Teen Spirit is the next expansion off the Restoration Games conveyor belt in the award-winning Unmatched series. For those who don’t know Unmatched is a highly asymmetrical miniature fighting game for two, three or four players. Each hero is represented by a unique deck designed to evoke their style and legend. Tactical movement and no-luck combat resolution create a unique play experience that rewards expertise. All heroes come with their own beautifully crafted miniature. (partly taken from their standard release.)
How To Play
On your turn you can perform 2 actions – manoeuvre (or maneuver – US style), scheme (a type of card) or attack. The game is very intuitive and people new to gaming can be brought up to scratch in a matter of minutes. The box says 14+ on the age, but I have played unmatched with children as young as 10 and they have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Characters all have a set movement (2 for all characters in this box.) Combat is resolved quickly by comparing attack and defence cards. If the attacker’s card has a higher number than the defenders, the defender loses the difference in health.
Many cards have additional before, during and after combat effects and these are often individual to the hero you are controlling. The winner is the last person/team standing. Heroes all have differing health and (normally) only 30 cards in their deck. This means games never drag out and can unusually be finished within the time stated on the box (40 minutes,) even with 2v2 team games.
Sorry no pacifists allowed here – you can’t just keep running away from your opposition. Every time you manoeuvre you must draw a card. Anytime you can’t draw a card you are penalised 2 health.
There is nothing massively new in this set, just more of what makes Unmatched one of the most successful 1v1 and 2v2 battle games out there. This offering brings three lesser-known superheroes to unleash on the fight from the Marvel universe:
In Teen Spirit you can choose from 3 Hero(es) all with very different playing styles:
- The team of Cloak and Dagger. These come complete with a miniature apiece, for those well versed in the Unmatched series these work best as a team (similar to playing the raptors in one of the Jurassic Park themed sets). They hit hardest when both in range of their victim and can also use the power of the ‘Living Shadow’ to switch positions when being attacked. Dagger can also bring a ‘Lightforce Barrage,’ to finish off her opponent with the downside of sapping her own health. No matter as the pair have cards that can heal or channel health to the other. The contrast of light and dark on the cards makes the art good as any of your favourite characters from previous releases.
- Up against them is Squirrel Girl – have no fear she isn’t as cute as her name might suggest. She can bring forth up to eight of her cuddly but ferocious pet squirrels to gnaw, bite and harass whoever she commands them to. Don’t make the mistake of being in a square with four of them as they have a ‘Bite of steel.’ Squirrel Girl herself can also ‘Kick Butts’ with the aid of her little critter friends as they power-up many of her cards. Art on her cards is more in line with the slightly younger feel to the set and game board, but the array of shades of browns and oranges doesn’t make any standout.
- The final hero in the mix is fresh from her new series on Disney+ – Ms Marvel. With the ability to move around the board and melee from one space away, she is going to be challenging the top tier fighters from other sets. Ms Marvel is a fighter you want loaded with cards, ‘Fangirl’ will really hurt anyone that she steps to and combined with ‘Friends and Family’ could put a serious dent in anyone’s health dial. With ‘Big Wind Up’ waiting in the wings the game could be finished fairly quickly.
As we have come to expect from Restoration Games there are great touches all over. I love the miniature of Ms Marvel, complete with discarded milkshake on the base. The squirrel girl mini has 4 of her furry friends along for the ride and Cloak and Dagger stay true to their comic book backgrounds.
In Teen Spirit this is set on the Navy Pier – sees the heroes duel off in a fairground setting. Although all characters in this box are melee fighters, any range character you may have in your collection will be licking their arrow tips to get on top of the Ferris Wheel – giving a commanding a view deep into the corners of the board. As with recent sets it comes with a double-sided board but both sides have the same scene. One having the graphics more prominent as the zone colours have been moved to the circumference of the circles. This is a nice touch and allows you to appreciate the excellent art which is somewhat obscured normally. As with previous Marvel sets the battlefield comes with the ability to place items. These can boost attack or defence as well as having some powerful schemes to heal your hero with an ‘XL slushie’ or move around the board with ‘Helium balloons.’
As an Unmatched fan I had to add Teen Spirit to my collection, but it doesn’t have the big appeal of the Jurassic Park and other marvel sets containing the more mainstream heroes (Daredevil, Bullseye, Luke Cage and the soon to be released Black Panther.) Nevertheless, it doesn’t disappoint bringing more possible intriguing match ups to the table – battle for the forest anyone – Bigfoot vs Squirrel Girl for supreme leader under the trees! Ms Marvel vs T-Rex with neither having to be adjacent to attack. Cloak and Dagger taking on Moonlight in a craze of midnight.
The art is as high standard as ever and the miniatures a joy to bring to life with your brush and magnifying glass. If you have other Unmatched sets in your collection this would be a worthy addition. For those who are new to the world of 1v1 fighting with asymmetric miniatures I’d suggest a set that will appeal to a wider genre, so more chance of it getting to the table – unless of course you are an avid comic reader of one of the characters this contains.