Friday, July 22, 2022

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Pizza Power Game (1987-1990)

Flea markets are such a great place to find unusual things. Old board games are no exception. A while back I came across this gem, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle: Pizza Power Game, and since I am a fan of TMNT (who isn't after all?) and also a big board game lover I had to buy it. I don't recall exactly what I paid, but it was around 20-40 Swedish Kronor, so around 3 euro.

The box art changes a lot between versions, in mine they're all happy.

As you can see it combines two of my favorite things, TMNT and board games. Is it any fun though? When I first tried it with my SO and two kids I didn't think it was all that. But the others liked it so we played it a bunch more and it kinda grew on me.

I guess the Sai and Nunchaku weren't cool enough.

My version is a Swedish release of the game, completely translated. It was released in 1990 whereas the original was released already in 1987 so at the same time as the TV series was first released. When I read up on the game online it seems that some of the rules from the American version have been changed, and for the better if you ask me.

Kudos for including April and Splinter

In my version you start with three "Good Guys" (and you should know who they are) and have to walk around the board fighting the "Bad Guys". When you end up on a space that says "Kamp" aka "Fight" you get to choose one of the cards on the board and then the fighting is basically Top Trumps. That means you choose one of the stats on your card and hope they are higher than the equivalent stat on the enemy card. Simple. You need to collect three "Bad Guys" with the same "clue", i.e the symbol in the corner in order to be able to enter the Technodrome. Once inside the Technodrome you get to look for the Mutagen, and when you find it you win the game.

Raphael looks like he has a doppelganger, I think they had trouble with the colour orange.

In the English version the combat seems to include some sort of dice roll, which is not included nor mentioned in the Swedish version. While I think that change is for the better, the Swedish version also includes some other really peculiar and unfortunate changes however, proving that whoever localized it clearly does not know anything about TMNT. I am not talking about the change to Hero instead of Ninja, I think the Swedes just copied the UK for that...

"You loose a Good Guy" when getting a pizza slice? No way! Unless maybe they're busy eating...?

But the Pizza Spinner, which allows you to move anywhere on the board if you get a pizza slice, or lose a Good Guy if you don't, actually does the opposite in the Swedish version. Not only does that mean you have 75% chance to get a bad outcome, it also means the pizza slice is the bad outcome. Anyone who knows their TMNT knows that doesn't make any sense. When we play the game we play it the way it is supposed to be, and not according to what it says on the Spinner. 

Canis and Cayman are exclusive to the European Version. Kerato and Tusker too maybe?

There are some oddities going on in the game overall too, like what is up with some of the names of the Bad Guys? Rocksteady is called Kerato and Bebop is called Tusker? You might think that these are some Swedish versions of the names, like Kalle Anka (Donald Duck) and Läderlappen (Batman), but no. Swedish TMNT has all the original names intact. A quick search on the internet shows that versions in other languages also uses these names, and I have no idea why. Also the turtles are all wielding the wrong weapons, but now I am getting picky.

It looks busy, like every good board game should.

Oddities aside though, this game is quite fun and definitely one of my flea market gems.