The universe is so vast and the stars hide so many things that the birth of a new planet often goes unnoticed. However, this time you will be able to make the difference; your planet is the most beautiful, the most welcoming of all the galaxy and you intend to prove it well!
Please Note: Despite looking very fancy, the game we received for review was still in prototype and as such the final product may differ from what is shown in the images here.
Attract a plethora of life forms on your planet and, by respecting the laws of gravity, make sure to arrange your living spaces as well as possible in order to score a maximum of Prestige points. Show everyone that your planet is the most prosperous in the entire galaxy!
I recently had the chance to play a prototype release of Planetopia – a space deck building game – and while I did enjoy the game there were a couple of things that I felt needed some changes.
Planetopia is a game for up to five people of age eight and up. When we opened the box I figured that it was a game for both adults and children mostly just because of how the art for the tokens, cards and play boards looked. I could see this being a good game for families to play together, as it does appeal to those who are not hardcore into board games but want to play with their kids. Or for those who want an easy game to play.
It is also a good game to get your children interested in board games. The look of the game can draw them in and the games do not last long, so they don’t need to stay focused for ages. The box says 30-45 minutes and that is roughly how long the games I played lasted once everyone knew the rules and what to do on their turn.
The game goes clockwise, each player taking their turn. During said turn you can do a maximum of two actions per turn: one mandatory and one optional, in the order of your choice. There are three mandatory actions that you must choose one of to do. On your turn you can take a Cosmos card, the one furthest from your planet, using atom tokens if you want to pick one of the others up. That card then joins your hand which is basically your deck. You can play a card face up in front of you and apply its affect. Most of the time these cards will be the Cosmos cards that allow you to gather more Aliens for your planet. The last mandatory action you can choose from is to recover cards, which means you get to pick up the cards that you have played face up in front of you. These cards go back to your hand for you to use again.
For your optional action you can choose between discarding two of the Aliens on your planet for Atom tokens, or making a combo, which is discarding the Alien tokens corresponding to the pattern on a Prestige card and taking it. It stays face up in front of you as the number at the top of the card denotes how many points you are awarded by having said card.
The game is played in as many rounds as it takes for one player to score 25 Prestige points. That player is the winner and then the remaining players have one turn to try and get as close to or as many points as the winner. However, in the case of a tie the player with the most Atom tokens wins. If there is still a tie the winner is whoever has the most Aliens remaining on their planet.
One of the things I liked a lot was the way to pick who goes first. With some games its the shortest, or who has travelled out of town most recently. For Planetopia it is the person who has been in space most recently. It is amusing as none of the people I know have ever been in space and this would only be helpful to astronauts who want to play the game.
The few things that myself and the others I played with would change would be the game boards that everyone has to represent your planet. Instead of being thin like they are now perhaps have them be of thicker stock. The other thing was something we changed while playing. The game rules say that when taking a Cosmos card it is to be taken from the furthest right from your planet, so to stop arguments we did it as the card closest to the the Cosmos Deck. It made it easier for us and stopped any potential arguments that could have come up.
Overall I did really like Planetopia and I cannot wait to see the final product.
Official Website (French) – https://www.mangrovegames.com/planetopia/
Official Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/planetopiathegame/