Preview: Area 51 – all things classified

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Remember Roswell? No? It is well. This means, that we managed to cover it up. That’s, why we have such enormous budgets and heaps of advanced technologies. We just believe, that we can protect you all against threats from space. And you do not even need to know, so there is no panic every single day on our planet.

Area 51 tells the familiar story about visitors from outer space. But it’s a bit on the other end. Actually, we should use the future tense, because game is only in preparatory stage. It succeeded with its campaign on Kickstarter, but its authors pled only for 6,000 euros, making it rather small project. Its author is Stefan Alexander and it will be published under flag of Mücke Spiele.

We got a game in pre-production version for preview and this is why there will be nothing on packaging in this article. The game contains pieces, that will help you create a military base. Game also includes means of transport (trucks and trains), towers to hide artifacts and a bunch of other pieces (dice, cards, alien artifacts).

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The gameplay itself is actually very simple. All participants have artifact cards, that can be drawn either blindly from the deck or chosen from the menu and players will be paying with them for their actions. Such payment is made by placing card directly on the board, some revealed, while another in secret (face down). All this is here only to prepare ground for the actual loading of artifacts, that can be done in one location in turn – it means, they pick up cards already there, knowing only identity of some. Consequently, players close their gathered artifacts in a tower. Points are given out to owners of these towers, which can also be improved. But in the end, the one who has the most points, wins.

Area 51 does not look like it with its theme, but its actually an entry (beginner) game. Clever game mechanics allow players to have most of the game development under their firm control. Game contains elements of territory control, but at the same time is forcing players to remember, where have they placed their cards.

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The game has very well chosen modular board, which is customizable according to the number of players. Just this theme is actually not such a jewel for garnish. Actually, it could be completely different and no one would notice. Storage of extraterrestrial artifacts sounds a little silly itself. But well, the game is really nicely playable, so you will probably not mind that.

Area 51 has passed its Kickstarter test and even trials in our editorial room. Now it will be available for collection at the fair Spiel 2016 in Essen. That is why we have prepared this quick preview (five minutes before midnight, right?), so you can at least start thinking about trying it out. Why? Because Area 51 certainly deserves your interest, especially if you like interesting, innovative, but while still relatively simple and less difficult games.

You can check Kickstarter of Area 51 here

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