Gameday First Play – Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space
“Don’t be scared. Don’t let them see.”
~ Alexandra Bracken, The Darkest Minds
Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space is a card game of strategy and bluff set on a badly damaged deep space research ship. On-board systems have failed, plunging the ship into darkness. But even worse: A mysterious alien plague has crept aboard and is transforming the human crew into horrendous monsters! The remaining crewmen desperately try to save their lives by escaping from the derelict spaceship, but in the darkness the aliens are lurking…hungry for human flesh.
This is actually a very VERY simple game to play.
Everyone gets a secret role card which is either Alien or Human and these are split 50/50 between the players with the Aliens getting the extra card if there is an odd number.
These cards have different ranks and roles with abilities but for the first game we didn’t play with these.
The goal of the Aliens is to hunt and kill all the Humans, simple.
The goal of the Humans is to survive long enough to get to an Escape Pod and get off the research ship to safety… But each Pod can only be used once, and 1 of them may be broken so they are not working together, they’re working alone.
Each player gets a map on a dry wipe board and a marker. This map shows you the location of the starting points for Aliens and Humans and also the location of the Escape Pods.
(The arrows are me making notes, pointing towards the player in the sector they claimed to be)
This pad also has a list of all the abilities of each of the character roles on the back. On each page it also details most of the rules of the games and what the item cards so but more on that later.
A turn is simple because all you do is look at your map grid and write down the coordinates of the space you’re moving to on your pad. Humans move 1 space, Aliens 1 or 2.
Where you end your movement depends on what happens next… If the space you land on is a blank white space you say “Silent Sector”… This lets the other players know a little bit about where you are… They know the sector is white.
If it’s a darker area you draw a card, here 3 things could happen.
If the card has a white symbol, and is blank, you put the card face down in front of you and again say “Silent Sector”. Some of the White cards have symbols, if you get one of these you do the exact same thing but you can then use this item later on.
Only Humans can use items so keeping the blank cards in front of you is a way the Aliens can bluff and pretend they’re holding items for later use.
If the card is Red, you’re making noise and you say “Noise in…” and your Sector, and you have to be honest. This card is then discarded face down.
If the card is Green, you’ve had a distracting noise and you say “Noise in…” and you can say anywhere…
These Red and Green cards are discarded face down so no one will know which of these 2 you played.
An Alien can attack by naming the sector they just moved in to. If a player is there, they are killed and now, depending on what that player was, things happen.
If it’s another Alien, congratulations! You just took one of your team mates out the game! This player elimination is bad, but it means the Aliens can’t just gang up in one area and swipe randomly at where Humans might be…
If an Alien kills a human they get the ability to move 1,2 or 3 spaces on their turn. Th Human discards their item cards and comes back as an Alien and the Alien start point.
If a Human makes it to an Escape Pod, they’re not free yet. There is a deck of 5 cards with 4 working Pods and 1 Broken Pod card. You draw, if it’s working you’ve escaped and more importantly, that pod is now missing so it can’t be used by any other Human 😀
Anyone that starts the game as a Human and escapes is considered a winner. If they are killed (at the end of 40 turns all Humans are killed) they lose, even if they come back as Aliens.
Aliens win if not all Humans escape…
This is a very fun tense game. I generally don’t like hidden movement games but I now feel this is because most of them are 1 vs many and I’m not a fan of 1 vs many.
You never really know where anyone is… Even if you draw 2 red cards back to back and have to reveal 2 sectors next to each other no one will really know. One or both could have been Green, therefore, false.
The item cards give the humans a bit of an advantage allowing them to get out of a tricky situation… The roles look great, mixing the game up a lot but we didn’t play with them.
There are 8 or so maps too, each differing in size and complexity. One map is JUST tunnels, looking forward to trying that!
Very good game.