Review by Boardgames and Bourbon.
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Its a take-that race game on a really cool board set in outer-space. Get off the Moon before it explodes first by blowing up your enemies.
What is it
Basically, its cute, its fun, you dont have to think too hard. Imagine combining the best of Munchkin, Milles Borne, Fireflies & Flashlights, Lift Off! and King of Tokyo all wrapped into one.
Flashlights & Fireflies: Moonquakes spirtual predecessor
How to play it
You’re trying to get off the planet first. You do this by shooting your enemies card stash in an attempt to expose their Alien cards. Doing so will paralyze your opponents from further movement towards getting off the planet.
You will have special powers you can use to attack or defend based on your card stash and where on the board you choose to go.
The board is comprised of multiple levels that rotate in different directions every round of the game.
Theme 10/10-Pervasive. A wonderfully colorful board, cards, names, items that draw you into the world of Moonquake Escape.
Art 10/10- Top Notch cartoon art that lends itself to the tone and seriousness of the game.
Component quality 8/10- as good as it gets without involving miniatures which i dont even care for much. Comes with a cool moon spinner. The board can become shaky but is repairable. The card stock is great.
Graphic Design 10/10- Fantastic again. Does not get better. The board, the cards are great. The rulebook needed to be more functional and less a work of art but what was provided was drawn well.
Rule Set- 7/10 …first here is a quick video on how to essentially play the game:
The game is not actually hard but is relatively detailed for a lighter game. It can be easy to get lost in the- “what does that do? A shoe does what? Only if im where?”-kind of questions.
To be sure, this is no euro game. However, for what it is and for the age group its aimed at, it will indeed be a detail heavy first game. It will flow easier after with every subsequent play. Oddly enough, I also find the advanced rules easier than the beginner rules. They seem to be more intuitive and less restrictive.
Rulebook 6/10 Lots of print, lots of details for a take-that game, and needs a better layout for easy reference. Its very color and looks like splash pages from a comic book but that leads to wasted space. It could have benefited from smaller text and more information per page for reference sake.
For example, there are powers and terrain effects in this game. Each has a chart to refer to but the charts are on different pages when they could have easily been on one. Its a small gripe. Fantasy Flight has it
Length of Play 7/10- Probably 45-60min. The very end stage becomes an attack the leader situation a la Munchkin. That can be fun but it can also become predictable and that predictability can make the game feel slower at times. Three to Five players is the right mix. Two people is predictable. Six players (as in all games) can go on too long.
Board options- 7/10 There are two sides of the board to play with and two sets of game rule complexity to choose. A is easier. Only play side B and do not combine the basic + Advanced rules. The side A board is too basic and I actually find the basic rules more involved than the Advanced Rules. There is an option to combine the two rule sets but its too much, and flipping back and forth in the book is pain for any game.
Thrill 6/10- more thrill than not, and probably lots of fun for Munchkin lovers, younger players, and newer gamers.
A grizzled vets palatte will probably have moved on to a spicier dish of course but If someone wants to play it, i wouldn’t hesitate. It would, on a occasion also be my first suggestion!
Board Issues 6/10 - Unfortunately the board was having turning issues before the first game. See, the board is a bunch of turning circles, and the circles of my board were rubbing and catching. This led to jerky motion, a few knocked over pieces, and ultimately the core construction breaking apart. I glued everything together afterwards and it hasnt been a problem since. The circles still rub together but nothing falls over now.
Thoughts after many games
With extra gameplay, the game moves along much better but you definitely need to learn it yourself before hand then showing it to friends. It looks like Candyland but its very much a hobby game. Mom and Dad, youll have to learn it first. Teens might have a hard time getting it. Kids will have no idea whats going on but with some guidence theyll get the knack of it.
Strategy and Complexity
There isnt too much strategy in this game. You know you need to zap, zap, zap and hope you get a lucky shot. Shoot the leader at all times. The board does spin, meaning you might not land where you want, but it doesnt hamper you too much. As is, you only have two options of where to go your turn; left or right, and youre always scheming to zap someone or, if in the lead, hamper someone from shooting you.
Water! I drank so much over Thanksgiving that I was asleep until 4:30pm the next day.
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