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- Alien invaders battle for supremacy with Earth as the prize
- Playing time is about 20 minutes
- A variation of checkers that up to 4 players can play
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Four races of aliens have discovered Earth. All of them want to invade the planet, and they're not interested in sharing. The races agree to decide the matter in a space showdown. The winner takes all, with Earth as the prize. But you don't have to be from anther galaxy to enjoy this game. Space Checkers combines the luck of dice with the strategy of checkers. And you can even carry out a sneak attack by warping across the game board.
From the Manufacturer
Prepare your fleet for the cosmic challenge of Space Checkers. Four races of aliens have discovered Earth. All of them want to invade the planet, and they're not interested in sharing. The races agree to decide the matter in a space showdown. The winner takes all. with Earth as the prize. But you don't have to be from another galaxy to enjoy this game. Space Checkers combines luck of dice with the strategy of checkers. And you can even carry out a sneak attack by warping across the game board. A family game from Wiggles 3D. 2-4 players. 20 minute game time. Recommended for ages 6 years and up.
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|Sold By||QB's & Pitchers||24hrs Deals||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||2.25 x 10.5 x 10.5 in||8.1 x 15.6 x 1.1 in||7.9 x 7.9 x 2.4 in||10.51 x 2.13 x 10.51 in|
|Item Weight||—||7.05 ounces||1.35 lbs||1.6 lbs|
Top Customer Reviews
Space Checkers features four alien races: The Ixithan Empire (little green men), the Kanaloan Alliance (yellow disembodied heads like TMNT's Kraang), the Mechanoid Armada (like...well, Palladium's Mechanoids only blue), and the Formic Commune (like red D&D Formians). They are all theoretically battling for control of Earth.
The board consists of 144 spaces divided into four quarters, each aligned with a color/race. There are starting spots for 12 color-coded flying saucers, as well as 10 spaces off the main board that act as prison cells for captured saucers. Earth sits in the center, taking up sixteen spaces. It has no bearing on game play other than as an obstacle that must be avoided. So much for battling for the supremacy of Earth!
There's no "kinging" in Space Checkers, so we invented that rule that whoever makes it to the opposite side becomes a Supreme Commander and can move in any direction from that point on. The official rules mitigate this somewhat by dictating that once you're on the opposite side of the board you can move "Wild" and move in any direction without regard for the tyrannous color die (see below).
Players roll two dice, one that determines direction by color (or Wild) and one that determines the number of moves. You can also "warp" across the board by simply moving off one side and starting across on the other side - in essence, treating the board like a sphere. Rules otherwise progress as normal checkers - which is to say that there's almost no rules that apply from checkers because the board, colors, and number of players changes the game significantly.
If Space Checkers has a flaw, it's the color-coded die. The definition of "moving towards" a color is so vague that it causes quite a bit of confusion. Do you have to move in a straight line? Does moving backwards and warping count as moving "toward" a color? Can you just immediately attack another player on the opposite side by warping backwards? A primer on how Checkers works might help. I thought I knew how to play Checkers but reviewing the rules reminded me that the devil is in the details.
This is my problem of course - my children were not bothered in the least by the lack of clarification on how Space Checkers work because they only just learned Checkers. The game has so far entertained my boy (and my two-year-old girl) for several days in a row. High praise indeed for games that often don't last more than a few hours.
Space Checkers is very colorful and nice to look at. It certainly draws attention from across a room. The pieces and the dice themselves are sturdy and I have no complaints in regards to the quality of the components.
I wasn't sure how I'd feel about introducing a dice mechanic to the game of checkers. I was afraid that adding dice to a game where players had full control of their pieces would reduce the strategy factor involved...dice can sometimes mess up someone no matter how well they play. I won't go far as to say that the amount of thinking involved is less than conventional checkers, but I will say that a dice mechanic changes it. I still had to think about which pieces I should move where, based on the dice rolls. The randomness of the dice added its own strategy to the mix, as I often had to plan for contingencies that may or may not happen.
Vinnie (11) beat me in our game, having more luck with the dice than me. The ability to warp to the other side of the board worked well to his advantage and he captured many of my pieces by doing so. I'd be interested to see how well the game would work if I eliminated the warp mechanic...something to try at any rate. Things were definitely chaotic in the beginning of the game and pieces were being jumped over left and right, though the game slowed down for us as we captured more and more pieces. Playing a three or four player game will shorten the play time, as there are more pieces involved and the goal of capturing ten UFOs remains the same. There is nothing to prevent kids from teaming up on one another, so parents beware.
Speaking of teaming up, if players get tired of every person for themselves, they can team up for a two on two match. There's a lot of flexibility here since no color is in a better position than the other. One player could assume the role of two colors and take two turns against a team of two, assuming you had three players. By that same token, two players could control two colors each and take turns moving them however they'd like. Creative players will find the floor open to whatever variants they can conjure up.
All in all, Space Checkers is fairly deep in terms of strategy and adds a fun twist to the game of checkers. It is pretty easy to play, so it should appeal to a wide range of people and to players of all ages. It's a bit more chaotic than standard checkers, what with the dice and warp mechanic, but it remains to be a fun way to spend the evening with the kids.