Happy New Year all you Turtle fans! Over the holiday, I finally got my Works Edition of TMNT: Shadows of the Past board game. I haven’t played it yet, but I thought I would share my unboxing. The Works Edition was available to Kickstarter backers who pledged $150. This was my first Kickstarter project, so I was initially nervous about spending so much, but how could I not pull the trigger on a Turtles board game? So I did, and boy did it pay off!
The Works Edition is exactly that, packed to the brim with not just the base game, but a slew of extras! Even the box itself is limited edition, styled after, of course, a pizza box. The box has original artwork by Kevin Eastman, and that is going to be a trend throughout the set, as you’re about to see.
Probably the biggest reason I invested in the Works Edition was because one of the stretch goals was a set of signed lithographs by Kevin Eastman. Being a long time fan, how could I not be excited at receiving artwork from one of my favorite artists? I was really looking forward to this part and luckily they were right at the top of the box, in a white portfolio envelope.
You can see Eastman’s signature on the first one. I absolutely love these. You’ve got two action pieces and two more stoic pieces. The one in black and white is great, and the vibrant colors on the color prints are just so eye catching. They encapsulate everything I love about the Turtles and are a real treat.
Up next are the rule book and the scenario books. The rulebook is clear and colorful, with images showing off the pieces and play cards. It’s really just a slick presentation, and it makes learning the game really easy. The scenario books are great too. They’re actually comic books, with reference images and objectives for how each round should be played. So, along with pictures of the board layout and what character pieces should be used, you also get splash panels corresponding to what’s going on in play!
We’re on to the cards and dice next, and the superb design and artwork continue. The game has character cards that the players use, but you can also gain allies and specific actions represented by their own cards. Another cool stretch goal for the game was the inclusion of Eastman and Laird variants of the Turtles and their corresponding hero cards. That means I got the IDW style set that comes with the base game, but also an additional original style. It has no effect on gameplay, but the player gets to choose which style they want to go with. The dice are specific for the game too and there’s a set with each Turtles primary color. Finally, there are score cards for the heroes and villains, represented by Leo and Shredder respectively.
The actual play space is divided into different tiles that can be flipped over for different scenarios. They range from city streets, to inside a building, to the subway, to the sewers. One final location was included as yet another stretch goal, and that is Kevin Eastman’s office! There’s a whole adventure set in his office and you can even get Kevin as an ally during the adventure. There are also a ton of punch outs to use during play. There are cars, security cameras, desks, and consoles, etc. Then of course there is pizza, used to mark your health, and other punch outs that represent your status during play. The villain even gets his own rotten pizza to symbolize their health!
Finally, at the bottom of the box, was a cardboard box with two trays of figures. They are molded plastic, but with lots of detail, and while it would have been cool if they were fully colored, they still look great in gray and green for the Turtles. The figures are where a lot of the stretch goals came alive. Not only do you get mousers, street punks, and foot soldiers, but there are different varieties of the Purple Dragons and the Foot. There are human and mutant forms of Bebop and Rocksteady. Casey, April, aster Splinter, Alopex, Karai, and Old Hob are all here for the fight too. There are the two different versions of the four Turtles as previously mentioned.
Best of all, there are two fully different versions of the Shredder. The first is the original, as he appears in the IDW comics, but the second was the final stretch goal for the Kickstarter campaign. It’s Super Shredder, in all his glory, and he acts as a hard-mode for the game. When you want a tougher challenge, Super Shredder is there to stand in your way.
Honestly, with this as my first Kickstarter experience, it may have spoiled me. IDW was great about keeping in touch with backers, giving frequent updates, and even posted videos of the game being played by it’s creator Kevin Wilson. The stretch goals were crazy, and they all feel pretty worthwhile. I can’t wait to get friends over to play the game! Once I do, I’d like to update you with my impressions, but everything in the Works Edition makes it feel like a real collector’s item.
What do you think of the game? If you’ve played it already, please share your experiences in the comments! Would you like to see us do more unboxings? Let us know!