Selfish: Space Edition
It’s why we play games, right?
Who cares about sportsmanship and fair play when you’ve got blood on your claws and the taste of victory in your mouth!
I can honestly say that once of the best things that’s happened to me whilst playing a board game was after executing a particularly cut-throat move while playing Food Chain Magnate, which is an absolute BASTARD of a game, my daughter said to me, ‘ how could you do that? I’m your daughter?!?’
I told her that as her father, my job is to teach lessons, and this one was ‘trust no one’.
We are pretty competitive in my house with board games, to the point that when my wife sits down to play a game, she doesn’t ask ‘how do we play?’, her first question is ‘how do I win?’ (which made for a hilarious rant when we played Fluxx). That’s not to say we don’t have fun playing co-op stuff, but as long as my wife is leading the charge, all is good.
This game, Selfish: Space Edition (there’s also Zombie, Star Wars and Disney Villains editions), from Ridley’s Games is a perfect game for a family who enjoy being a little bit ruthlessness!
This card game has a concept that is quite simple: you are an astronaut trapped in the darkness of space, and you need to move the six spaces it takes to get back to your ship, which would be fine, but you only have six canisters of oxygen and it takes two to move, AND you have to finish on the ship with at least one canister left, and if my maths is correct, that means you are already in an oxygen deficit.
Have no fear though, dear space person, what you do have is a bunch of horrible things you can do to other players like siphon their oxygen, or shoot them with a laser to send them back a space!
Gameplay is really simple: on your turn you draw a card, then, if you wish/ can, play as many action cards as you wish, which will make your opponents lives miserable unless they can reply with a ‘shield’ card, and then you have to make the decision on whether you stay where you are, costing one oxygen, or travelling one space, costing two oxygen.
Moving faces it’s own challenges though, as space is a treacherous place, and every time you move onto a new space space, you may face things like Cosmic Radiation, which steals an oxygen from you, a Solar Flare, which stops you from doing any actions while it is immediately behind you. It’s not all bad though, Useful Junk let’s you draw an extra card, potentially getting more oxygen, or Wormhole allows you to swap places with another player, potentially getting forward a little bit.
Each game only lasts about 20 minutes, but it’s SO easy to set up and play, that it even has a minimum age of 7 as it’s suggested age range. The art is simple, but still engaging and the ‘dead astronaut’ cards are both funny and kind of sad.
We have a lot of fun with this game, and I possibly will buy some of the others as there are minor changes depending on which game, for example, in the zombie one, the dead players return as the undead! I have little knowledge of the others so I can’t comment on them, but I could always do with more games!
If you are having a games night, this is a great entree game or wind down game. Simple to learn, fun to play, but it doesn’t have a great deal of substance… still, seeing someone one space away from winning and running out of oxygen is a guilty pleasure, especially if you have a spouse as focussed on winning as mine is!