(Adult Alien - this one was painted by the owner)
(Image from the kickstarter website)
I'm not a reviewer, just sharing my experience with this very similar Alien's frachise type of game.
It was funded via KickStarter and one of the boardgamers in our area backed it.
You wake up on a space ship.
You don't know the status of the ship's engine or its destination.
You have your own goals to be successful.
It seems you are not alone on the ship.
Is the crew going to work together? Unlikely.
You must survive
There are a range of characters you can play. They each have a special ability and some are reminiscent of characters in the Alien franchise.
I happened to play a Technician (but died very early from making too much noise and attracting too much attention) and a Bounty Hunter (which I was the sole winner) - although I did "cheat" by performing an action 2 times that I should not have done - although, the others playing were forgiving (revenge can always come later!).
Exploring the ship
You might need to explore the ship depending on your characters objective.
You can be quiet, which means you will be slower as you need to burn more cards.
Or quicker, which makes noises that might attract an alien.
The rooms of the ship are not revealed until you hop onto that tile, flip it, there is also a condition on the card of some type & also how many times the room can be searched.
There are a variety of rooms that enable you to perform ship functions, such as finding out the engine conditions from the Engine Control Room. The player who finds out/operates a condition and any other action, is generally known only by that player.
Other players can ask what they "know" but the answer may not necessarily be the truth.
This is another attractive part of player interaction and bluffing that is very fun when playing with the right type of people.
Searching provides equipment based on the type of room it is.
The equipment can help your character to survive by using its functinality, crafting or trading with another character.
Being able to reload your laser rifle, upgrade your weapon, have a medkit available can really help you last longer.
You get given 2 objectives - a corporate one and a personal one.
You can ponder which one you want to do until the first Alien reveals itself, then you can pick one.
This is where you might be helpful, truthful, protective, explorer of rooms - or the opposite of all of that.
Engines & Cockpit
There are 3 engines on the ship.
Only 2 need to be functioning when the time comes to head to a destination.
The Cockpit has the coordinates of, 1 of 4 destinations, of where the ship intends to head to.
Do you check and fix them yourself?
Do you trust that the other player has actually done what they said the did?
Do you tell the truth when they ask you what the status is?
In one of my games, my goal was to have the ship arrive at Earth.
I don't know whether someone else intends to destroy the ship or change the co-ordinates.
So, I made actions that implied that I wanted to destroy the ship. This caused other players to keep close to my character just in case I did something crazy, like set SELF DESTRUCT!
These deceptive actions caused the other players, who had achieved their goals, to not leave the ship or to go into hibernation - as they needed the ship intact.
Hanging around the ship longer leads to more Aliens being spawned & more chance to have wounds inflicted.
The Aliens come in a few types (eggs, larvae, Adult, Breeder & Queen)
From left to right, easy to hard, but they each have an impact on the game.
Aliens are tough and hard to beat.
You can make it easier by using the ships labratory, when you find it and by bringing in specimens, to find out more about the Alien and gain some combat advantage.
Although, in both games I played, we never got a chance to use the lab.
Wounds, Serious Wounds, Contamination & Infection
You can get sliced which causes wounds & serious wounds, which can lead to less actions, less equipment, more hurt - and too much hurt is death.
At certain times you may become contaminated.
This contamination is another layer of game stress as you may have also become infected with an Alien inside of you.
(Poor John Hurt from the original Alien movie)
Do you go to the Surgery to see if you are infected?
Do you just end the game contaminated and then find out whether you're infected - and die?
There is a nifty, red filter, to see if you are infected - if the word INFECTED is on the card - then you need to remove the creature inside of you, if you still can, or you die and lose.
Phew False alarm!
There's a countdown by a limited number of turns.
To move too slowly to minimise sound might just be the end of you in the late game.
There are other situations where your time will run shorter.
When to leave and When to Hibernate?
If you decide to stay on the ship, and you feel confident that you have succeeded in your objective, then you can go into hibernation.
Alternatively, you may need to go, or prefer to go, on an escape pod - if there is one still available!
You might have a goal that the ship needs to be destroyed. You have set the ship to self destruct and jump aboard an escape pod. You are confident that you have won!
But another player circumvents your plans by just making it in time to turn the Self Destruct off.
TeamPlay or "TeamPlay"
You cannot directly attack another player.
But you can do actions to kill or, at least, make life very uncomfortable.
We had one player use a card to push another into a neighbouring room & then locking a door behind them.
Luckily, no Aliens.
But, the pushed player bided their time until their was an opportunity to set off an airlock - bye bye player!
(From the James Bond movie "Moonraker")
(The moment before the airlock opened - at least we cleaned out an alien too)
Oh, if you lick your lips you may still taste the salt from that action.
Gaming Salt, as in salty tears. It means the person being referenced is upset. Usually in response to complaints about something that just occurred.
I've played 2 games.
It is fun! frustrating! exciting!
You can have multiple winners, so long as you achieved your objective & SURVIVED!
Definately one of the best games I have played.
The downsides being that some of the rules are not super clearcut - but with more experience playing that will resolve itself. Also, when characters die, they die - it is fun watching the game - but in our second game, 2 players had to wait over 2 hours for the game to end - it went right to the wire.
Oh, and game time varies alot. The first game was about an hour and a half - but the second went for about 3 hours.
A game more suited to more experienced, "hard core" gamers.
It is a bit more complex, takes a bit of time and costs a bit of coin.
(Woops! This isn't mens underwear department!)
Thanks for reading!
Have Fun Boardgaming!