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  • Writer's pictureJW

And on his farm he had an alien, e-i-e-i-oh

Blorg in the Midwest is a 9-card hand-management game, in which you are Blorg, who took the family saucer for a joyride and crashed it into a small piece of the rural midwestern USA. To fix your flying saucer you'll try to find items, using tools that are in locations like the barn and shed.

The cards are layed out in a "timeline", and every round after you've taken your action, events that are pictured on the lower half of the cards may trigger. Then time passes, all cards shift, one goes back to the draw pile and one comes into play.

You start out in the crash site, taking only your memory eraser with you. If you ever lose it, the "policeman event" will get into the draw pile. So, better hold on to it. Every turn you can discard one of your cards if you wish, plus take one action. Move to another location (switch your location card with one in the timeline) or take an item (you need to be in the right location to do so, and sometimes have the right tools with you as well). On every location you'll have access to some specific tools. You'll find corn and an energy source on the crash site, in other places there will be others.

Your can carry just four items, and be in only one location at a time. So you'll be puzzling over where to go and what to take next.

Unfortunately, you can't just walk around the farmstead and take what you need. The farmer and his wife, the farm animals, all can spot you and need to be dealt with. Or things may get out of hand.

Worst thing that can happen, is that somebody calls the police. Because if they do, the policeman will probably spot you. And if he does, he alerts the FBI. And if they get to you...

So, sometimes you'll be forced to go into hiding and switch out a location that you needed to be in to get one of the important tools for your escape.

It is a very puzzly game. Supposedly it plays in 10-15 minutes, but the one time I won, it took me 30 minutes. While my brain had to make Spirit Island-level computations. And that was on easy! To be honest, half an hour is a bit too long for this game. But the story that plays out is good fun, especially if you try to imagine what is happening. Oh no, the farmer is going to spot me! Quick, lets hide in the back garden. Now how to get back to the barn... As I think I could use that tractor. Oh wait. I need the keys for that. Where do they keep the keys? Having a small alien running around like that for 10 minutes will put a smile on your face. So let's see if I can get a little better at it and bring down the play time.

As if the threat of vivisection by the FBI is not enough, the game has some other nasty surprises in store for our young Blorg. But let's not spoil everything here. The cards and rules can be downloaded from the game's page on BoardGameGeek. It's only 9 cards (double sided). Why not try it yourself.

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