In Planet you and up to three others get to transform barren d12-shaped hunks of rock into lush, biodiverse planets. How cool is that?! Over twelve rounds you will draft magnetic pentagonal tiles and plop them onto your own dodecahedron where they will snap into place with a satisfying flurping sound. Each tile is made up of five triangular areas, each of which can be any one of six possible terrain types: desert, jungle, mountain, arctic, ocean, or plains.
After drafting, there will usually be some species cards to divvy up. They start the game face-up so you can plan ahead (in the advanced variant, some start face down). Each species has a different and specific terrain requirement. Some require lots of non-adjacent regions of one type of terrain; others are looking for the largest area (in triangles) of a certain type adjacent--or not adjacent--to a certain other type. Whichever player best satisfies the criteria wins the card, which gets victory points at the end of the game. Ties are deferred until the next round (except for the final round, where there are tiebreakers).
At game’s end each player gets VPs for the species they have won, plus bonus points for satisfying a hidden condition they got before the start of the game. Most VP’s wins.
Planet is simple to teach, has excellent artwork on the species cards, and is challenging, even for spatial experts, because of the 3D element. And let’s face it: it’s the 3D element which really sells the game. Being able to hold a little baby pretend planet in your hand, turning it this way and that to figure out how to best place your tile, that’s an experience you can’t get with any other game. Strategy-wise it’s challenging because you’ll never be able to attract every single species; the trick is to plan ahead to see what’s coming up and arrange things as best as possible to nab as many as possible.
This is a super game for kid-friends who are animal-obsessed, or for any gamer who likes games like Kingdomino or Isle of Skye (though it lacks the bidding aspect of those games). Click here to order your copy!