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Subject: Retro (rocket) gaming at its finest rss

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Paul Francis
Netherlands
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My brother bought a very good condition game for my son this Christmas (2005) via eBay as we used to play it as kids. So a few weeks ago we broke it out & had a family game or two.

The rules, at first glance, seem bizarrely complicated. I had to re-read them a few times to get the hang of the anachronistic 60s space jargon & acronyms (your counters are divided into 'capsules' & 'satellites' until they finally dock & head out to the planets).

The object of the game is to achieve orbit with you satellite then dock with your capsule that blasts off separately. Once all players are in orbit then the final phase begins which is visiting the planets one-by-one with trips back to the moon to re-fuel in between. The winner is the first person to visit all the planets.

There is not much in the way of skill required and you are pretty much at the fate of a die roll but, like even ludo, that does not stop a fierce sense of competition taking hold as you race madly around trying to jump on the moon once again. A game of 4 players can take as long as an hour and a half (unfortunately there happen to be another 8 planets in the solar system to visit), which is stretching things a bit, so either set a limit of 6 planets or, as we did, a time limit of one hour and the person who has visited most planets by then is the winner.

The game is attractively designed (for a 60s game!) but what I loved as a kid (& my eldest liked too) was your own personal board with dials for fuel guage, stability indicator and your orbit level indicator. There is another cute bank of dials showing how many planets each person has visited.

Blast Off! - Retro (rocket) gaming at its finest.
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Nigel Clarke
England
Dursley
Gloucestershire
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I also have not played since I was a kid. Unfortunately, whilst I have the game in vgc, the rules have gone missing. Any chance of posting them?
 
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smirnoff fantasticus
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I had this game as a kid too. I was mad about space and I did like the two-piece space ships and the elements of matching velocities and conserving fuel. I seem to remember though that once you made the first couple of planets then it became very easy and a bit boring after that. Your idea of limiting the game time is a good one, we never thought of that when we were kids!
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