Games, News

Thunder Road Board Game is Coming Back — Kinda

Thunder Road Vendetta

An upcoming crowdfunding campaign aims to bring back the 80s Mad Max-inspired board game Thunder Road, but there’s a slight catch.


The original Thunder Road came out in 1986, helping kids realize their dreams of playing in their own Mad Max world. It featured miniature post-apocalyptic cars and trucks as game pieces, burned up vehicle hulls, and even a helicopter that could all be played on an endless wasteland road.

As an 11-year-old Mad Max fanatic in 1986, I was the exact target demographic, so it only made sense that it quickly became my favorite board game. Regretfully, I sold it on eBay in 1999, but this reboot has certainly piqued my interest to jump back into that game and play it with my kids.

But the kicker here is that, despite the incredible resurgence of the apocalyptic genre, and the fact that the original Thunder Road’s entire point was that wasteland road and those Mad Max cars, the folks at Restoration Games aren’t planning to continue that post-apocalyptic setting for Thunder Road: Vendetta in lieu of a grindhouse art style.

“We have gone with a slightly different vibe,” Restoration’s Rob Daviau said to Polygon. “It’s a little more advanced, but you’ll still be rolling dice and shooting each other.”

Sigh. I guess it is understandable that in this day and age, you can’t just blatantly copy the intellectual property of a major motion picture and put it into your own game, but it’s disappointing that the setting will change.

Still, Vendetta will feature “lots of different terrain, vehicles, and landmarks” and the expansions will include “new drivers, motorcycles, and rules for fire,” according to Polygon.

Restoration Games is no stranger to rebooting classic 80s board games. A 2018 Kickstarter campaign for a Dark Tower (another of my all-time favorites) reboot raised over $4M and the team has made several reincarnations of classic Risk, including one based on the pandemic.

Thunder Road: Vendetta’s crowdfunding campaign is expected to start in October with much of the game’s design side already in the works.

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[Via Polygon]

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Shawn has been infatuated with the post-apocalyptic genre since he wore out his horribly American-dubbed VHS of the original Mad Max as a child. Shawn is the former Editor-in-Chief at Joystiq's Massively.com, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and host of the Through the Aftermath podcast for over 11 years. He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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