There can't be many better ways to introduce 8+ year olds to the world of Deck-Building games, than the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, so I am wondering why the recommended age is 13+, an age when most young teens have gone past the antics of the acrobatic martial artists.
Saban's POWER RANGERS Deck-Building Game is for 2 or 4 players, but we recommend 2, one taking control of the MMPRs and the other operating the Villain. Both sides have the same goal - to defeat the opposition - but they approach it in a similar, but not quite the same, way of playing. There are rules for setting up and playing 1 vs 1, 2 vs 1 and 2 vs 2 players.
Keeping in company with many other DBGs, each player has a main character and a set of same number and cards, in this case 10 cards, each. Available cards for each turn are set in stacks that make up a 6 card single line, called the Grid. The game recommends beginning with Jason Lee Scott vs Rito Revolto; each character has a personal signature item and before selecting your character you might like to see how good the character and the item are a fit to your thoughts. Neither the Power Ranger nor the Villain begin with their Signature item, these cards are positioned to one side, only reachable by the only player/character that can use them - they are specific to that character and cannot be used by anyone else.
The game components, including the box, ooze quality. The cards are beautifully designed, colourful and in line with the TV programme's characters. They are also of top quality, well laminated and excellent for shuffling and dealing. The Hit Point/Status Trackers are colourful, strong and the tracking wheels are firm yet loose, and do not slip and accidentally alter the in-box numbers.
As a Hero Power Ranger or a Villain (there are many) your gameplay needs to begin with you obtaining the best cards you can to upgrade your deck with Shard and Energy producing cards. Of course you need a little luck with the five cards drawn at the beginning, but you can generally make some use of the cards drawn, you just have to think about your course of possible actions and remember that after the next five are drawn they all get reshuffled and you may get a better draw. Concentrate at first on doing this rather than sniping at your opponent because early on most players have a Healer available and you will just be wasting your time. Build (Deck Build) by obtaining stronger cards and reduce the Deck by releasing the weak, feeble start cards,
When you think you are strong enough then try to pick on individual cards or bypassing them and going straight for the character's throat.
Cards in the Grid are somewhat random but there are always two types of card available just ahead of the Grid - Blade Blaster and Stun. The Blade Buster cards are face down with the top card flipped over, the Stun cards stay face up.
Players start with the same set of 10 cards but not necessarily the same 5-card hand as the 10 are shuffled and 5 drawn and the Shards on them are used to buy cards from the Grid, as in 80% of Deck Builders these bought cards are placed onto your discard pile and come into play when the discards are shuffled to make a new draw deck, thus you slowly build up your deck with cards that (should be) are better than your starting deck - anyone used to playing DBs will already know this mechanic.
The general difference between Power Ranger and Villain play are the cards available that are character specific. Some cards can be used by either side but others have effects unique to one character, not just their 'signatures'. For example, only Villains can buy 'Master' cards, the 'master' of that character. They cost 7 shards (quite expensive in game costs) though if you are playing with a partner who has their character's master the cost is lower. Other Villain's Master cards that are obtained are placed in the Villain's Lair.
Heroes (aka Power Rangers) are the only ones who can by ZORD cards and have a Zord Bay (which looks like a large, flat, short strapped Smart watch. Rangers can build the optimal, ultimate, weapon (the Megazord) by filling this Bay as required.
Cards generate Shards and Energy; Shards buy cards, Energy activates the card's Ability/Effect. When you own your character's Zord you can use Shards to buy more Zords which you attach to the Zord Bay. When you spend Shards you discard the necessary cards to your Discard pile.
I am not really a Power Rangers fan, but like most people who have kids in the house at some time, I have seen them on the TV. It's quite amusing to read the resumés of actors and see that at one time or another they were the Red Power Ranger or the Blue Ranger etc. Did you know, for instance, that the Voice of Lord Zedd (1995) was also the Voice of Brainy Smurf in 1976? or Michael Hurst (Iolaus in Hercules & Xena TV series) was the Voice of Vexacus (2003)? Haldir from LotR (Craig Parker), Rose McIver (iZombie) and John Leigh (Hama) LotR being just a few 'faces' you might recognise .
There are a couple of pages of Miscellaneous Rules, Card Definitions and Clarifications in the Rules Booklet that would have been helpful to have on a couple of separate Reference Sheets.
As I say, Power Rangers isn't really my generation, but I do enjoy Deck Building, and the Power Rangers Deck-Builder is as thoughtful a DB as any, and actually better than many more. It has all the basics that DB players will respect, as well as a whole bunch of unique (or very rare) ideas and mechanics, plus there are expansions due that will allow you to customise your decks.
It is not to be mistaken for a Legacy game just because one of the instructions is to 'Destroy a Card' - this means it doesn't come back into play, not that it is torn up and/or binned.
MIGHTY MORPHIN' POWER RANGERS costs between £28.00-£35.00 online but you should always check out your local games shop when you can.