So apparently there is a growing buzz about this game, although until the invitation emails circulated for tonight I had never heard of it. For those not aware, this is the newest title from Czech Games Edition (CGE) designer Vlaada Chvátil, of Galaxy Trucker fame. The style and board artwork is obviously by the same artist as GT, and the game play is like a Galaxy Trucker-meets-Pandemic-meets RoboRally.
The theme and real-time aspect to play are also reminiscent of the old Star Trek TNG boardgame - the one where you play a video of Gowron the Klingon barking orders at you every few minutes. In this case it was a CD of a computer-manipulated voice that sounds like the The Beastie Boys reprising their piece Intergalactic.
The game play is co-operative (in theory), although in the sessions I played it was more chaotic with an air of order and coordination. The real time aspect adds an intense sense of desperation as players arrange their cards in the best order to defend against incoming and internal threats.
When you’re playing for fun, as we were, the mistakes and miscommunications can be hilarious. As the second game began, I volunteered to position myself to fire at an incoming alien ship on our port side. I had set up a string of firing orders which were programmed with marvelous efficiency. With the orders locked in and the events beginning to play out, someone pointed out the incoming on the port side couldn’t be hit with blasts from the front cannons. But I couldn’t read this fine print on the card from where I was sitting and no-one bothered to tell me this when it first appeared. (There were some similar mix-ups with the robots in the first game). So there I was, blasting away to no effect for half the game scenario!
Anyway, fun and funny stuff that I anticipate will get much play over the coming summer.
40 mins for rules, setup and first game; 35 mins for the second.
6 consecutive games of this tonight for Richard and Pat.
Results: We survive the first scenario, blasted on the second on turn 9.
(Originally posted in The Mine Shaft Gap.)