Race Around the Solar System in Moonshot: Lunar Solace

Moonshot: Lunar Solace

Moonshot: Lunar Solace is now on Kickstarter. Race around the solar system and win the right to govern the Moon's human settlement for the coming year!

Gameplay

Players are in control of four ships which they are attempting to race around the solar system and back to the moon. On your turn, you roll a set of four dice. Each die can give you the result of a black energy, a red energy, or a blank face. Depending on what combination of these you roll, you may either have to move one of your ships back one space, or forward one, two, three, four, or five spaces. On a roll of four or five, you may save your roll and roll again. As long as you keep rolling fours and fives, you may keep saving your rolls (or use them immediately), and roll again.

Whenever you decide to use your rolls, you may choose how to assign them around your ship. For example, if you rolled two fours and a two, you may choose to move one of your ships forward eight spaces and a second ship forward two. Rolls cannot be saved for your next turn.

If you land on a space with another of your ships, they become linked and will move as one. Whenever you land a ship on a space shared by an opponent, their ship is knocked off the board and must start the race all over again. However the owner of the ship that is knocked back gets to take a Solace card. Solace cards give you special powers when played, and will often either protect you or sabotage an opponent at an appropriate moment.

There are several planets on the board which, if you land on them exactly, can be used to take shortcuts in the race. There are also worm holes that will send you back and forth across the universe whether it’s to your advantage or not. The first player to have all four of their ships cross the finish line wins the game.

Moonshot: Lunar Solace components

Review

Most roll and move games aren’t known for offering much in the way of strategy, but Moonshot: Lunar Solace is an exception. When you’re on a multiple roll streak, choosing which ships to move with which rolls can make a huge difference — especially since the position of your ships can affect the opportunities your opponents will have to send you back to the starting line before your turn comes around again.

The board looks lovely and the quality of the ships is also nice, as they stack well for linking. The dice themselves are also a really nice quality and quite satisfying to roll. There are some helpful character boards which were described to us as being stretch goals. These are incredibly useful as they help you to keep track of rolls during your turn. Without them, it would be difficult to remember all your rolls, especially when you are (pun intended) on a roll and saving more than one. Since they’re so useful, hopefully they will end up being unlocked during the campaign.

Players who don’t enjoy "take-that" elements will probably find the game has a bit too many of them, as there’s a lot of bumping each other back to start and jostling for the lead. But for players who enjoy that sort of thing, they’ll also be pleased with the Solace cards which add an interesting dynamic when choosing which players to go after. They can also sometimes help you with your revenge.

The game is certainly more fun with three or four players, as most take-that style games are. The planets are a fun mechanic, and you always feel a fun satisfaction when you land on one, as well as when you take a trip through a wormhole.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-learn board game with lots of player interaction and take-that, look no further and check out the Kickstarter campaign for Moonshot: Lunar Solace.

Pros: Lots of player interaction, beautiful game board, lots of fun dice rolling involved

Cons: May feature too much "take-that" for some players, not as fun with two players

Disclosure: this preview is based on our evaluation of an unpublished prototype of the game, which is subject to change prior to publication. While a modest payment was received to expedite the review process, our thoughts and opinions expressed here are honest and accurate.