18 September 2019
One small step, one giant lie
Dinosaur Island studio Pandasaurus is playing with Moon landing conspiracy theories – but not in that way – in its next board game, Godspeed.
Designed by Adam Hill and Clayton Hargrave, Godspeed’s sci-fi premise is that Neil Armstrong’s small step still happened (as it did in real life, let’s be clear) but was merely a public distraction from a separate Cold War scrap over a distant planet reached via a wormhole.
In this case, it was the Russians who reached the planet first, sparking a Space Race between the country and Japan, USA, China, India and Europe, covered up by the authorities during the 1960s using the Moon landing.
Players take control of each of the competing nations, attempting to mine the newly-discovered rock for resources and stake their country’s claim to it in each hour to 90-minute game.
The gameplay is described as being an original take on worker-placement. Each player has a team of ‘specialists’, which vary in their specialty and influence value and are assigned to places on the main board each round.
Each team member – including captains, biologists and more – can be used to perform tasks specific to their speciality, such as exercising military control, constructing buildings or researching the alien structures present on the planet surface, or can be used for more generalised actions like dealing with threats and claiming supply drops.
The aim, of course, is to earn the most victory points by working your way up four prestige tracks and completing significant milestones and objectives. With workers only able to be used once a round, though, the challenge comes from knowing where best to use their specific skills – or assign them to general duties.
As you’d hope from a game about the competitive Space Race, there’s said to be a good deal of player interaction in Godspeed, with the nations voting on events at the beginning of each round and blind bidding for supply drops full of useful materials and abilities.
The game’s been in the works for more than two years, and is currently up on Kickstarter ahead of a planned arrival with backers and retail release next April. At the time of writing, the campaign’s already blasted past its £24,000 goal to edge towards £100,000 in a matter of hours, with a month left to run.