Chased by the CREATURE

The last micro-game I played was about serving tea. This time, I am the sole survivor inside a Rig station in Europa (the moon of Jupiter), after a wandering alien has killed all my co-workers. The PnP is only 9 double-sided cards and you supply a few cubes and dice. As I don't like abstraction, I substituted the cubes that represent me and the CREATURE with meeples, but the spaces on the cards are very small so the meeples somewhat prevent you from seeing the icon on the space it is standing on.

If you decide to play this, make sure you watch the playthrough videos by Bojan Prakljacic (the designer), and read what he says on the WIP thread. The rules have not been properly updated, so some details are missing.

On your turn, you will roll one die and decide if you want to use it for actions or combat. Your goal is to either escape by repairing the damaged life boat or kill the CREATURE by pulverizing it in the ore processor. As a desperate measure, you can use the Communication Dish to send a signal to Earth. This will destroy the station, killing both the CREATURE and you. It still counts as victory.

After you move and possibly repair or interact with the room you are in, the CREATURE also executes actions. It will move towards you, and if it is angry, it becomes even deadlier. Then you have to roll for the Rig Events phase, in which something bad may happen to the station itself: it may take more damage or the pressure and temperature may reach dangerous levels. In short, all odds are against you.

Gameplay is mostly based on dice rolls, leaving little control to the player. You will be deciding how to best take advantage of the environment, where is safest to go, which action to prioritize, but you are often at the mercy of the roll. The CREATURE is usually moving very fast, so you will have to face it sooner or later.

This is a game that would benefit from better visuals and larger components, as they would help make it more atmospheric. The theme of survival in a sci-fi setting is a big selling point, and the designer has done a good job with the few components he had at his disposal. For what it is, a micro-game, this is well-done: it has the tension of being chased in a confined space and being unable to do as much as you want. Still, the fact that you may suffer an insta-death at any time and that you can't waste much time using the icons on the cards, because the CREATURE will likely find you, make it less tactical than it could have been.

Despite the weaknesses, if you enjoy the Alienesque theme and can print out 9 cards, this is a quick, challenging game very much worth trying. Bojan is a very prolific PnP designer, and considering how much time and effort he puts in his games, getting more people to play them would be a well deserved reward.