Being a gaming parent isn’t as easy as it sounds. You wait for the day your kids want to break away from Candyland, Shoots and Ladders, and Hi-Ho Cherry-O (for the love of gwad, stay away from Hungry Hungry Hippos) and get into the games like Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, and the granddaddy that is Settlers of Catan. The trouble is there are huge development gaps between those games. Your nerdy kids want something cool like the games mom and dad play but all the ones you have are just above their level. Or maybe there are some games they can play but there just not enough time after virtual school, dinner, and bath time.
So what do you do? You search for games that hit that sweet spot. Solar Flare hits that perfect “all ages” and nerdy crossover. Mom and dad will love it and the kids get to feel like their playing a grown up game.
The game will come with 54 cards including 5 solar flares, 6 action cards, and the rest an assortment of ship pieces from front to stern and middle pieces a good star ship needs.
Shuffle the junkyard and spread it out face down across the table, including a preset number solar flare cards that will determine the end of the game. Draw three cards returning any cards that are not ship pieces and redrawing. Lay down the ship pieces in a way they connect via shape and if possible their color, it’s domino like in this sense. Players take turns drawing cards and either placing them in your ship, following the directions on the action cards, or putting the solar flare aside.
This continues until the amount of solar flares signal the end of the game. Players move around the pieces of their ship in order to get the highest score out of your ship(s), count points for ships that are completed with a front and back piece.
Scoring each front, back, and cross for 10 points. Each middle piece for 5 points. and any matching shapes and colors together for bonus 5 points.
In short, the rules are simple and the game is fun for the whole family.
A large part of that fun came from the card art. As game as simplistic as this really relies on the art to be engaging to keep the player’s attention. The ship pieces are bright, varied, and just plain fun to look at. It’s part of what makes this a truly all-ages game.
On last note. While this is an all-ages game by design, it’s not hard to make some home brew rules rule for a drinking game. Or a fun game for adults to just have some conversation and cocktails over.
Game creator, Victor Carungi, is currently running a Kickstarter to launch (pun intended) Solar Flare: http://kck.st/3g9c3pC A quick $17 gets you a copy of the game with other packages available if you choose. Well worth the price of admission.