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Subject: Why Do Aliens Want Cows? rss

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Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Cosmic Cows by Maureen Hinn and published by Playroom Entertainment doesn't answer this question, but I am glad that they do. Otherwise this would just be a dice game instead of a highly themed game about the epic struggle between alien races to collect three earth cows. Ok, the theme is a bit silly, but the game is fun.

Two players take the role of aliens trying to lure cows to their side of the board. The first alien to succeed in getting three cows to their end zone (last three spaces) at the same time wins the game.

Components
There are ten normal six sided dice, five for each player, ten plastic cows and a gameboard along with the trilingual rules (English, Spanish and French). Nothing special about the dice just sturdy six sided dice, five black with white pips and five white with black pips. The board is a sturdy hardmounted and colorful single fold board. On each end of the board there is an alien spacecraft as seen through the windshield as well as a nice summary of each column's moving rules. Eight columns have seventeen spaces and one has only three spaces. A cute, but a little top-heavy, black and white plastic cow starts in the center of each column. We got a bonus/spare cow as well. The rules are clear and cover the rules well.

Gameplay
Each player rolls the five dice, keeping as many as he wants and rerolling the others, then keeping any of the resulting dice and rerolling again (just like Yahtzee). For each pair or three or four of a kind, the player can move the cow in the appropriate column that many spaces towards the player's end. In the case of a full house or two pair, the player can move two cows. If the player has four or five consecutive numbers, the cow in the straight column can be moved three or four spaces. If the five dice total less than thirteen or more than twenty-two, the cow in the chance column can be moved three or four spaces. The middle, super beam column has only three spaces. If five of a kind are rolled the cow moves one space towards the player's end. The game ends immediately when a player has three cows in the last three rows.

Impressions
First, I have to confess that I like Yahtzee when I am in the mood. This game is Yahtzee without the wasted rolls. Almost any roll can be at least somewhat useful. It's also head to head instead of each player working away at building up a score. There are real decisions to make when rolling and sometimes when scoring. My conclusion is that it's another enjoyable dice game from Ms. Hinn.
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