Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Eye on Gen Con: Rio Grande Games Releases Jump Drive

Race for the Galaxy has a honored place in my collection. Nevertheless, I hardly ever play it with other human beings. Most of the time, unfortunately, the action is happening on Board Game Arena.

Rio Grande Games, probably the game publisher most out-of-touch with today's world of sneak previews, decided for Gen Con 2016 (this weekend) to release Jump Drive, a new simplified quicker-playing, stand-alone version of Race for the Galaxy.

Quicker playing? While the online Race for the Galaxy takes about 8 minutes to play a game with 2 motivated individuals going head-to-head, the real analog Race for the Galaxy can be done in about 45 minutes if people spend extra time thinking about what to do.

Simplified? Race for the Galaxy is a pretty easy game to play, once all players understand the rules. To understand the rules, you need to play a full game with everyone NOT knowing the rules so they can figure it out. Will Jump Drive somehow be able to pull this off?

In typical Rio Grande style, promotion is not to be found. However blog-favorite designer Tom Lehmann took it upon himself to do a little preview on the how the cards look.

At first, I thought this might be a "Race for the Galaxy: Junior" by another name. But the cards certainly look like they require a little concentrated thinking to fully understand. These aren't parrot tiles

Since this is only "Teaser #1" it's my hope Lehmann posts some more stuff on this game, especially the RULES so I can figure out whether to get my hopes up or not.

In the first Teaser he notes a similarity between Jump Drive and The City. I've always wanted to play The City, but never wanted to learn German or pay to import it. If this is truly a space-themed version it could be the best of all worlds.

The apparent complete lack of goods production, seem to paint this as much more of a civilization builder in the direction of 7 Wonders, only without the card drafting.  I will certainly post more analysis as information continues to develop.

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