Recommend
25 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Alien Uprising» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Alien Uprising - a Kickstarter Review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Jeff Kayati
United States
Worthington
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was lucky enough to have a chance to play Alien Uprising at this years Buckeye Game Fest with none other than designer Richard Launius teaching my group the rules. I had intended to take some pictures of the prototype to share, but as so often happens at conventions, I got busy and neglected to check the batteries in my camera. Alas, dead batteries means no pictures for you. I did take some notes during the game, until I was wrapped up into what was going on and hoping to survive. The following is a rambling review based on those notes and my thoughts after the game.

Alien Uprising is a co-operative game set in a sci-fi universe. Your ship has crash landed on an Alien planet that turns out to be hostile to the humans. Your choices are to gather the scraps of your spacecraft littered around the board and attempt to repair the ship, in order to fly yourselves to safety. Or, you can dig in to your position, using some of those same scraps, to fight off the hordes of aliens while you await the rescue ship to arrive and save the crew.

Neither choice is particularly appealing if you're looking to survive, but it does offer some tough decisions for your crew to make during the game.

You see, every turn more and more aliens will be arriving and attacking. For a time, your shields will hold off these bugs, unless the tunnel underneath the shield. Sooner or later, your shields will fall, and these nasty alien critters will begin moving in for the kill. Fortunetly, you've got some firepower to deal with them. And grenades, oh the lovely grenades. If only there were an entire crate of those precious grenades.

Some of the firepower will be in the form of equipment that each character will begin the game with. Other pieces of equipment might be found during the game, but there is no guarantee of finding a specific piece, or anything at all. You might find a turret from the ship in amongst the scraps of your spacecraft, and power it up to blast away a few bugs, but you'd be using precious crystals to do so. Crystals you might need for the Homing Beacon, or to fuel the ship and get off the planet yourself. Decisions, decisions.

In addition to their starting equipment, each character has a special ability that will help them, and possibly other crew members, have a chance to survive. These unique abilities help to make each character play differently. Each character also comes with a set of skill cards that they can play during the game. You'll only start with two (or three) and getting new cards only happens when bad things are happening to you on the Gestation track. Picking the right time to use your skill cards can be critical.

In our game, an event card rained death upon the crew, and it looked like Allie was going to be knocked out. Not good. But Diesel played a card that pushed Allie out of the way of the damage, instead moving all that damage to him. He could survive, but be badly hurt. Luckily enough, Allie was able to play a card that negated all damage to another character. Diesel pushed her out of the way to take the hit, but Allie grabbed him as she fell to make certain they both dodged the incoming damage. The game can offer interesting card combos like this, and it is full of cinematic moments for those with a bit of imagination.

Each turn you roll Action dice to determine what each crew member will do that turn. The game has a push your luck element with the Action Dice, since getting three of a kind allows you to roll extra special dice that grant you more actions, including a chance to heal. This is also the phase of the game where you'll have to work together to form a plan for the turn. More than other games, the crew must find a way to work together if you hope to survive.

The characters are different enough to allow the various combinations of crew members a different game experience. The varying Gestation cards allow you to control the difficulty of the game, and we help in adding replay value to the game. These are just two of the many mechanics that should help to keep the game fresh.

Playing Alien Uprising isn't like playing other co-op games by Richard Launius. It doesn't have the narrative story arc of Arkham Horror. It's more like a fast paced action movie with cinematic twists of fate possible at anytime. It doesn't feel like Defenders of the Realm, where the same threats seem to be keep reappearing to overrun you. The Aliens are much more random, and the threat never seems to truly go away. There are bugs, and more bugs, and when you make a bit of progress in thinning those endless herds, the gestation track adds another element to worry about. Along with more bugs.

Normally when I'm deciding on whether or not to back a Kickstarter project, I take a lengthy look at the rules. A poorly written set of rules is a rule turn off to me anymore and will usually make me not back a project. Since I was taught directly by the designer, I didn't attempt to read and understand the rules before attempting to play the game. Having played though, I think the game is straight forward enough that understanding the rules shouldn't be a real issue.

Alien Uprising offers a rich, thematic gaming experience full of twists and turns. You'll have to make tough decisions, sometimes not knowing exactly which is the best course of action at the time. There are times that all seems to be lost, but one well timed grenade can change your fate. If there is a lull in the action, beware! It's simply a ruse before the next wave of aliens attempts to overwhelm you just after you've used your last grenade.

After playing Alien Uprising just the one time, I think this is a solid game worthy of backing on Kickstarter. If you enjoy richly thematic co-op games with plenty of die rolling, then this is the game you'll enjoy.
36 
 Thumb up
0.03
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Launius
United States
Johns Creek
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Thanks Jeff, I enjoyed teaching and watching your session. I am glad you enjoyed the game, and you are correct in that it is a very different experience than my other cooperative game designs.

Thanks again,

Richard
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Nedeljkovic
Serbia
Paracin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great overview! I only possible problem that I might have with this game is the replayability. I might be wrong, but only one map (+1 with the stretch goal) and only 5 characters (also +1 with the streth goals) seem too few for normal replayability.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Kayati
United States
Worthington
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Floating World wrote:
Great overview! I only possible problem that I might have with this game is the replayability. I might be wrong, but only one map (+1 with the stretch goal) and only 5 characters (also +1 with the streth goals) seem too few for normal replayability.


One could say the same thing about Pandemic, but the interplay of the different characters, or roles, added with the ability to set your difficulty using gestation, or epidemic, cards makes for a different game every time.

Not to say this games plays like Pandemic, but the replay value is rather high when you consider variability and the random nature of the game.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.