Ever wanted to genetically engineer your own Minion? Well, now you can, with Chimera Station, a five-round (Minion-)worker-placement game with the potential for totally OP combos à la Glory to Rome.
Up to four players start by drafting starting resources in reverse turn order, which ensures asymmetry and diverging strategies. Each round starts by players placing their initial teams of Minions one by one onto modules in the station. Six are always available; the rest must be built, giving the constructor VP and (usually) the benefit of the module’s action.
A key location is the Gene Splicing Lab, whereby you attach components to your little guys to buff their powers. Each Minion can take up to two “components”, selected from: claws (which let you bump other players from spots you want); tentacles (which give you bonus resources); plants (which make them self-sustaining); and brains (which give you extra VP).
Some modules give straight resources; others let you trade things in for VP or boost your Research--which you definitely want to do, because doing so unlocks extra workers and allows you to select Perks which give you permanent bonuses and private actions.
After all the workers have been placed, the ones who’ve been spliced that turn get to emerge from the Lab and activate a module, following which everyone has to feed their workers (which look like Beyond Meat burgers) or else lose coins or VP.
At the beginning of the 3rd and 5th round things open up a bit, with boosts for VP rewards and more choices for Perks. At the end of the 5th round you cash in your remaining food and cash for VP and get bonuses for your components and Perks. Most points, wins.
Chimera Station is a great middle-weight game with tons of replayability, especially if you use the faction powers on the backs of the player mats. My only caveat would be to read the rules closely and consult the BGG rules threads before your first play, as the rules are confusing in places and skip certain things entire (we never could find a ruling on whether the module discard pile gets reshuffled when it runs out).