What’s even better than a boardgame set in space? A boardgame set in space that you can play with anyone – from your family to your regular gaming group!

As I mentioned in my last post on Space Pioneers, I love space travel as a setting for games. Unfortunately, the space setting can often be an excuse to create extremely long and complicated games. These games are usually better for all the detail, but getting a group together to play can be extraordinarily challenging.

What Hyperspace Smuggler does right is that it has simple, easy to understand mechanics that borrow heavily from far more complex games.

For example, the exploration mechanic of the game involves pulling new tiles from a deck when you reach the edge of the board. You can then place the tile and take actions against it. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s very similar to the hit space game Xia: Legends of a Drift System. Except Xia is a 3 hour game while Hyperspace Smugglers is a one hour game!

Don’t take my word for it, though. The creator explicitly stated that he was aiming for an easy to play game that retained key elements of far more complex games. From the project page:

Hyperspace Smuggler puts you in the pilot’s seat of your favorite space freighter! This tile-laying strategy game lets you explore the galaxy, engage in exciting adventures, and battle your fellow players as you race to deliver cargo. It’s easy to learn, rewards strategic play, and features a unique Hyperspace movement mechanic.

If you’re still not convinced, check out this review from NVS Gameplays:

It it usually takes me a few viewings of reviews/overviews to get a basic understanding of gameplay mechanics. Yet Hyperspace Smuggler is so simple and straightforward, I rewatched the video because I was sure I was missing something!

Nolan Bushell, founder of Atari, once said that a good game should take minutes to learn but a lifetime to master. It’s too early to tell if that describes Hyperspace Smuggler or not, but it definitely has The Right Stuff™ to be a contender.

The Kickstarter for the project is going on now. The creator would have benefited from getting buzz going before the project launched, but you shouldn’t hold that against him. The game is extremely solid and deserves a lot of attention.

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