TimeWarp Warriors preview – Lets do the time warp again!

Meeples. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and species, and a large number of board games utilize the meeple in a variety of ways. Sometimes you need to send them to a location to work, sometimes you lay them down to denote a used worker, sometimes they come in the form of animals to denote a herd you are raising. In a recent trend, some game designers have added “rolling” meeples to the repertoire. Enter TimeWarp Warriors, the new kid on the block looking to make a splash in the meeple rolling genre.

From the makers of Satanimals, TimeWarp Warriors is a new game from designer Marlon Fussell and publisher MEGA MINT Games. TimeWarp Warriors finds the players in a situation where two alternate universes are colliding in time and space. Players control the final two warriors with unique abilities fighting a head to head battle to defeat the other player and protect their universe from being erased from time. Played over the course of 3 rounds, the player to damage the other warrior or knock them out of the time stream twice becomes the victor.

At the start of the game, each player will choose one of the four warriors each with their own unique player board, set of meeples, player deck, and standee. Players will sit opposite of each other with the timestream board in the middle of the table, consisting of a series of spaces that their character tokens will use to fight.

Each turn, players will roll their available meeple behind a privacy screen. The meeple will end up in one of four positions: standing up, laying down, laying on its side, or leaning on its head and arms. Each of these positions refers to an offensive and defensive move on their player board. When attacking, players reveal their meeple from behind their screen to impose different attacks on their opponent and players are able to change the position of one meeple per turn. The most common icons allow players to deal damage, stun, and push the other player’s warrior figure back on the timestream.

Damage is tracked on the player boards and if damaged too much, a warrior can be defeated. Stunning moves another tracker along the stun track and disables player abilities the further down the track it goes. If players are being attacked and have any meeples remaining behind their screen, they can reveal the meeple to perform a defensive action. Defensive actions help mitigate attacking effects and can even deflect an attack back on the other player. Apart from basic attacking and defense, players can find other icons that can help them out including movement along the time stream, healing stun and damage effects, and adding range to attacks.

After turn three of each round, players begin to draw from their unique warp decks. Warp cards provide players with two options. The first is to collect warp cards into a face down pile. When a player has three cards, they can trade them in for another meeple to roll each turn. Option two gives players an opportunity to power up their attacks. Each card shows a sequence of meeple positions. If players reveal meeples in the order shown on the card, they add the card and the abilities the attack associated with the meeple position on the card. Warp cards carry over between rounds, allowing for some pretty powerful attacks if the game enters a third round.

As mentioned before, a round ends when a warrior gets pushed off the warpstream board or receives enough damage on their tracker. The defeated warrior loses the crystal on their board, but then gains a shadow meeple for the remainder of the game. The shadow meeple, like the warp meeple, gives the player more opportunities for attacks and defense when rolling. The game ends when a warrior has won two rounds.

After a few rounds of play on the prototype, I can tell you that this game is a blast. While not overly complicated, this head to head combat comes with some interesting choices. Each round, players must decide whether to press the attack or hold meeples in reserve for a defensive stand. Each of the current characters is pretty balanced and allows for some different play styles in how you attack. For example, Mega Mantis has a lot of ranged attacks, while Missy Metal can’t be knocked out of the timestream. Being able to gain more meeples and giving the first player to lose a round an extra meeple almost guarantees a 3 round game. However, once players know the system, rounds can move relatively quickly making for fast paced, action packed games. Each deck of warp cards is barely scratched each game meaning that there are quite a few enhancement possibilities from game to game. The choice of whether to gain more meeples or enhance your attacks is another fun decision that could go either way depending on the decisions of your opponent.

While still in development, the current artwork, by Missy Rayment, is eye candy and really draws you into the experience. The symbols are easy to decipher and the colors really pop off the player boards and character stands. Each of the meeples are uniquely tailored to the character they are associated with, tailoring their rolls to their fighting style. While the prototype had three meeples glued together, I’ll be interested to see the final milled meeple in the final product. 

TimeWarp Warriors is a breath of fresh air to the two player fighting genre. Rather than controlling your fighters with a deck of cards, players are treated to an action filled, head to head fight by rolling unique meeples and capitalizing on their character’s unique strengths. With plenty of gameplay combinations with the four starter characters and room to add more characters in the future, this game has the potential for some staying power.

TimeWarp Warriors comes to Kickstarter on May 23rd, 2023. Visit the kickstarter page here.

Check out the MEGA MINT Games website here for more information about TimeWarp Warriors and other games.

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