Guest Writer: Michael S Romano
-This was made possible by a gift of a review copy, QWERTY and rolling natural 20s.
All was calm on the dining room table while I and 5 other space travelers had sat down and dealt out a stack of cards. I pushed play on the timer and the mechanical voice started, “Ready. Set. GO!” Then chaos began.
We started yelling back and forth, playing cards to repair malfunctions, passing tools around as if (and it was) our lives depended on it. As the very seconds began to tick away and we repaired malfunction after malfunction, saving teammates from being sucked into space, un-jamming tools in the hopes of seeing those several All Systems Go! cards appear.
With a fever pitch we raced against the clock and suddenly the last “All Systems Go!” was shouted.
We saved our ship from hurling into the black hole; all was calm again. We scrambled to pick up the cards filled with eager excitement to repeat the exhausting events that just happened.
This had to be the most frantic, most chaotic, most unorganized five minutes in my life. Did I also mention how much FUN it was? Spaceteam is great co-op card game the puts you and your friends in charge of repairing “malfunctions” in certain parts of a doomed space craft. These malfunctions are in the form of a deck of cards that are dealt to each player. With only the 24 tools you have you must “repair” these malfunctions by playing combinations of tools, but here is where the chaos (fun) comes in. If you don’t have one or any of the appropriate tool you must yell over your friends, who are also doing the same, to see who has it. The player in possession of the item you need must pass it to a player adjacent to him and around the table to your so you may finally make the necessary repair and move on to your next malfunctions. But be careful of the random “Anomaly” that will put up and impede your progress. These anomalies must be completed by all the players before moving on. The players keep playing the tools in their hands while getting others from around to the table in hopes of uncovering the six “All Systems Go!” cards that are somewhere in the various decks. Revealing all six saves the ship and wins the game and must be done in less than five minutes.
I just loved this game. The production value of the cards are very high, the cards themselves all have interesting names and art (no spoilers here), it comes with a handy 5 minute timer, and its super easy to learn and play.
The base game is for 2 – 6 players and can be played with varying levels of difficulty depending on how many of what cards you put in the starting deck. I don’t recommend playing with only two players as you miss out on a lot of the excitement the game mechanic lends to and that since all 24 of the tools must be used it leaves for cumbersome hands. I highly suggest you use at least 4 or more to really enjoy the game. For added fun you can follow this link https://www.playspaceteam.com/timer/ and use the three timers they have available; the standard 5 minutes, the “Easy as Pie” 7 minutes or the “Legacy” 3 minute timer.
Once you have played the base game a few times you can add the “Not Safe for Space” expansion which adds a WHOLE other level of fun (again I won’t spoil it by giving away any card names). This expansion gives you all new Tools, Malfunctions, and Anomalies. I will say this though as a warning; the pictures and names of the cards in NSFS is suited more for adults than children. With NSFS can play with up to 9 people.
If its family fun you want and need more cards, I highly recommend the “Triangulum Expansion”. As with NSFS this set gives you more cards to add to your core set and also increase the table up to 9 players.
With all that being said I think that this is great little game, which takes up almost zero space on your game shelf, has high replay ability, and is a good time. There are no pieces to lose, no dice needed to resolve game mechanics, and no confusing rules to interpret. I would say that this game is great for both the casual and hard-core gamer. So if you haven’t already pickup yourself one and let the chaos begin.