Spaceteam, from indie studio Sleeping Beast Games, is an amazing cooperative game, inviting 2 to 4 players to serve aboard a starship together. Spaceteam offers a sense of adventure and cooperation, as your team shouts technobabble and flips switches to avert certain doom.
Each player’s iPhone or iPad becomes a control panel, with a different collection of high-tech space knobs, dials, buttons and settings. Players will be asked to set hydromats, engage ferrous spectrums, and reticulate splines, but the instructions appear on random screens, so you’ll need to shout the technobabble commands you see, and listen to the commands that are relevant to your screen. In about ten seconds, your friends are transformed into officers on a starship bridge, operating at maximum efficiency — and volume.
As you and your friends crew the starship, it becomes clear that your ship is suffering some mechanical failures. Green space goo oozes from between panels, and sections of the control panel detach. Just push the broken parts back into place, and keep flipping those positronic switches and engaging the flux combobulators to keep the ship flying! There are asteroids, wormholes, and all kinds of space disasters for your crew to avoid in this goofy, fast-paced team game.
I have an unabashed love for co-op games. Joining with friends to save the world from disease in the boardgame Pandemic, or to fight supernatural evil in Betrayal At The House On The Hill, is so much more satisfying than head-to-head combat. Sometimes, though, having a team goal allows (or encourages) one experienced player to take the lead, leaving newer players without much agency or excitement, but in Spaceteam, each player responds to verbal commands on his control panel as quickly as possible, so the game is well-balanced for group play without favoring experienced players. (You may want to designate a captain anyway, just for the fun of saying Hemisplat maxed, Captain!)
Spaceteam is a free download from the app store, and each player will need a copy of the game on their own iOs device. Playing the game requires wifi, and 2 to 4 of your favorite people. SpaceTeam is easy to pick up and play, even for kids, and sharing this game will make you the coolest auntie/parent/older brother/whatever in your little Trekkie’s life. This scifi party game is accessible to everyone, but is even better with friends who like to add Make it so! after commands, and who don’t mind jumping around to avoid asteroid belts.
Reviewed by Meg Stivison
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