Game: Lift Off! Get me off this Planet!
- Publisher: Pencil First Games, LLC
- Designed by: Eduardo Baraf
- Illustrated by: Dustin Foust, Sebastian Koziner, Keith Matejka and Helen Zhu
- Ages 13+
- 1-6 players
- 45 minutes
“The planet is getting hot, like totally critical. It was 62 degrees in Winter… yeah that is not winter. It’s getting hotter…”
“How many rotations of the moon do we have left?”
“Not many. If the moon is full we have a chance of evacuation…”
There is something magical when the moon aligns with your path. It leads to getting off a planet that is doomed to destruction. This is what Lift Off! Get me off this Planet! is all about.
The game plays over so many solar days where the moon’s rotation around the planet triggers effects that can help the aliens find their way off before meeting their end. The game originally came out in 2015, and is coming out with an Expanded Deluxe Edition which adds a solo mode and a new player count. Some of the things that I will talk about may not be in the final copy as they will be stretch goals, but I want to cover how it plays, some new features and what our family thought of this one.
In the game your goal is to get your ten alien meeples off the planet before the solar days come to an end. The game ends when either a player is able to get all of their alien meeples off the planet or the planet explodes. Rounds of the game are dependent of the number of players for solar days and a round is a full rotation of the moon.
Each player can play can move twice along the path, either twice with one alien or once with another. The other action they can take is playing cards in hopes to enter a launch location or Lift Off. Some conditions may require a Screw or Fuel Card to enter a launch zone. They also may require certain payments based on where the moon is on the board. The moon can be a full moon (above your location), new moon (opposite of your location), and half moon (the other moon locations). Lifting off may also cost resources and moon location as well. One launch pad may not lift off unless the moon is full, while another may need the Garglore and maybe an alien of a different color along for the ride.
Garglore? What is that? It is an alien bent on keeping your meeples on the planet for destruction. I think he just wants some attention. There are cards you can play that let you put the Garglore on someone’s launchpad, causing them to not be able to lift off. This is the trick-taking nature that is part of the game. There also are cards that make it possible to move the moon during your turn rather than at the end.
One neat feature that Ed has added is the Gurglore. The Garglore must have been lonely, so the Gurglore was created. Instead of moving the alien, you can use one of your move actions to move the Gurglore and give some meeples some hugs and attention, acting similarly to the Garglore.
The alien meeples are beautiful and the board has a great deal of variety. Let’s say you get a terraform card. This card allows you to change a lift off point of the game. The lift-offs have opposite sides so there is plenty of variety.
The dice are nicely made with great detail and the rulebook has plenty on information to help along the way.
The tokens and cards are also a nice touch. What has me excited are what could be a possible stretch goal, the little space ships for each color. Each has their own personality and style.
One other thing to note is that the rules also have variations in play. Some could be more cooperative in nature and others quicker to play or family-friendly. This is a nice touch for our family as it can help eliminate some of the competitive nature.
Our Family’s Thoughts
Abigail, 13: “I like how they put a lot of thought and how the board has different ways that you can get off the planet. I like the characters. I like how each individual way to get off, that the surface has its own little cost or rule.”
Beth: “The obviously themed exit points add a little bit of fun and the fact that you can change which ones are used will always keep the game different. The game is cute and fun, but at the same time includes strategy and a challenge. There is something for everyone in the family. That’s what I like about it.”
Chris: “This game has a great family feel to it with beautiful colors and the meeples are adorable. I love that feeling of seeing science fiction references on the board and moving the Garglore over to stop my opponents. Relying on the location of the moon also is a fun factor to how one will place their aliens. I find the game to have a solid experience worth bringing to the table.”
Daniel, 11: “I like how the little figures look. I like the little thing that you put them on when they are off the planet. My favorite thing to use to get them off is the slingshot, and you can basically keep using the slingshot to get your guys off.”
Elijah, 8: “The blue one is my favorite, or orange, or both. I like getting on the slingshot so that other people will slingshot me. One time Daddy slingshot me.”
Overall we loved this game and hope you will love it too. Lift Off! Get me off this Planet! hits Kickstarter January 7th, 2020.