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Blast Off!; The Race Into Space Card Game
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Blast Off!; The Race Into Space Card Game

Printer Friendly Version

Publisher: Gamewright

List Price: $11.99

Ages: 6-8 Years

Reviewed By: Jean Hall

 
This game has a lot going for it. First off, it says on the package that it is designed for players ages 6 and up, which means that the moment it entered our house the six-year-old snapped it up and danced about, hugging the game to her heart. Secondly, it is quick to learn and fun to play! (Or would that be secondly and thirdly?)

This game reminds me of a famous card game where you have to match colors and numbers, a game we've played with pleasure the last few years. In Blast Off, each player is dealt six cards, the top card on the pile of cards left over (the "Draw Pile") is turned over, and play begins, each player laying down a card in turn, or drawing a card if they have none they can play. The winner is the first one to get rid of all the cards in a hand.

It sounds so simple, even decorous. It is simple, but can be fast, furious, and loud, due to a few extra "twists" added to the game. First of these are the "Blast Off" cards. When you lay one down on the discard pile, you pick up the top card from a small pile of "Mission Cards" and read aloud the mission that everyone must follow until the next "Blast Off" card is played. It might be something like "When you play a GREEN CARD stomp your feet 4 times." Or it might be "When you play a PURPLE CARD say "I'm a Purple People Eater!" How about "When you play a 1 CARD stand up, take a bow and sit down." There is a special mission for each color and each number, as well as missions recognizing odd and even. If you play the designated type of card (say you play a purple card and forget to tell everyone that you're a Purple People Eater) and someone notices your omission, you have to draw four cards.

Be careful. As the mission changes every time someone plays a "Blast Off" card, you might find yourself snorting like a pig when you really ought to be tapping the table five times.

And then there is the mad scramble to get rid of as many cards as possible, precipitated by the laying down of a "Countdown Card". Everyone counts down, "10... 9... 8... 7..." and you can lay down a card of that number, regardless of color, as the number is chanted. Only one card per number, however, so you've got to be fast if you want to put your card down before someone else does! The directions say that two to six players can play. This is definitely one of those games where the more players you have, the merrier.

One of the things I like about Gamewright is that their games are sturdy and colorful. The cards in Blast Off can be shuffled by a younger player without fear of the cards being badly bent and the pictures on the cards fit the theme of space travel. Another great feature is that you can find game rules at Gamewright's website if yours go missing. Of course, this game is simple enough that once you've played it a few times you probably won't need to refer to the rules again.

The game does not take long to play, which is a good thing, because the children keep begging for "Just one more..."

Ages 6 and up, 2-6 players, 20 minutes

[Editor's Note: Sadly, this game was retired shortly before the publication of this review. We chose to publish the review anyway, in case you are able to find a copy on the secondary market.]
More Information
Available From: Gamewright
Address: 124 Watertown Street, Watertown, MA 02472
Phone: 617.924.6006
Website: www.gamewright.com
Email: jester@gamewright.com
Other Notes:
 

Add Your Own Review

 
Jean Hall
Jean Hall, a Christian home educator with three daughters, enjoys writing stories and music. Her family's interests include reading together, art, gardening, volkswalking and pets: two cats and a Giant Schnauzer.
Copyright © 2004 Eclectic Homeschool Association
 

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