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Star Trek Panic

Castle Panic” has and always will be one of our favorite games to play, mainly because it’s co-op and so simple to learn.  Of course, who could say no to slaying goblins and the like as they come swarming toward your castle?  There’s been other variations upon that theme…”Dead Panic” and “Munchkin Panic” being the two that I own.  “Star Trek Panic”, I’m pleased to say, is an awesome addition to this running trend.  Before I go any further, I’d like to thank the folks at USAopoly for sending me a press copy for review purposes.

 

Star Trek Panic: 1-6 Players, Ages 13+, Average Play Time = 90 Minutes

Star Trek Panic: 1-6 Players, Ages 13+, Average Play Time = 90 Minutes

 

Editor’s Note: The details of how the game is played can be found in the video featured below.

The Review

“Star Trek Panic” is by far my favorite of the bunch.  It improves upon the original “Castle Panic” in a number of ways without making it incredibly complicated.  For example, the main idea of “Star Trek Panic” is to complete five missions and then wipe the remaining threats from the board in order to win.  Yes, you read that right…missions.  Missions are labeled after particular episodes like “The Deadly Years” and “Immunity Syndrome” and require players to commit cards to these missions before the timer/counter hits zero.  Since cards can only be used for its primary function (like firing on an enemy vessel) or being committed to a mission, players will be forced to choose what to play and when depending on the situation.

Another cool feature is the addition of firing arcs.  Some cards allow the Enterprise to fire out the rear or sides, while others only out of the front.  To help players out, the game allows you to rotate the Enterprise and change its orientation.  Further, you can “move forward”, causing the threats and other tokens in front of the Enterprise to move up a space while the rest remain as they are.  This can be useful in getting to a mission objective or starbase token more quickly, among other things.

The way threats work took some getting used to.  You see, enemies in “Castle Panic” only did damage to your walls once they were at short-range and moved up.  Here, enemies can attack at ANY range.  Once in short-range they become boarders and if your shields are down, they’ll do damage to your hull based on their current defense value. Luckily, players can play security team cards and the like to minimize this damage.  Players can also choose between unique characters (Kirk, Spock, etc.) to field some pretty awesome abilities.

The game, by default, is fairly difficult.  However, one can get around that by doing away with the missions and just shooting for exhausting the bag of threat tokens (like in “Castle Panic”).  You can also aim to complete three missions instead of five and while the manual doesn’t suggest it, you could increase hand limits by one or two to give you more options.  I’ve also been known to skip the “draw monsters/threats” phase every other turn or so to make things more casual.  Or, opt to play as two characters instead of one.  Some may see this as cheating, but I for one feel that it’s okay to tweak the rules to make it fun for your group.  It’s YOUR game, after all.

“Star Trek Panic” fires its phasers in true Trek fashion and then some.  I can easily recommend this for “Panic” fans, though especially so if you’re a Trekker/Trekkie like me.

Final Verdict: 9/10

 

 

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