Until recently the word Sputnik conjured up two things in our mind: ancient Soviet satellites and
parrot-wigged cyberpunks dressed as effeminate Power Rangers. But now, thanks to a truly
engrossing new board game it invokes retromodern rockets, thrilling gameplay and oodles of
intergalactic strategic thinking
That's because Sputnik is the name of a stellar new board game for 2-6 players that's got us
totally space-obsessed. With its garish wooden rockets, circular blue playing board and 'galaxy'
playing pieces, Sputnik is unlike any other board game we've seen, but its entertainment factor
is totally astronomical.
Trying to describe the riveting gameplay of Sputnik is a bit like trying to fly to the moon in a
tin can with a firework strapped to it. But seeing as that's essentially what NASA did with
Apollo 11, we'll give it a go.
The object of the game is to move your little rocket through various galaxies and put opponents'
rockets out of action by preventing lift off. On each turn players must move their rocket on to
an adjacent 'galaxy' piece and also remove one galaxy from the game.
As the galaxies dwindle in number and disappear from the board, rockets will eventually become
stranded and unable to move. The last player left is the winner. You can also use your
colour-coded launch pad to rescue your rocket if it becomes stranded. This is done by flipping
the pad over to reveal an additional galaxy. Strategic space travel? Just a bit! Think draughts
meets that funny chess game Spock used to play, throw in a bit of Fifties sci-fi and you're
Speaking of sci-fi, Sputnik is more enthralling than Captain Kirk's wig and Lt Uhuru's legs
combined. And believe us, once you get to grips with its simple yet highly strategic gameplay
you'll be dreaming about garish Tintin-esque rockets and dwindling galaxies morning, noon and
night. Houston, we have a classic!
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