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/