Space Alert Review

space alert board game review

Year Published: 2008 | Number of Players: 1-5 | Game Length: 30 minutes

Are you wondering if our Space Alert review going to be positive? Well, it is right outside of our Top 20 Cooperative Board Games, so yeah, we definitely like it. Read on to learn why…


What is Space Alert?

Designed by the brilliant Vlaada Chvátil (Mage Knight, Through the Ages) back in 2008, Space Alert allows players to take on the roles of space explorers as they collect information in a very dangerous part of space. As the players move through the game, they will have to devise different ways to protect their ship from outside threats in order to win the game.

Since its release, Space Alert has been quite successful, winning the New Game Worlds prize at the 2009 Spiel des Jahres awards.


Space Alert Gameplay

In Space Alert, players get to decide on a mission from the CD/MP3. Each mission is separated into two rounds: the action round and the resolution round.

The action round is when the computer announces threats as they appear and the players use their cards to try to deal with those threats. Most of the cards have actions and movements attached to them, which will be used in the resolution phase. Players can work together during the action phase to decide where they are going to move, what they are going to do, and they can also help each other.

space alert board

During the action rounds, the Space Alert MP3 will announce when incoming threats are arriving. Players then adjust their plans accordingly in hopes of stopping those threats.The explorers have 10 minutes to go through the three phases of the mission.

Once the action round is completed, the resolution round is played and the players see if their actions helped them survive the mission.

There is a full Space Alert tutorial that comes in the box, so even though it might be a bit confusing at first, going through a practice game will definitely clear some things up. It helped us!


Theme

The theme of Space Alert is essentially playing as if you were on the Star Trek Enterprise. The theme is certainly there, and the Space Alert MP3 that comes with the game adds to the space environment feel. The boards, cards and the artwork aren’t the best that we’ve seen, but they do add to the theme.

If you are a big science fiction fan, chances are the theme in Space Alert will do it for you.


Check out Space Alert on Amazon


Pros

  • The cooperative nature of Space Alert helps set it apart from other Sci-Fi games. It is definitely one of the best co-op space games we’ve played so far because it requires a lot of teamwork in an intense environment. It is going to be tough for anyone to be an alpha player in this one since everyone is working at the same time, which definitely adds to the cooperative experience.
  • While we were initially worried that the Space Alert MP3 would take away from the experience, it actually just adds to the theme. It also allows every player to work simultaneously rather than having one player reading out instructions.

Cons

  • Space Alert can be a bit chaotic, which can make it hard to follow for some players. The learning curve is a bit steeper than the typical cooperative board game, though the rules aren’t too difficult to grasp after playing through it a few times. Of course, people who enjoy deeper games with a bit more tension will see this as a great thing rather than a con.

Final Thoughts

Space Alert is an excellent cooperative game for anyone who loves intense science fiction conflict. The fact that it is cooperative makes it more exciting because everyone is working together trying to protect the ship! It isn’t the best-looking game we’ve ever played, but the gameplay is extremely smooth. It is still a ton of fun after more than 20 games and it could easily make its way back onto our list of the best cooperative board games.

If you end up enjoying the base game, definitely take a look at the Space Alert expansion, Space Alert: The New Frontier.


Space Alert Links

BoardGameGeek | Amazon | CoolStuffInc | eBay


Thanks for taking the time to read our Space Alert review!

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