The Publisher: Asmodee, I guess, though it seems to be out of print.
Time: 30 minutes or so.
Players: Me, Jess, Rob, Mike, Danielle
|You can't tell, but Jess is holding a baby.|
The Game: Mission: Red Planet is an exploration/colonization game with a steampunk feel. Everyone has a crew represented by nine character cards (everyone has the same cards), and you play one card each turn. The crew members act in a specific order, ties start with the first player and move clockwise. They all do something different: The Recruiter lets you place an astronaut on a ship and pick up all your spent character cards, while the Solider lets you place astronauts (all of them do that part) and kill off an opponent's astronaut on Mars.
Astronauts get placed on rockets, each of which goes to a particular zone on Mars. A number of rockets equal to the number of players are available each turn, and they launch when full. Then you can use the Explorer to move them around on Mars, and if you've got the most astronauts in a given zone, you get resources when the scoring turns happen (5, 8, and 10).
Opinions: I like this game. It's pretty easy to follow, and it always goes 10 turns, so there's a time limit, which is nice. There's enough variability in what happens turn to turn that it's hard to run the table, as it were. Plus the steampunk aesthetic is nice. I kind of feel like having only one character that can move astronauts on Mars is limiting, but it does force you to think ahead and manage your crew.
|Mike and Danielle, colonizing.|