Gen Con 2023 – Restoration Games

Restoration Games was at the convention showing off its recently released game of car-filled dystopian future, Thunder Road: Vendetta. Feedback has been good and it was certainly in constant play in the booth. They were also showing the upcoming cooperative expansion/standalone to Unmatched, Unmatched Adventures: Tales to Amaze.

Thunder Road: Vendetta

Restoration Games has made its name through revitalizing old games that may generate a certain fondness but may not quite have the same staying power as a more modern game. The reimplementation of Thunder Road is an exemplar of what Restoration Games does best.

Two to four players send out their vehicles (and attack copter) onto the road/battlefield to duke it out on the asphalt. Players use dice for movement but also to activate abilities on their command board like repairing a car or triggering a nitro boost. In addition to the many road hazards, when vehicles take damage it isn’t just a number, damage can also cause a variety of festive effects that may send your car smashing around the board. The Kickstarter was some time ago and the members of the Opinionated Gamers with a copy give it high praise.

Unmatched Adventures: Tales to Amaze

Another Restoration game garnering Opinionated Gamers praise is the Unmatched game system. It is a combat based game between heroes/villains, all with quite different (asymmetric) powers. It is played out on boards based on linked locations and areas (rather than a grid) and players each use a hero specific deck during the no-luck tactical combat. This brings us to Unmatched Adventures. For the first time, players can play cooperatively against AI controlled villains – the Mothman or the Martian Invader.

The two villains fight on their own battlefield and while they’re happy to just destroy the heroes, they also have their own objectives. The Mothman will slowly gather doom counters as they work to destroy bridges on the board and spread havoc while players going up against the Martian Invader will find themselves fighting off waves of aliens showing up on the board. Special villain minions will show up in the form of the Jersey Devil, And Queen, Loveland Frog, The Blob, Tarantula, and (my favorite) Skunk Ape. The enemies’ turns are governed by special action cards and a set targeting system to govern their movement and attacks.

To fight off the villains, players take control of one of four new heroes. Nikola Tesla powers up using electricity; Annie Christmas slowly powers up; The Golden Bat is a bit of a grab-bag, and Dr. Jill Trent, uses a bunch of self-made gizmos. The bonus here is that all four of the heroes can also play in the regular combative Unmatched games AND the other Unmatched heroes can be plunked down into the cooperative version of Unmatched Adventures. Fans can think of it as a super-expansion (and a cost-effective one at that) while the rest of us can use the game as a good jumping-off point to the game system.

About Matt J Carlson

Dad, Gamer, Science Teacher, Youth Pastor... oh and I have green hair. To see me "in action" check out Dr. Carlson's Science Theater up on Youtube...
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