Robots & Rockets card game review, from Australian company Rule & Make and Aussie designers Sye & Tish Robertson
Here we are with another Australian tabletop game review! Huzzah! “Robots & Rockets” is a competitive card game for 2 – 4 players that comes to us from Melbourne based designers Sye & Tish Robertson, artist Steven Preston and Aussie publisher Rule & Make.
In “Robots & Rockets” space tourism is on the rise and robot tourism / worker transport is booming. Players take on the roles of space tourism operators competing against each other to fill and claim rockets destined for various planets in the solar system. Aim to have the highest number of passengers and rockets at the end of the game, finish a specific contract and if you’ve scored the highest you win, it’s that simple.
Robots and Rockets! .. Err.. Robots ON Rockets! To infinity!
Setup and Gameplay
Setup for “Robots & Rockets” is easy. Separate the cards into Robots, Rockets and Contracts, shuffle each. Place 4 Rockets face up on the gaming area, deal 5 Robots to each player and you’re good to go.
Gameplay is simple, players take turns playing whatever actions are available to them, starting with the special action. If you have a special card you can choose to play it (if you want – these are Tractor Beam!, Force Field!, Orbit! and Transfer!) or discard it and draw 2. After that you MUST play at least one Robot onto a Rocket that still has enough seats free (who wants to be crammed onto an overstuffed rocket… right?). Robots must match the correct destination, example Mars Robots (Red) can only board a rocket with Mars as its only destination or one of its stops (some rockets make multiple stops and will always stop at every planet on its itinerary).
Be the first operator to fill a rocket (both players can play passengers to the same rockets), you take that rocket and all robot passengers on board (whether you played them all or not).
If you can’t play a card you can discard any number of cards and redraw up to 5. The entire thing is well thought out and neatly done. Once the draw deck is done, you try and play as much as you can from your hands and scoring commences. Count up your cards, the player with the lowest score gets to choose a contract. There are 4 contracts – of the four destination colors – and these can help even out scoring, even bringing a losing player to the front. Contracts score additional points for particular robots going to the contracts listed destination (example 1 point extra for all robots going to Saturn).
That’s pretty much it and it is a charming, wonderful little thing.
Game Build Quality
Aside from the cheap flip top box (why dear lord why! No one likes them!), the build quality on “Robots & Rockets” is great, card quality is top notch. If being a tad picky it was picked up that the special action cards can be noted in the draw deck when shuffling because the border is not mainly white, but black, but you can’t overly tell when the deck is in use. Overall great, other than that flip top thin card box.
Robots & Rockets .. I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion…
Overall “Robots & Rockets is a lovely little game. The rules are easy to learn, gameplay is swift – especially after multiple games – and the artwork is utterly charming. This is a great filler title and with a price point of around $19 AUD, you can’t really go wrong.
For the sake of transparency however I will add that not everyone I played this with was as taken by it as I. This is mentioned because a review needs to be balanced and whilst I really enjoyed the game, it wasn’t felt by everyone (though it was felt to be a pretty great little filler game by most).
For me “Robots & Rockets” is a little Aussie winner. It takes an interesting premise and turns it into a cute, easily playable hand management game. Definitely one to check out.
Gameapalooza House Rules
Players randomly choose one worker contract at the beginning of the game, rather than the end and keep them secret from the other players.
Setup Time: A Minute
Play Time: 25 minutes
[author] [authorimage timthumb=’off’]/content/images/2016/02/gameapalooza-micro-review-icon-sm.gif[/authorimage] [authorinfo]Micro Review – Robots & Rockets takes competitive card play, adds an interplanetary spin and pops out the other end with an enjoyable, clever little hand management game. Players take turns filling rockets with their robot passengers, trying to be the best tour operator in the solar system. Nice little Australian designed game, adorable artwork, easy to learn rules and overall a fun filler game. [/authorinfo] [/author]