Return to Flight : in anticipation of the upcoming Space Shuttle launch
Tony Nardo
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Ellicott City
Maryland
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On July 13, after a 2.5 year hiatus, the Space Shuttle program is set to resume with the launch of Discovery.

To commemorate the event, this seemed like a good time to start a list of games that feature the space shuttle in particular, and manned space flight in general.

Granted, there's always a hint of science fiction that creeps into any game dealing with space. Still, I'd like to keep this list confined to games where the primary focus is on manned space flight, and not on games that showcase a science fiction book, TV series, or movie. Preferably the games should focus on exploration of the moon or other bodies in the solar system. (There's plenty of potential for whole new lists on the space "license" franchise and on extrasolar game theme!)
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1. Board Game: Space Shuttle 101 [Average Rating:5.17 Unranked]
Tony Nardo
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
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Starting with the obvious, there are numerous games that deal with the space shuttle itself...
 
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2. Board Game: Shuttle Command [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Tony Nardo
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
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3. Board Game: Shuttle Challenge [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Tony Nardo
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Ellicott City
Maryland
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4. Board Game: Liftoff! [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:4357]
Tony Nardo
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
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A race to the moon, with a progression of missions that mirrors the history of the 1960s moon missions.
 
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5. Board Game: Moonshot the Game [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:11074]
 
Tony Nardo
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
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Another historical view of the race to the moon, in game form.
 
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6. Board Game: Space Chase [Average Rating:3.50 Unranked]
Tony Nardo
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
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Moving into older fare, this title features a race to both build rockets and to push them as far as safely possible through the solar system.
 
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7. Board Game: Solar Conquest [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Tony Nardo
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
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Again looking to the past, here is a dicefest in which players try to build rockets and then use them to explore the solar system. Interestingly, the game makes a point of accelerating the progression of players that successfully establish a moon base to reach the other planets. Definitely dated, as many of the European countries now cooperating in the ESA are shown as competitors here.
 
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8. Board Game: One False Step for Mankind [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:6126]
Sam Miller
United States
Williamsburg
Virginia
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The idea is to build a rocket to the moon and man it with hapless little explorers. Though it's - ahem - set in the 19th century.
 
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9. Board Game: Count Down [Average Rating:5.86 Unranked]
Jim Pulles
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
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An early 'race to space' game. Lots of fun... and it came with cool plastic rockets.
 
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10. Board Game: Countdown [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Jim Pulles
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
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A space game from the early 1960s. I love the artwork on the box cover.
 
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11. Board Game: Blast-Off! [Average Rating:4.73 Overall Rank:14650]
Hammock Backpacker
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Nice artwork on this game too.
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12. Board Game: Rocket Flight [Average Rating:6.66 Unranked]
Danny Holte
United States
Fullerton
California
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This is probably the best of 'em.
 
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13. Board Game: Damocles Mission [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:9976]
Barry Kendall
United States
Lebanon
Pennsylvania
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"Damocles Mission," SPI, early '80s. Paragraph-based boardgame in which a shuttle is modified for extra-orbital flight and configured with a variable crew of specialists to investigate a very large object which has found its way into the solar system--and appears not to be a natural object. Played this several times and lost my crew, one at a time, as they tried to explore the--ah--very large object. Worth finding!
 
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14. Board Game: Rendezvous in Space [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Tony Nardo
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
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This one's definitely on the obscure side. The slides are a nice gimmick.
 
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15. Board Game: Moon Flight [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Tony Nardo
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
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Promotional fare from Avon during the Apollo days.
 
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