Last year, perhaps the best Power Rangers the series got an expansion for Power Rangers deck building game. Power Rangers in space came into play with the Fly higher expansion by Renegade Game Studios. Renegade was kind enough to provide me with a copy of the expansion, but all thoughts below are my own. If you want to purchase a copy, you can head to the Renegade store or your local game store to get it with an MSRP of $30.

Let’s make a rocket!

Zordon has been captured! Led by Astronema, the princess of evil, Dark Spector’s forces are expanding to conquer the galaxy. Only Andros and his Space Rangers can save the universe from sinking into darkness. Hop on your Galaxy Glider and take action!

I feel very ambivalent about it Fly higher. On the one hand, I feel like it does a great job of capturing the atmosphere and essence of In Space and bringing it to the world Deck building game. On the other hand, I don’t know if it’s a great expansion for a game meant to do a lot of mixing and matching. This expansion brings a lot to the table and there’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get on our galactic gliders and dive in.

First, Fly higher introduces a brand new victory condition. At the start of the game, the villains receive an oversized Dark Wraith card while the heroes receive an oversized Zordon card. Zordon lets the heroes start the game with 15 Energy, but that becomes the new maximum amount of Energy for them (instead of 20) and if they ever drop to zero, they lose. Meanwhile, Dark Specter will collect Conquest tokens and once he gets 10+, the bad guys will win. This helps freshen up the game as it creates new strategies. It’s important to note that these do not replace the standard victory condition of reducing your opponent’s health to zero.

Another new mechanic is Search. Once on your turn (or when a card/ability allows), you can turn over the top card of the main deck and then, if you want, you can buy it. One thing to note is that if it’s an Opponent card (Hero or Villain) with an attack ability, you will get hit unless you can block it (note that Hero cards don’t attack Hero players but Villain cards attack both Hero and Villain players). Another thing to note is that both players can purchase Hero and Villain cards revealed via Research even if they normally couldn’t. If you don’t want to buy it and it is the opposite of your alignment, you can choose to fight it if you wish. Any cards purchased via Search can be immediately assigned to your character, which is pretty neat and made even better by the fact that Heroes and Villains can be assigned to Hero or Villain slots this way. Overall I really like this new mechanic.

While I appreciate these new mechanics, they also create a glaring problem in my opinion. One of the nicest things about Power Rangers deck building game it’s how you can mix and match characters and cards from various sets to create a truly varied experience. Some sets have introduced what I would consider minor mechanics that don’t disrupt too much how any game would be played. For example, in RPM: Get moving, they introduced RPM tokens that affect various card abilities. It has no impact on how the game is set up, how it is won, or how it is played. I feel like the new mechanics have come in Fly higher they are much more impactful and could be classified as core mechanics. Research is the lesser of the two, and if it were the only new mechanic, it wouldn’t be so bad. However, the Dark Specter/Zordon mechanic is an alternate victory condition, and some character abilities interact directly with it (for example, Astronema’s Intrigue ability causes you to gain shards for every two Conquest tokens on Dark Spectre). This means that if you want to play Astronema, you have to play Dark Spectre/Zordon. I probably sound a little harsher than I mean, but it bothers me that, for a game meant to mix and match, this expansion (not even a large standalone expansion) isn’t very friendly to that format.

Another disappointment I had to deal with was the Psycho Rangers. These are fan favorite characters who kick the butt of the Rangers on multiple occasions. Their ability to intrigue is truly fantastic as not only can they purchase heroes from the grid, but when they do so they also get the reward of battle! This is balanced by the fact that heroes are immediately exhausted when attacked. Their signature monster form is also decent as you can spend four energy to boost all attacks you make by one for every two Conquest tokens on Dark Specter. Unfortunately, the Empowered ability leaves a little to be desired as it costs five Energy to deal two points of damage for each Hero you have attached. That seems like a high cost, especially when you have someone like Astronema who can deal one point of damage per Conquest token on Dark Specter for only four Energy! Psycho Rangers just feel tarnished here. Additionally, their Master card is one of the worst I’ve ever seen in the game. It’s the first one I’ve seen that requires an Energy payment and involves making an attack that deals damage equal to the cost of a Hero card attached to your character. While the quest mechanic allows any villain to have a hero assigned to them, if that hero becomes detached for any reason, the only villain who can utilize this Master ability are the Psycho Rangers. The only good thing is that you can choose when to activate it. I would love to see a mini expansion where the Psycho Rangers are made available as individual characters instead of grouped together. It could be a lot of fun.

Alone, Fly higher It’s fun to play overall. I feel like one character is a dud, but the new mechanics are fun. Unfortunately, you’re forced to play with alternate victory conditions if you want to use anything in this set, so it feels less mix and match than other expansions. Let me know in the comments what you think of the Fly higher expansion.

by Tommy Williams
Source: Geek Tyrant

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