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Subject: A Little-and-Often Review - Meteor rss

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Adam Taylor
United Kingdom
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It is my intention to write a brief review (around 300 words) of every game that I play over the coming months. It won't quite be a random sample of games but there is likely to be quite a range; some will be games that I've played many times before, others will be first impressions of games that are new to me, some I will like, some I will hate, some I may be predisposed to like or hate before I even sit down to them. I make no apologies for this but I will lead with a rough number of plays and my rating.

Plays: 4
My rating: 6.5

So, cards on the table, I don't like co-ops and I don't like real-time games. Meteors would normally see me walking very briskly in the other direction but it was the only game in town - I arrived for gaming at a friend's and Meteors was already being played so I was just dealt in. This is a strength of Meteors as a filler or start of the night game: It's quick to set up, potentially quick to teach and each game lasts no more than five minutes - so over the course of a few games players can easily drop in and out.

I say potentially quick to teach because, while the basic rules are pretty straightforward, there are quite a few special cards (meteors and technology) that take a little explaining, even in the basic game (we played without the boss and special power cards which add complexity and difficulty for more experienced players). There are two ways to approach this: When I played, I was just taught the basic rules and then we paused the timers each time a new special card came up so that it could be explained (often with reference to the rulebook). This was a little frustrating but probably better than the alternative of going through every card in advance just in case they were in play.

However, that's the only specific criticism that I have of Meteors - it does what is does very well and, despite my general preferences, I enjoyed it. It's fun and fast and it's challenging: After three games I was the one saying 'Just one more, we've got to beat it.' (Which we finally did on our fourth go.)

As players are not allowed to speak to each other at the beginning of the game, there is no "alpha-player problem" - in all of our games, by the time we built the communication satellite and were able to talk I was honestly relieved to be given some direction.

Meteors was able to overcome my usual prejudices to the extent that I would willingly play it again (though I wouldn't seek it out). If you actively like co-ops and/or real-time games, this is definitely one to try.
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