Spencer Williams
United States
Wichita Falls
Texas
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This review brought to you by Married with Board Games.

If you’ve ever wanted to experience the tension and uncertain terror from movies like Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise, then you need to play Escape from the Aliens In Outer Space from Osprey Games.

A basic overview of the game goes like this: A crew is stranded on a damaged research ship in deep space and an alien plague has transformed some of the crewmen. The human player have to try to make their way to escape pods in various zones aboard the ship while the alien player have to try to intercept the humans before they escape.

The twist is, in EFTAIOS, there is no central board everyone plays on. Each player has their own map of the zones on the ship and a player records their movement on their own map sheets in order to keep position hidden. Also, the identities assigned at the beginning of the game – alien or human – are kept secret, which makes for fun “can I really trust you” moments.

EFTAIOS, designed by Mario Porpora, Pietro Righi Riva, Luca Francesco Rossi, and Nicolo Tedeshi, started out as a print and play game, which is where we first encountered (pun intended) this game. We had so much fun playing it that we KNEW we had to have the Ultimate Edition.

What can we say about gameplay?


It certainly does replicate the tension of a stranded-and-running-from-aliens movie. In fact, it even feels similar to John Carpenter’s The Thing.

Humans start in one area of the zone while aliens start in another area. There are four escape pods the humans are trying to make their way towards. On a player’s turn, they move to a space (called a sector) and draw a card. That card will either instruct them to announce what sector they are in, throw off the other players by announcing a sector of their choice, announce silence in all sectors, or they may draw an item that gives them a special ability. Aliens also have the ability to attack another player if they believe they are in the same sector as another player. Play continues until either the aliens have eaten all the human players, or all remaining humans have escaped via escape pod.

While I (Spencer) have actually only ever played on the alien team, it felt great to have my opponents eek their way around the zones while I was in hot pursuit.

New to this edition is the inclusion of different special powers, sort of like roles in Pandemic or Flash Point: Fire Rescue. The only catch with the majority of these roles though is that they can only be used once – so use them wisely!

The Ultimate Edition includes eight maps of various sizes. Some of the tiny ones might present a bit of a problem. We played a four player game on the Socrates Zone and due to various consequences, the game was over in about 5 minutes. If you want to see that as a pro, just look at it as how different each game you play can be. We choose to look at it as a point towards replayability.

Components:

16 Character Cards
5 Escape Pods Cards
77 Dangerous Sector Cards, of which 17 Item Cards
8 Dry-Wipe Marker Pens
2 Cleaning Cards


The Ultimate Edition’s greatest feature is the laminated map book and the included dry erase markers. The map books not only have the maps and spaces to write in a player’s movements, but they also include iconography guides for handy referencing. It’s made to last – we don’t see these deteriorating any time soon. Just be sure to wipe off the markers after each game!

While it may seem like a trivial detail, we also love the box the Ultimate Edition comes in. It’s sturdy and opens along a spine, sort of like a book.

The cards are average. We wouldn’t rate them as high-quality.


Final Verdict:

Escape From the Aliens in Outer Space (Ultimate Edition) provides a great opportunity to explore a truly horrifying scenario but have a blast at the same time. If you enjoy games with hidden identities or hidden movement that require deductive reasoning, this is a must-have for your collection. We certainly will hold on to this one and we’re sure it will become a regular at game night!

The only thing that would make it better? A spooky soundtrack!

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Tom S
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
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Since this is a "Married Couples" review, how does this game play with only 2 players?
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Spencer Williams
United States
Wichita Falls
Texas
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deserteagle2525 wrote:
Since this is a "Married Couples" review, how does this game play with only 2 players?


Thanks for the question! It works, just not as fun. Right off the bat you will know who the alien and who the human is, so that element of hidden roles is gone.

You still have the hidden movement aspect of it, but the alien player has to be VERY good in order for there to be much of a game here.

In a larger group, the aliens can at least split up and try to corner a human.

But if it's just two players, if the alien happens to start off in the wrong direction, it's very difficult to come back from that and catch up to the human before they get to the escape pod.

The special powers and escape pod cards kind of compensate for this, but I think the game is at it's most fun at 4-8 players.
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