Awful Green Things From Outer Space
Awful Green Things From Outer Space!
You've got to love it, if only for the title. AGT (as I'm going to call it from now on) is a board game, and as far as I know is SJG's _only_ board game (aside from Knightmare Chess, which is less of a board game than it is, well, chess). It's two-player, and involves a starship which has been infested by the Awful Green Things. The crew, not-too-bright representatives of a conglomerate of spacefaring planets, must either defeat the Awful Green Things or escape, hopefully blowing up the ship in the process.
The Awful Green Things, on the other hand, have one goal: to eat the crew. Each character has three ratings: movement, stamina, and hit power; movement determines how far he can move, stamina how many hits he can take each turn - for stamina regenerates at the end of a turn if the piece is not killed - and hit power how many hits the character does in weaponless combat. Players alternate turns, moving all, some, or none of their pieces, and the first to reach the winning conditions wins. (I know, I know, it's counterintuitive... ;)
The ship is the playing area, then, and the Awful Green Things and crewmembers are placed at their player's discretion throughout. Weapons for the crew are also placed in default positions; each weapon has a different range and a different effect - and here's one of the neat things about AGT - every game, the effects are different. The first time a crewmember uses a weapon on an Awful Green Thing and connects with it - and only crewmembers can use weapons - an effect is chosen randomly for that weapon, and stays set for the rest of the game.
It's a nice touch; the crew player can't simply stack his characters next to one weapon he knows will work well, because he doesn't know which one _will_ work well. The laser pistol that did 5 dice of damage last game might well cause the Awful Green Things to grow this game!
There are, unfortunately, some bad points to this game. First off, the playing pieces - weapons, crewmembers, Awful Green Things, and effects - are all small, two-dimensional cardpaper squares. This makes them easy to lose, hard to pick up, and harder to organize on the playing board - especially when a stray breath can blow them all away. The dice are also small, although they're six-sided, fully, three-dimensional, plastic, and green; they get lost almost as easily as the playing pieces. The art isn't anything to write home about, unfortunately, but it is a silly comedy game, after all.
But the best part of all - it comes with a Ziplock bag!
Style: 4 (Classy and well done)