Review – Space Mission – a reimplementation of Jump Gate from Schmidt Spiele Games

Review – Space Mission – a reimplementation of Jump Gate from Schmidt Spiele Games

Designer – Matt Worden

Art – Anne Patzke

A copy of this game was provided by Coiled Spring Games for review purposes

 

In March of 2011, I wrote a review of Matt Worden’s Jump Gate which he published through Gamecrafter and here is the link –  http://rivcoach.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/review-jump-gate-from-matt-worden-games/

I won’t re-hash my previous review again but draw attention to the differences in the two versions.

I liked Jump Gate and with the publication of Space Mission by Schmidt Spiele, I was keen to compare the two as I had high hopes that the German Publisher would upgrade the art and components to a higher standard than Matt was able to achieve through self-publishing and also get this fun game to a wider audience.

The first thing that I noticed and was very pleased with was the quality of art work and components. Schmidt Spiele have done the business and added nice looking Mini- Space Ships and upgraded the art work, now beautifully illustrated by Anne Patzke.  All of the components cardboard components are now heavy, professional and simply top class.

 

It all feels great, looks great and is a pleasure to play with. One important omission by Schmidt Spiele is that the player aid cards aren’t in English as well as the German, French and Italian player aid cards. This strikes me as a sloppy oversight.

The rules and gameplay is relatively the same, however Schmidt Spiele has made a few changes in the rules and it all plays well and is easy to learn, as I would expect at a game now aimed pimarily at the German family market. However, one change in particular makes the end game rather annoying and a somewhat poorer experience as a result.

Jump Gate‘s end game rule basically called for all of the planets to be colonized (discovered in Space Mission) which triggers the end game round where all the player then take a last turn before totting up their scores. This made for a reasonable length to the game and gave everyone a shot trying different planets, and collecting a number points in different ways. What Schmidt Spiele has done has completely changed this to a now scaled system depending upon how many players. So for 2 players for example, when a total of any 6 resource tiles are taken by the players, the end game is triggered. The amount of tiles needed to trigger this is increased with more players.

The trouble is, that with a 2 player game, you could end the game in 15 minutes which leaves the players with any empty feeling. I can understand that with young children this might be ok but with adults, this is a silly change to the rules which downgrades the experience which is much more satisfying with Jump Gates’s original rule.

So, I say, pick up a copy of Space Mission for sure, but use the end game rule from Jump Gate which means the last round is triggered when all of the planets have been Discovered for a much more fun and satisfying experience.

 

For more information go to – http://www.schmidtspiele.de/

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Review – Space Mission – a reimplementation of Jump Gate from Schmidt Spiele Games”

  1. According to the rules of Schmidt Spiele which I have, the end game occurs when 6 space tiles have been revealed: this meaning when 6 planet tiles without minerals, aliens, matter, water or orden, have been revealed. Its revelation occurs when a player takes (or scans) the last planet tile not being a space tile (mineral,alien,matter,water or orden)

    As each planet has 8 tiles on top of it when the game starts, and in worst case, for two players the game could end when a player scans a planet with only space tiles (8). If the tiles are more evenly distributed, it can take longer for the game to end than just when 6 planet tiles are taken as mentioned in the review. In any case house rules can be agreed for such occasions: i.e. in the unfortunate case that a planet has 8 space tiles right from the start, 3 could be revealed, with which there is still room to continue on playing.

    1. I’ve just played once with my 8 year old son. We played with cards seen for us to learn the rules in a smooth way. I found it quite interesting, and the game length was about 30-40 minutes (reading rules etc a regularl game should not take longer than 30 Minutes).
      All in all I liked it, as there is a strategic factor: which kind of tiles you should collect (which has to be decided on the first moves depending on where you land), and a tactic side keeping an eye on the other player(s) and trying to explore the most possible planets.
      IMO for a quick, “uncomplicated” (withouth many rules) board game, it is an ideal choice.

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