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Constellation: The Space Race Game» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Review After One Play rss

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Ben Penner
United States
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Constellation: The Space Race Game is produced by The Green Board Game Company, which is dedicated to educational games and recycled/recyclable materials.

The Premise
It is the year 3001. You are one of the finalist captains in an annual space race around the constellations. Starting in the Corvus constellation, each captain has drawn three constellations that they must visit before returning to the Corvus constellation to finish, all while avoiding the two alien spaceships.

The Pieces
The game is designed for 2-4 players, and is playable in either English or French. Each player chooses a pewter spaceship, which come right out of the old black and white space serials, and three colored flag pawns. The two alien ships are little more than silver painted wooden discs. The single die is also of silver painted wood. There are also two decks of cards, one of the constellations, the other of question/action cards. The board is double sided, one side for the Northern Hemisphere, the other for the Southern Hemisphere.

The Decks
There are two decks, a Constellation Deck and a Question/Action Deck. The cards are made from recycled materials. One side is smooth, while the other has the feel of recycled paper. They still shuffle well and don't get stuck together.

The Constellation Deck has an image of the constellation and where to find it on the board. On the back it has a brief description and history of the constellation in both English and French. The downside to this deck is that they are supposed to be drawn random, but has the name on both sides, so it is always known what is coming next.

The Question/Action Deck is single sided, and has either three questions in both English and French of different difficulties, or tells you to do something. Some of these actions are lose a turn to do repairs, use the nearest wormhole, or move twice the distance on the die.

Game Play
The youngest player goes first and rolls the die. If it is a six, they can move their ship, an opponents ship, or an alien ship. If it is anything else, then the player to their right draws a card for them and asks a question of their choice. If it is an action then the active player must do it. If they answer the question correctly, they can move their ship the distance on the die, or they can choose to move an alien ship.

Alien Ships
There are two alien ships that can be utilized to mess with the opponents. If an alien ship lands on a players flag, the player loses that constellation and must draw a new one to replace it. If an alien ship lands on a players ship, the player goes back to the starting constellation and must draw an additional constellation. This cannot be done if that player still has all three flags on the board.

Landing On A Token
All movement involving landing on a token must be done on an exact roll. This means that even if you are only one space away from you flag, you only have a 50% chance of being able to capture it.

There are several wormholes around the board. These are used to jump distances easily. I don't believe that the rules actually said whether the movement between them counts for one.

A Short Session Report
I played this as a 2-player game in the Northern Hemisphere, which has fewer constellations. All six constellations drawn were within the same third of the board as the starting constellation. This led to the alien ships being used every chance possible to slow each other down. The game would definitely been different with a third player or if the constellations were farther apart.

Final Thoughts
This is definitely a good game to learn about the night sky, especially in the opposite hemisphere to which you are familiar with. The game play has very little strategy involved, as you have to land on exact count, and that the reader has the choice of which question to ask.

All in all as a standard board game I would rate this about a 5/10. However, as an educational game, I would rate it an 8.5/10.
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