I think it is the human condition to judge a book by its cover despite the words of wisdom that say otherwise. And while judging said book by its cover is often a huge mistake, sometimes the contents meet expectations as advertised. Enter Space Park, a 2-4 player game designed by Henry Audubon and published by Keymaster Games. The box art is a throwback to the comic books of my youth and Brian Edward Miller’s artwork really sets the tone for the game. It’s excellence transitions perfectly to the contents inside the box such that even though this really is an abstract game, it feels like a sci-fi exhibit at the World’s Fair. That is commendable work.
The game itself offers a quick moving, sleek design, where players take turns choosing one of seven actions to acquire gems in order to fulfill travel itineraries. Players are faced with some interesting choices and while the game is not mean by any stretch, there are enough opportunities to hinder opponents’ plans so as to avoid a solitaire feel to game play.
Each turn, players will have three of the seven actions available to them. There are three beautiful miniatures shaped like rockets which will dictate which actions are available. Choose a location with a rocket, do the action from that location, and move the rocket one space clockwise. That’s it. Five of the spaces allow you to gain stuff, and two of the spaces let you spend that stuff to acquire victory points. Once a player reaches 20 points the game finishes at the end of the round. The player with the most points is victorious.
I’ve played Space Park about 30 times now with several different groups, from experienced to noob level players. This game delivers every time. Clocking in at about 30 minutes on average, the first game is likely followed by an immediate second game, with players demanding a rematch to avenge their loss, which was probably one or two turns from being a victory if things had gone just a bit differently. That is a testament to a fun game in my experience. That “almost” victory makes you want to give it one more try!
Space Park is a perfect go-to when you have an hour to enjoy a little bit of competition with just about any crew. The art sucks you in, but the combination of art and game play keeps you immersed. If you haven’t checked it out you really should. It’s a blast (off).
Thanks for reading. Keep nerding on.
This was originally published 2/4/20