Rocket Man--A Single-Take Review of Space Park

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What a time to be alive! Not only is space travel possible, but now the race is on to be the best explorer! Travel the galaxy collecting Crystals to turn into Exploration badges in this action selection, resources management game for 1-4 players! So is Space Park a walk in the (space) park? Or is it lost in space? Let’s find out!


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The Components

  • 7 modular game boards

  • 3 Rocket Ship miniatures

  • A pile of Badge cards

  • a big pile of crystals (in 3 different colors and 2 different sizes)

  • 1 First player token

  • A Bunch of Fast Travel tokens, and XP (Exploration Point) tokens.


The Setup

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  • First thing you’ll do is randomly set up the boards (the six single-sized ones) in a 3x2 grid, and then the double-sized Starlight Station board to one side, creating a 4x4 modular board.

  • Shuffle the Exploration card deck, deal one to each player, and then place the deck on Starlight Station and deal 3 face-up cards next to the board.

  • Each player also takes 2 sun crystals

  • You place the robot and controller, as well as all the Fast Travel tokens, next to the Arcade, and the crystals go in their respective piles,

  • The Rockets are placed on the three locations where you can get crystals.

  • One player is given the 1st player token and the game begins!


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The Gameplay

The game play is super easy! On your turn, you take an action on a space where there is a rocket, once you take that action (the action is listed on each board) the rocket on it will move forward to the next available Location. The first person to 20 points triggers the end game—the current round finishes and whoever has the most points wins the game.

The thing we need to cover now is what action each Location gives you…

  • Lunar Woods: Gain 1 Moon rystal

  • Cosmic Canyon: Gain 2 Sun Crystals

  • Celestial Seas: Gain a Sea Crystal

  • Outpost 13: Trade in your Crystals for an Explorations badge from your hand

  • Starlight Station: Draw one card, and choose whether to keep it, or exchange it with one of the ones face up.

  • Fusion Falls: Trade in a Sun Crystal for an XP token.

  • Astral Arcade: Gain the Controller token, move the robot somewhere else (other than where it is right now) and also gain a Fast Travel token.

Whoever has the Controller token will get a bonus when a player activates a Rocket (thus taking an action) in the same space that the Robot is located. They get the choice of a free Sun token, or Fast Travel Pass.

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The Fast Travel Passes are nifty little ways of manipulating the game to get what you want/need, and sometimes stick it to another player. You play them before you take your action, and it allows you to move a Rocket to the next available location and then take an action!

And that’s it! Like I said before you take turns, until someone scores 20 XP and then complete the round (ending with the player to the right of the 1st player) and whoever has the most points wins!


The Verdict

I’ve been looking forward to Space Park for quite some time. I remember seeing Keymaster games leaking artwork early on, and drooling over its gorgeous look and awesome components. And once again, aesthetically, Keymaster has hit another home run! This game LOOKS awesome on the table. All of the components look great—although it would have been cool if the Robot and Controller looked more like the rockets instead of punchboard tokens.

All of that is fine, but what about the game play?

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from this game, having played 2 of Keymaster’s other 3 titles and not seeing a running theme or “trademark” design style in comparing them. I also did very little reading up on it because I didn’t want to be tainted by other opinions before playing the game. And as I expected, Space Park is a completely unique game in the Keymaster catalogue. To me, it is on the more lightweight side of games. My boys had NO problem whatsoever learning it (although nowadays that’s not saying much), but mechanically there aren’t many wrinkles in the gameplay. Take an action, move that Rocket, collect Crystals to earn badges. The Robot, and being able to trade in certain Crystals for points, as well as having to take a turn to get more cards, are about as wrinkly as the strategies get. But that’s ok.

The real meat of the game lies in keeping an eye on the other players. Trying to read their intentions and, of course, taking the actions they want to do so they can’t. You’re doing this while trying to prevent them from doing the same to you.

The Final Verdict

I really enjoyed Space Park. It’s a game I can teach casual gamers easily, but the decisions are weighty enough that my gamer friends enjoy it too. I have yet to play a game from Keymaster Games that hasn’t been fun, unique, and gorgeous, and Space Park delivers on all three fronts!!

So. Tell me. Have you played Space Park!? Do you agree? Comment below, or shoot us an email! And thanks for reading!

We’d like to thank Keymaster Games for providing Jeremiah with a copy of Space Park for review; this has in no way shaped his opinion of the game.