacking and Battling became clear, and it seemed to be in regards to how they were explained in the rule book rather than any particular issues with the mechanics themselves. Meanwhile, Stun Cards don't have as much of an adverse effect as similar cards do in other Deck-Building games, so much so that I honestly forgot they were there half the time. I didn't mind it necessarily, but if they aren't going to be a major factor, then I probably would've traded them for a different mechanic or card type to shake things up.
That's probably the other biggest issue. As I mentioned before, the game is thoroughly entertaining and fun to play, but I'm a huge fan of the Power Rangers franchise. For those who are simply looking for a fun Deck-Building game to add to their collection, this might not have enough new wrinkles to keep them hooked simply because core mechanics are so similar to other games in the genre.
For me, that wasn't an issue, and I enjoyed switching sides and playing as different characters and seeing how their unique abilities and weapons shifted my strategy from game to game. The artwork is gorgeous, and the implementation of core Power Rangers elements into a genre I already enjoy was exactly what I was looking for. If you're a fan of Power Rangers, Renegade Game Studios has crafted a welcoming entryway into the genre that embraces the franchise's themes and aesthetic, and it more than deserves a spot in your collection.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Published By: Renegade Game Studios
Review copy provided by Renegade Game Studios