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  • Writer's pictureJW

Unidentified Flying Mother***

There was a strange phenomenon in the sky this week. I saw a blinking light, getting bigger. More lights. Then it dawned on me... Earth was under attack!

Under Falling Skies was an entry in the 2019 9-Card Nanogame P&P Design Contest on BoardGameGeek and won first place in the categories Best Solitaire Game, Most Thematic Game, Most Innovative Mechanic and Best Wargame. No wonder it will have a commercial release this year from Czech Games. With minis, missions, a campaign, the works. For now, they published a polished version of the free Print and Play on their blog.

In the game, an alien mothership is slowly descending on Earth. Enemy ships are attacking you. You try to research a weapon to destroy the aliens - but if the mothership comes too close, or the enemy attacks damage your base too badly, you've lost.

Every turn you roll five dice and place them on locations in your base. An enemy ship in the column above this spot will now move towards you with the speed that die shows. Then you take the action of the locations (for example: produce energy, do research, build a robot, shoot down enemy ships). The clever part is, that often you will want to use a high number for your own action, but it will make the enemy ships move towards you faster.

The order in which you place the dice matters, there's some forced re-rolling - all in all you'll have a very nice puzzly session of around half an hour. If you find the game too easy after your first few plays, you can start flipping the cards over. Each of the seven cards that make up the main board has a difficult version printed on the back.

There's a bit of push-your-luck, some dependence on your rolls, but mainly a lot of planning. I enjoyed my plays and will make a better copy than the throwaway version I've printed. Then look into the game when it's published.

Turns out the lights in the sky this week were not some alien mothership. It was a satellite train that was heading my way. I just know they'll be falling down one day. One after the other.

The sky is melting

And I want my mommy

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Apr 29, 2020

I love small games as well. This one is really smart. And fun to play. Not like ten times in a row (I mean, it will take half an hour), but to keep coming back to and try on a harder difficulty setting.

The Print and Play version is just some cards, so you could easily try it before it's in shops.


Apr 29, 2020

Lol, nice title. I love small games with tight gameplay. Definitely looking forward to the commercial release.

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