Spaceteam is a 3-6 player real-time game from Timber and Bolt where you and your friends work together to fix a broken spaceship. Each of you works in your own area and has to cooperate with each other by sharing tools and working together to solve anomalies. Your team has exactly 5 minutes to uncover all six System Go cards before your ship is sucked into a black hole. Be prepared to work quickly, shout for tools, change seats and maybe even have to play the game without using your thumbs.
The components for Spaceteam are all good quality. There are 90 cards consisting of 24 tools, 45 malfunctions, 15 anomalies and 6 System Go cards. In addition, there is a 5 minute sand timer and a really easy to understand 4-page rulebook. Everything fits in a small box that can fit in the inside pocket of your jacket. I know this because that’s how I carried Spaceteam to my friend’s house on the train.
It’s really easy to setup Spaceteam. You place all the System Go cards in a deck along with a certain number of malfunction and anomaly cards determined by the number of players and the level of difficulty you wish to have. You then equally distribute these to each player and they may not look at them. Next, you shuffle all the tools together and equally distribute them to the players. When everybody is ready, the sand timer is turned over and everybody turns over his or her decks to reveal their first anomaly, malfunction or System Go card.
You solve the malfunction cards by using the tool or tools specified on the card. Malfunctions can require up to 3 tools. If you do not have all of the tools required in your hand, you must ask the other players for it. Tools can only be passed to an adjacent person and never directly across the table. In 4 or more player games, passing tools takes more cooperation than in a 3-player game. Sometimes, the malfunction cards don’t have the name of the tool you need so you have to try and describe it to the other players. It’s common to hear things like, “I need that thing that looks like a yellow hairdryer” or “Give me that tool that looks like an x.”
Anomalies are interesting cards that make players perform an indicated action. These may involve everyone changing seats, playing the rest of the game without your thumbs, not being able to talk until the other players pull you back, etc. Some of these are fun, but changing seats in the middle of the game is annoying. Of course, that card seemed to have been played in all 6 games I played.
The System Go cards are what you are trying to find. Each of these has a picture of 1/6th of the spaceship and some text saying what system is fixed. Whenever you get to one of these in the deck, you put it into the middle of the table and say what system has been fixed. After all six have been placed on the table to form the picture of the spaceship, the game has been won. If the sand timer runs out before you have found all six System Go cards, the game is lost.
My friends and I played 6 games of Spaceteam and we all loved it. All four of us thought the game was a lot of fun and we plan on playing it often. It’s a fast-paced, frantic game and a great change of pace from the usual games we play. The fact that it only takes 5 minutes to play makes it the perfect game to play while we are waiting for everyone to arrive and play D&D. This game is so simple, that anyone can be taught to play it in less than a minute. I highly recommend Spaceteam and am 100% certain that your gaming crew will have just as much fun with it as my crew has.