Game Buzz: The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine

Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown…

Wait, what? That’s something else entirely? Aw man, I thought I was going to get to write about Ed Wood today. Ah well. Let’s talk about

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine is a 2-5 player game designed by Thomas Sing and was released by KOSMOS at last year’s Spiel Fair, with an English version coming sometime this year. It’s a cooperative trick-taking game where players are trying to complete different missions of increasing difficulty.

The game comes with 40 large cards, with 36 of these being numbered 1-9 in four different colors, and the other four being Rocket cards numbered 1-4. There are also 36 small task cards, 5 reminder cards, and 17 tokens. There are 50 missions in the game, with each needing to be completed before you can move on to the next.

image by BGG user Einsiedler

Play is very standard for trick-taking games. All cards are dealt out. Beginning with the start player, each person plays a card from their hand. The suit played by the first player must be followed by any player that has it – that is, if I play a pink card and you have a pink card in your hand, you must play it. Once all players have put out a card, the one who played the highest card of the lead suit wins the trick, unless someone has played a rocket, which are trump. You can only play a rocket if you don’t have a card of the led suit.

During the game, you’re going to want certain people to win certain tricks so you can complete the missions. However, you’re not allowed to discuss what’s in your hand. Each player does have one radio communication token, however, and these can be used once per mission to communicate before a trick begins. This is done by playing a card and placing your token in a certain spot to indicate whether it is your highest of the color, your lowest of the color, or your only card of the color. You’ll replace it in your hand with a reminder card, which you’ll discard when you actually play the communicated card.

Missions come with a number of tasks, which are distributed between the players at the start of a game. Your goal is to complete your task, usually by taking the required tricks. If you do, you flip the task over. If someone else completes your task first, the mission is lost and needs to start over.

There’s other stuff going on in the game, but these are the basics. Play tricks, complete tasks, fulfill missions, win.

image by BGG user mudshark_baby

I do like trick-taking games, and this seems like enough of a twist on the genre to set it apart from the plethora of games out there. It’s gotten a huge amount of buzz since it came out, especially at BGG Con last year, where it apparently got a lot of play. It’s on my list as a game I need to pick up, partly because it’s a trick-taking game, and partly because the cooperative aspect really appeals to me.

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading!

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