Welcome to the Umbrella Academy!
The kickstarter has shipped, and now the game is up for pre-order on the Mantic web site.
So who or what is the Umbrella Academy. This game is based off the comic book series by Gerard Way (yes, that Gerard Way, the lead vocalist of My Chemical Romance) and Gabriel Ba.
It is a not so classical superhero story - where one day across the world 43 women all gave birth despite not having been pregnant earlier that day. Sir Reginald Hargreeves adopts as many as he can, training them to be the Umbrella Academy, a group of superheroes. They end up as a dysfunctional family of adults later (and hijinks ensue).
As is the case so often, you are probably more familiar with the Netflix series (which just announced that the fourth and final season is coming in 2024). The game is based on the comic instead, which is, well more comicy. The characters are simply less 'realistic' being in a true comic book world. But the essence - the story of a family struggling to get along with each other, remains the same. I highly recommend all three collected editions from Dark Horse comics if you enjoy the show - Apocalypse Suite, Dallas, Hotel Oblivion and the announced but unpublished Sparrow Academy)
I did the full kickstarter version, so let's take a look at it!
First off, the kickstarter was for the exclusive Collector's edition box, which is bigger than the retail edition and contains ALL the expansions (I'm not sure how the expansions will be packaged for retail).
One note - Mantic has gotten VERY good at packaging their board games. The three trays are solid, and each also has a transparent lid to keep the pieces from falling out in transport. Not only that, but the three trays each have a semicircular indent that matches the lid - so you can easily make sure you have have the correct lid for each tray (ok, that isn't really needed, as all three trays are the exact same height and width (though the final tray is a bit deeper)). Still a nice little attention to detail there.
One cool addition is that with the kickstarter version you can play with the heroes as adults (as we are used to seeing them), or as children. When playing as children, you don't have the issues that they will have later as adults, and in fact have extra powers. However they have special mission cards that deal with their 'father' that they must deal with in addition to the villain they are fighting.
So lets take a look at the miniatures for the game.
First of course is number one, who took the name Luther, but is known as Spaceboy. He was terribly injured, and the only way to save him was to transplant his head onto the body of a gorilla. He has spent the last few years on the moon. His is one of the large minis, though his child version is just that, a child.