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Subject: Space Station FUN rss

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Brian Trimmer
United States
Camarillo
California
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Space Station Disaster is a lite but very entertaining game good for a night with friends or with the family. The rules are not overly complex and the whole game can be learned after a read-through, your typical beer and pretzels game. The game itself only takes about half-an-hour (perhaps a little more). There is an element of teamwork involved yet each player needs to collect the most credits and/or resolve the most disasters in order to win. This could certainly lead to a few “stab in the back” occasions wherein one player does something for the good of the whole only to have the prize fall to a competitor.ninja

The game is set on a ‘doomed’ space station, plagued by countless tragedies and disasters. Each turn, each player draws a station tile – somewhat reminiscent of Carcassonne. Various tiles are accompanied by different problems: red tiles = fire, orange tiles = disease, = yellow tiles = radiation, blue tiles = electrical danger, green tiles = alien intruders and purple tiles = enraged robots. The color of each tile cannot be seen until the tile is pulled and flipped over. There are also, gray credit tiles (with a credit token), brown draw card tiles and purple spiral teleporter tiles. If a meople chooses, he can teleport between any two purple spiral tiles or back to the command center. There must be at least two teleport tiles on the board for this mode of movement to work.

All meoples begin in the central control tile (this one is set aside from the beginning). Each player also starts with three cards – different card types allow the player to combat a different type of disaster. Next, each player draws a new tile; adding it to the station design. When the tile is flipped, the appropriate disaster token is placed on that tile.

Meoples can move three spaces (or less if the player chooses). If player one lays down a laser gun card, he can remove any alien he encounters (within the three spaces he can move). However, he is not immune to any other disasters. If he encounters fire, he will lose a credit or token from those he has already collected. If he has none to spare, he is removed from the game (his meople dies). Each player conducts their turn in a similar fashion. Once a card is played, the player can draw a new card only if he returns to the command center or crosses a ‘draw card tile’.

At the end of everyone’s movement, fire, disease, and radiation spreads one tile – to all adjacent tiles. Robots and aliens, still remaining, move one tile closer to the nearest meople. No disaster may enter the command center.

Say a player uses his disease eradication card, he moves three tiles – perhaps two are filled with the disease. Those two disease markers are collected. When the player reaches the third tile, he must stop. If there is still a disease marker next to him (the next tile over), he can still gain a point. His disease eradication card remains in effect until the end of the turn and disease is one of those disasters which spread, therefore, the disease will spread to the meople’s tile but the player will eradicate it due to his card still being in effect (gaining an extra token). However, be watchful that you do not end your movement on a tile next to a disaster that will spread that you cannot combat – this will harm you.

If the various meoples have eradicated a robot, repaired an electrical disaster, and combatted radiation but could not fight a raging fire or deal with an alien (due to lack of the correct card type or limited movement range), the fire will spread and the alien move towards the meoples. On the next turn, new tiles with new disasters will be drawn. The poor space station continues to suffer mega disasters for the meoples (players) to overcome.

The game ends when all the tiles are drawn or all the players are removed from play by succumbing to the various disasters. Surviving players count up credit tokens they have collected and disaster tokens from problems they have resolved (if on a turn, a meople used his firefighting card and eradicated two fires in adjoining tiles, that player would collect the fire tokens for each). The player with the most tokens wins.

I do not know Space Station Disaster’s designer but we have a mutual friend. This friend introduced me to the game and asked me to be a play-tester. After two plays, I am quite fond of this game. It isn’t at all heavy or complex but a certain amount of thinking and even teamwork are necessary. The random draw element keeps the game fresh each play-through. Also, my kids love the game so I can say that this is a good one for family game night.

I only have a pre-production set so I do not know what the final version will look like. At the moment, the tiles are somewhat generic showing hallways – these must be lined up with other hallways, and color coding. I hope that when this game is produced, a greater element of detail and creativity will be put into the tiles and markers.

I do indeed hope that Space Station Disaster is produced for the gaming world to enjoy.
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Chris Anderson
United States
Halifax
Massachusetts
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Brian-

Thanks for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed the game. A few rules clarifications, if a player has no tokens and is injured they aren't removed from the game. They are just sent back to start. Also radiation doesn't spread. Again, thanks for the review and please tell your friends.

-Chris
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Brian Trimmer
United States
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Since the review my son and I played again and I realized (too late) that radiation doesn't spread - only fire and disease.

Watch out though, in no time your space station can become an inferno (or filled with contagion)shake
 
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