Quest for Planet X is a hybrid board game that introduces us to the work of astronomers in a fascinating way. However, you don’t have to be a space craving to enjoy here – all you need is a piece of paper asking the right questions and the ability to draw conclusions.
The Hunt for Planet X – Does Planet Nine Really Exist?
Before I go to review the new game hybrid from Lucky Duck Games, it is worth saying Where did its title come from?. When Neptune was discovered in the 19th century, researchers realized that its motion was turbulent. Then it was assumed that This is because of the unobserved planet, which was called Planet X. After the discovery of Pluto in 1930, it was initially believed that it might be the supposed body, but soon it turned out that it was too small to cause noticeable disturbances in the movement of large planets such as Neptune and Uranus.
So it’s back to square one, and many hypotheses have emerged over the decades on the topic of Planet Nine. In 2016, Konstantin Batygin and Michael E. Brown demonstrated on the basis of computer simulations that Far beyond the limits of the solar system, there may be a planet 10 times the mass of Earth. While some, such as DES scientists, assume that Planet X has no right to exist, others do not lose faith.
Well, every one of us can do that Join your volunteer groupPhotographs taken with the NASA WISE telescope (Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer) To distinguish between already moving celestial objects and artifacts and thus discover the mythical Planet X or another dwarf planet. Perhaps this problem will be resolved sooner than we think thanks to radioimaging of the movement of the Trojan asteroid, which allows to detect evidence of the existence of the planet. Meanwhile, each of us can try his hand at a board game related to this topic.
This is not another cute toy to put on your shelf
Among the professions related to space, the work of astronauts is certainly the most fascinating – they stay outside the Earth and rehearse for this role all their lives, often being the heroes of flashy science fiction cinema. On the other hand, astronomy is not an easy subject to present in an entertaining way. Because how do you spark interest in boring sky observation, theoretical physics, and data analysis? Luckily Game Designers – Ben Rosset and Matthew O’Malley They didn’t take their shovel to the sun and designed Search for Planet X in such a way that the relatively difficult subject wouldn’t overwhelm people thirsty for fun. At the same time, however, they headed towards Aesthetic simplicityrelevant to the topic.
Because of that At first glance, the search for Planet X does not look attractive. The whole setup is different from modern standards. Aside from the painting schematically showing the solar system, there are no illustrations or cards – nothing to catch your eye on. We will look further at our sectional page of the sky and a place to take our own notes. Even a necessary application of the game is based on text onlynot drawing.
However, once you enter the game, you will not miss out on more epic scenes even for a moment. I will say more – You will appreciate this bad looking lookBecause it will not distract you from the collection. that’s it All the fun comes from collecting.
Surely you know a popular puzzle of the 80s, where someone created a secret code, and the other had to guess it in a certain number of attempts by deduction. The search for Planet X is somewhat reminiscent of a mastermind. The goal is to locate the address planet as quickly as possible. Depending on the variant, it is hidden in one of twelve or eighteen sectors. Each sector always contains only one object. In addition to Planet X, there are gas clouds, comets, asteroids, dwarf planets, and empty sectors.
Their number is always constant in addition to that Every object is subject to certain fixed logical rules For example, each gas cloud is always adjacent to at least one empty sector. The position of all objects is randomly generated in the application, the number of possible layouts is huge, so we will look at a different “sky” each time.
during the game We ask the application for the number of objects of a certain type in a specified range of sectors (For example, how many comets are in sectors 2 through 7?), We obtain additional logical bases and give theorems about the position of objects. Although our questions are open to our competitors, they don’t see the answers in the app. It makes sense to write down the queries themselves, as it also allows you to draw some conclusions. Thus, using the method of inference, exclusion and dependence, we write our observations on the paper, trying to stay ahead of our competitors.
Time is of the essence in the hunt for Planet X. Each action costs more or less units, which we celebrate by moving the pawn around the board. The active player is always the player at the end of the track. Therefore, if we focus on the time-consuming search for objects in a small set of sectors, although it will give us more detailed data, it may turn out that we will do nothing more for a few cycles.
Also used here Interesting mechanics of seeing the sky. We can only ask about half of the sectors revealed on the board – their transparency depends on the position of the last pawn on the path.
Although we will get the most points if we are the first to correctly indicate the location of Planet X and the objects in its adjacent sectors, we still have a chance to win the game if we correctly guess the location of the other objects and mark them. On the board early enough. The game is definitely racing in natureIt adds adrenaline and forces players to ask carefully thought-out quests at the right times.
The perfect game for individuals
The quest for Planet X can be played with up to four peopleBut honestly, the game is a little long. This is a situation on which you should seriously focus and think, and this necessarily leads to stopping. The more players, the longer the transfer will take. From my games it seems that at the extreme of the lineup the time marked in the box will not be 75 minutes, but at least an hour and a half. The longest was two hours in advanced mode.
This maximum can fit three or two people, although it all depends on the company. The good news is that even if you don’t find anyone willing to play, do it You can play in single modeWhich takes 35 minutes on average, and gives the same amount of excitement and satisfaction. Then we race against a computer that, unlike a direct competitor, will never go wrong, which makes the challenge that much bigger.
What will you like about this title?
First of all, for that Interesting and new gameplay. Most deduction games revolve around crime scenes, and here we can feel like real scientists researching the universe. Good luck is very interesting here, but the process of arriving at a certain result is also fun.
Are there errors here? Of course – especially in the beginning, when we eliminate some data too quickly and make false assumptions. But this is the reason to write down everything so that we can check them again at any time and make the necessary corrections.
Are we going to get frustrated here? It is possible. Sometimes it’s because we invest our time in research that won’t reveal new information, and sometimes because our competitors notice something in the future. But that’s fine too, because what would the game be if it didn’t evoke feelings of competition?
I liked it too Find Planet X uses the app in a very reasonable way. It is the operational mind that ensures endless replayability, always generating for us a unique cosmic order. So we can choose Different difficulty level for each player, so that Haw playing with a veteran would not feel sad. It fits the subject well, and gives us the results of “scans” and “searches” like a real computer at an astronomical observatory.
The hunt for Planet X – is it worth buying?
Although I don’t know much about astronomy, I do. I was fascinated by the search for Planet X. My brother and partner are just as lost as me – we met every day just to play the title. Quick setting, gameplay based on pure logic, not luck, perfect translation of the topic into mechanics – all these advantages attract the game.
However, this is not a post for everyone. I’ve also played with people who were clearly bored with the spreadsheet and didn’t enjoy analyzing the data. So if you’re expecting a game where you can laugh and talk, or where a lot is going on, it’s best to skip this title. Instead, at least try out the story-driven crime chronicles.
Price may also be a drawback here. Surely many people will be surprised that the box with this title, which costs about 130 PLN, contains very few components, but in my opinion, it is justified by a well-designed application and high re. In other words, if you like the discount and You take care of the original entertainment of many eveningsThis is where you can end your search for the perfect board game.
Rating board game Find Planet X:
- Diverse level of difficulty
- infinite re
- An interesting translation of the topic into mechanics
- exciting race
- Good training in logical thinking
- Single mode
- The “geeky” look
- The more players, the more downtime
- to implement:
- Randomness (the less the better):
- Interact with other players:
- Fun in the game:
Searching for Planet X comes from the author’s private collection
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