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The Next Logical Step In Action Figure Gaming...

Anybody who reads the site with some regularity knows we're hooked on HeroClix. And now, WizKids has announced they're releasing a game that I've dreamed of since I was a little kid.

Not the characters involved, necessarily, but just the idea of actually pitting action figures against each other. Here's the news straight from WizKids:

WizKids, LLC, makers of the top-selling Mage Knight(tm), MechWarrior(r) and HeroClix(tm) collectable miniatures games, today announced the release of a new game that is the first ever of its kind. Shadowrun(r) Duels is the world's first "action figure game," a new genre that combines action role playing with the imaginative play possibilities of poseable figures.

Picture courtesy of Action Figure Times
"This isn't your daddy's G.I. Joe or your mama's Barbie," said Jordan Weisman, WizKids founder. "Shadowrun offers action figures that spark the imagination and rules that help direct play. It's the best of both worlds."

Like other WizKids offerings, the new game is based on an imaginary universe that provides a backdrop for play. Shadowrun takes place in a future run by megacorporations and populated by the fantastical creatures, cyborgs and humanoids they employ.

The game pieces are 5.5" action figures representing personalities in the Shadowrun universe. They are fully articulated and completely poseable, with a variety of weapons, magical spells, medical kits and food rations. Each figure includes its own accessories, which are interchangeable among figures. Equipping figures with different combinations of gear changes the way they're played in the game. Each figure is also assigned special abilities that allow it to excel in the use of particular gear. Combining abilities, gear and articulating poses allows for nearly infinite play possibilities.

The game was developed to fill what Weisman perceives as a gap in the current toy market. "As kids get older they still enjoy action figures, but their minds are expanding beyond the purely imaginary," he said. "They're starting to play games with more complex rules, and learning to follow or bend those rules. But many still want to play with action figures. Now, it's all in one game."

The Shadowrun Duels rules are designed to be simple to understand, but flexible enough to accommodate even sophisticated play by adults, who are also seen as a large potential audience. The Shadowrun universe also includes more than 40 licensed science/fantasy novels, as well as best-selling console games for the Sega and Nintendo game systems.

Shadowrun figures will be sold individually, and each figure will include the dice, rules and other items needed to play it. The figures will retail for around $15 each. You can learn more about the Shadowrun Duels game online at www.wizkidsgames.com.

Derek McCaw

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