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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

BGG Competition, Playing the Games: Game #3 'Crash Landing'

Boardgamegeek 2012 Solitaire Print and Play Competition

Game #3: 'Crash Landing' by Rocco Privetera

For my third play through I decided to choose a game that appealed to me. After reading the list of entries I found the majority appealed to me, so I went with nostalgia. I was lucky enough to grow up in a world that witnessed the birth and rise of video games. One fond memory I have is of being a tiny tot and seeing the arcade game 'Asteroids' for the first time. Such a marvel!

So, game number 3 is a card game that plays on the old school game 'Lunar Lander'.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present 'Crash Landing'

First thoughts – Printing and Initial Look

After firing up the printer and finding some paper, I was a little shocked to learn I didn’t actually need to print anything for this (Print and Play competition?). No problem there then, I was happy enough to save paper.

Reading the Rules and Playing the Game

With only a couple of pages, there isn’t much to read, and what is there is plain and simple to understand. What I liked was the fact the rules are written as part of the steps of the game. There are no duplicate sections to read. The phase for drawing a card for example, explains the draw, the max hand size and all the rules on discarding all in one paragraph and not separate sections.

The only part that I decided to change (for personal ease of play) was the speed of descent. The rules have a nice example of how to track the speed of the space craft by moving a card at different angles. But I had dice handy and found them easier to use.

The game is very straight forward. Descent of the craft increases each turn, the player off sets this by firing boosters (playing cards), with the aim of landing on the planet. Like the video game its based on their isn’t much else to do.

The good news is this works, and works extremely well. The bad news is, its straight forward to the point of a being a little boring. It reminds me of all the money I spend on old video games, thinking 'Wow, blah blah was soooo good when I played it at 14', then after buying the game again I usually think, well.. its never as good as I remember.

Where it falls down is in the ease of thinking a turn or three ahead. A simple count of decent and altitude and you know what is what. Any blast of rockets that buys you enough time to get a full hand of cards and you are sailing home with ease. Yes, its a little tricky to get a perfect landing, but not hard.


This game fits the feel of the arcade classic almost perfectly, and for that its very well designed. But ultimately its a game based on a dead idea. It will have you loving the idea of playing it, thinking its great when you start to play it, and then releasing why you play Xbox these days and not Atari2600.

Odd quirk or a design masterpiece? I am still unsure!

Thanks for reading.
Like the idea of the competition? Check it out on BGG website here -
To try 'Crash Landing' for yourself, you will need a standard deck of cards, and the rules that can be found here -
And if you still have time after visiting those pages, you can find my entry game for the competition here -


1 comment:

  1. Hi Chris, I have read all three of your game reviews of other competition entries and have enjoyed reading them, the only thing I would say if I can is that it would help me more if you wrote a small summary of what the point of the games were and what you had to do to win, I still eventually pick this up as I read your post but it comes in pieces.
    keep up the good work.