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Critique the September 2009 GDS games here!

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doho123's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

Feel free to comment and critique the "Canned Space" games in this thread.

However, as is usually requested, proper GDS etiquette requires detailed discussions about the entries games to a minimum until after the voting has completed.

Jpwoo's picture
Joined: 03/26/2009
my crits

Woo Hoo, thank you to everyone who voted for me.

Here are my crits. The nice thing about only have 4 entries is the crits take about half the time to write!

good job everyone.

Deep Scan

I bet this game would play pretty quickly which is good for the weight of the game, Fairly light you have some interesting choices. Do you scan and poke around to find the mother lode, or do you research early and just go looting randomly and hope to get the good stuff. Do you try to land on the planet? Or do you hop from planet to planet, putting chips on and getting the second choice rewards. I think the player interaction seems a little bit low in this game, it is more of who can be the most efficient at harvesting the good stuff. I think this game hits the theme the best.

Canned space

This game is think is probably the closest to what real deep space exploration will be like. Ummm.. lets just fling stuff and hope we get some useful data! I bet this game would be fun to play, espeically with kids, the semi random outcome of the spinning tubes and board means that even if you aren't the best shot you still get a chance to win.

Drop Pods

This is my game. Well half a game, I basically didn't describe the empire building part of the game at all, I figure there are plenty of that kind of game around and I would just focus on the interesting bit of chasing down the resources. It isn't really about exploration, it is more of a race game.

Space freighter

The heavyweight of this GDS. Lots of things going on here, hidden roles, hidden information, hidden influence. I like the loading phase as it provides some interesting maneuvering and jockeying for position on the ship. I am not sure that it needs this phase to be card based, It looks like you could do it with just the options listed being available as player actions. and just deal a random role to each player during set up.

I think this game makes the best use of the film canisters, especially the transparent and opaque cargo containers. However it is also the game that is the least about space exploration, this could just as easily be a game about protecting rainforests or something.

The shipping phase could be fun to play out but I think this is where the hidden information becomes overwhelming. You are playing tiles on hidden resources to a hidden goal. Nobody knows what anyone else is doing and there is little way to gain insight into their plans.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Congrats, jp, on the win ...

Congrats, jp, on the win ... nice game that received my top votes.

Here are my thoughts on the entries:

Deep Scan: (My game.) I actually see this working just as fine with resource cards, but I think the tactile/physical implementation of using cubes in canisters would add something more interesting. Thinking about the design since I submitted it for the Challenge, I could see adding some of the actions to the Nav Code cards and having playing discard a card to take those types of actions. And I would probably want to add a way for players to be able to block other players -- or at least be able to make it more costly for other players to navigate a planet. I still like what I came up with here and will likely continue to work on it.

Canned Space: (2 voting points from me) This seems like a fun family game. Just the act of firing the marbles at the board would be cool, and I could see kids really getting into it. Players would have to let go of any sort of wants for strategy and just get caught up in the marble-shooting fun. Even the most skilled shooters aren't guaranteed a win. Best tweak I could think of would be to change the game end/win condition.

Drop Pods: (3 voting points from me) I really liked the feel of this one ... it immediately made me think of McCaffrey's The Rowan series of books -- but instead of telekinetics you're using actual physical tugs to run down inbound freight. I liked the interaction between the players and could really see a larger game being built with this as a part of it. Not a whole lot to add/critique on it.

Space Freighter (1 voting point from me) I liked a lot of different things going on with this one, but didn't have as positive a feel for the whole thing as I did with the other 2 games. Not sure what I would do differently to make the whole recipe work better though.


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