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Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space: Boardgame Review

You remember those days when you were playing Battleship with your brother in the summer of ’86?  Well board games have gone a long way since then and from the line of Battleship comes the so-called “Hidden Movement” genre which takes the concept of a hidden play field but has you running around in a game of cat and mouse trying to track down the opponent and eat him (or escape).

The game is played out on one map of a space station per player. Each player has the same map, and they are dealt a secret card to determine if they are an alien or a human. Each turn, a player moves secretly from a starting location. Humans can only move one space, but aliens can move two — or choose to hide this by moving only once space.

Certain hexes on the map will cause to draw a card, which can force you to announce your location, or a fake location anywhere on the map, or even provide you with a one use effect to help you survive.  The humans who manage to get to a working escape pod wins, or an alien that manages to track you down and can try to eat you. Be careful though! Aliens can also mistakenly eat each other.

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It’s a great game of strategic bluffing, secret identities and hidden movement, and the game can surprisingly create a palpable sense of dread. It’s a great game to take out during Halloween or after you just had an Aliens movie marathon.

The Ultimate Edition you see above is a big improvement as well over the original game. The original game was played with cardboard maps and pencils. In fact, you can actually just print this game out yourself with a PDF you get from Osprey Games, if you were inclined to save a few dollars. But the Ultimate Edition has map books that are laminated and work with non-permanent markers, much like the Telestrations booklets, and are really a huge convenience and make the game much easier to play.

If you are into the whole “Hidden Identity” genre of table top games like Resistance, Werewolf and the ilk, this game offers a great experience that really borders on the supernatural, so to speak.


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