As well as Gravwell I played Tammany Hall last week which is a game I love but, as is often the case, one I can’t seem to actually win. All seemed to be going my way when I was pipped to the post by a tie-breaker. One day Tammany, one day…..
Players: 4 (plays 2-4)
Duration: 1 hour
Who thought escaping a singularity would be so tricky? In Gravwell players are spaceships trying to slingshot their way out of a black hole by using the gravity of other spacecraft. The game takes place entirely on one track that spirals out from the start all the way to the finish some 50 or so spaces later. Each round is split into two parts. The first is where players take it in turn to draft fuel cards from a common pool and for each pick they will get one card they can see and one that is a mystery. After all cards have been picked then players play one card simultaneously until either one player has successfully escaped or until all cards have run out (in which case a new round begins).
Fuel cards have a letter (corresponding to an atomic element) and numerical value. When cards are played the player with the card nearest to A goes first and they move in the direction of the nearest ship a number of spaces that match the number on the card. Then the next player activates his card and so on in alphabetical order. Plans are made and immediately broken when a spaceship lands right behind you and you end up hurtling in the wrong direction. It’s chaotic but still a lot of fun and players are issued with an emergency stop card that they can use once per round to stop any huge blunders.
That is the basics of it and it’s a very simple idea. There are a few cards called repulsors that push you away from the nearest ship instead of pulling you towards it and a couple of tractor beams that pull every other ship towards you but in general this game is all about picking a card, playing it and hoping it all pans out. Science fans who are hoping for a high level physics strategy game will be disappointed but for a 30 minute game night finisher it will certainly generate a few laughs.