Glasgow (now), Thessaloniki (always)
Panic Lab is a very fun filler, ideal for a nice break from work or studying, or something to ease your mind between heavy-hitter strategy or rpg games.
An amoeba has broken free from its containment lab, and is running around in the research facility, trying to escape. Your job is to find it before other players do, and find it correctly. What does "correctly" mean? Well allow me to explain.
As the amoeba runs around the research facility (which is essentially the board of the game, consisted of a number of tiles placed in a circle) it might come across certain transformation agents and devices. One changes its shape (from oblong to worm-like and back), another its colour (from purple/blue to orange/red and back), and a third one changes its stripes to dots, and back.
As mentioned, the board is consisted of tiles, tiles that feature 3 labs (red, blue and yellow), each with directions as to where the escapee has run off to; 3 tiles, each one showing a lab that alters the amoeba (shape, colour and stripe/dot); 3 tiles with air vendilation (which allows the amoeba to skip tiles); and a whole bunch of amoeba tiles showing its various forms.
The players roll 4 dice, corresponding to the direction they have to start looking, the shape, colour and form of the amoeba to look for. Following the direction given by the first die, the players must look to the tiles for the target, BUT, if they encounter one of the special tiles, they must apply the change it suggests. Thus, the target changes, and players need to be observant of the new amoeba, or any other changes that might occur. Whoever spots the amoeba first, wins!
It's a game of concentration and eye-speed, and reminds me of Jungle Speed in a way. And it's enormously fun! The tiles are designed in a very simple way, you wouldnt expect eye-popping artwork from such a game anyway. But they serve their purpose well. The game is not about stunning visuals, it's about interaction with friends and the mess it can produce, since there's no fixed no.of players. Imagine playing such a game with 10 people, it can really get out of control (in a good way of course)!
Panic Lab is a lovely game and you will certainly like to play it again and again whenever you meet up with the gang!