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Turing Board Game Review

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SpaceCorp 2025-2300AD - a Punchboard Review

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14 Apr 2022 00:00 #332313 by adamr
If you saw the words ‘GMT Games’ in the previous...

After the brain-melting complexity of Gandhi (which is absolutely fantastic, by the way), today I’m looking at another GMT Games game. SpaceCorp 2025-2300AD isn’t a COIN game, but it is a game played on a grand scale, with a large amount of strategy and planning involved.

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14 Apr 2022 20:52 - 14 Apr 2022 21:08 #332314 by Sagrilarus
I have one fundamental disagreement with your review. I think GMT completely dropped the ball on the art in this game. Some of it is really very impressive, yet it is relegated to small windows on cards that have pretty overwhelming gray backgrounds. A wasted opportunity to feature some fine work. And frankly the effects of the cards, the big colored rectangles that largely have a single digit of useful information beyond their color suck up much of what remains of the card. I almost get the feeling that this is what the playtest cards looked like, and no one with enough imagination considered how the cards could be changed for the published game.

So, you compare it to Terraforming Mars and I think that's fair, or at least would be fair if SpaceCorp had done much of what Terraforming Mars did in its exposition -- show the art big and put that nerd-fest science factoids on each card so that "Nano Slicers" could have some cool science added that describes how it works and what it does. As it stands now, a Nano Slicer is simply a Build 5/Genetics 3 card. Nothing very interesting to look at. I don't mind losing at Terraforming Mars because the cards are so damn cool. This game is far more mechanical in nature due to the setting being relegated to at best a supporting role.

I think the game would have greatly benefited from a complete redesign of the cards, and still could in a version 2 at some point in the future.

I traded my copy away, and I was pre-pub on this one. Looked like really my thing. But in the end it proved mechanically sound, but not terribly interesting from a science point of view. It also didn't have any of the science that appears in the books of the same title, which are associated with it (and this isn't just the art thing above -- the types of science in the books doesn't appear to be represented in the game at all.) I don't know, maybe I set my expectations too high. It was a Butterfield title with about as cool a theme as you can get, and good books associated with it. I was pretty pumped when I got the shipping notice.

One of my buddies wants to play it again and we don't have a copy. Perhaps I should give this another go now that it's been a few years. I'm in my late fifties now, and am more measured.
Last edit: 14 Apr 2022 21:08 by Sagrilarus.
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14 Apr 2022 21:44 #332317 by logopolys
This game gets a lot of plays from me, solo and multiplayer, base and expansion. One thing I'll note is while the bot doesn't really play exactly like a human opponent (as you observe), it does forecast most of its plays, so you always theoretically have time to react. In this sense, it feels like a live opponents, since at its core, SpaceCorp is a racing game.
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15 Apr 2022 10:10 #332326 by adamr

Sagrilarus wrote: I have one fundamental disagreement with your review. I think GMT completely dropped the ball on the art in this game.

It's funny isn't it, that it was the complete opposite for me. I find the teach very easy with SpaceCorp because of the clarity of the actions and numbers, and I love being able to see at a glance what my opponents can or can't do on their boards. Different stroke for different folks, and all that :).
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15 Apr 2022 10:12 #332327 by adamr

logopolys wrote: This game gets a lot of plays from me, solo and multiplayer, base and expansion. One thing I'll note is while the bot doesn't really play exactly like a human opponent (as you observe), it does forecast most of its plays, so you always theoretically have time to react. In this sense, it feels like a live opponents, since at its core, SpaceCorp is a racing game.

I know what you mean, it's just when I play with a human and they go somewhere, I know there's a very good chance their next play will be to the same location, and it might mean I go somewhere else in reaction. Against the bot though, there's a very good chance it'll be two, three, or more turns before they do, so I can reactively go after the space.

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15 Apr 2022 16:00 #332344 by Msample

adamr wrote:

Sagrilarus wrote: I have one fundamental disagreement with your review. I think GMT completely dropped the ball on the art in this game.

It's funny isn't it, that it was the complete opposite for me. I find the teach very easy with SpaceCorp because of the clarity of the actions and numbers, and I love being able to see at a glance what my opponents can or can't do on their boards. Different stroke for different folks, and all that :).


Agreed. I did a fair amount of playtesting on this and never saw anything but the final art. While Terraforming Mars may have cooler art, the difference is that in a multiplayer game of SPACECORP, its nice to be able to clearly see across the table not only the cards in the offer table, but the cards in other players' INFRA in case you want to copy theirs on your turn.

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