It's never a bad idea to undertake a bit of space exploration at the gaming table and Jump Gate is a pretty good choice as the way to do it.
Created in 2010 by games designer Matt Worden, who is also responsible for Castle Danger reviewed here earlier, Jump Gate was the 2011 Games Magazine Game of the Year, which in itself is pretty high praise for the game.
Accommodating two-to-six players, Jump Gate is one where players explore over the gaming area, visiting one of eight-planets to discover what resources they hold.
As spaceship captains you compete to be the first to a planet to claim it, but of course there are pitfalls out there which can toss a cosmic wrench into the works.
By claiming planets players gain resources, which mean fattening the coffers and gaining face across the breadth of space.
Controlling plants and gaining resources, accomplished through card play, ultimately combine to determine who wins.
The card components of what is essentially a resource claiming game are quite good, which is refreshing given that it is from a small indie producer. Kudos to Worden for his effort in that regard.
The multiple planets and resource options give the game replay value, and the fairly simple ruleset, for a game of this ilk, make it easily taught to new players wanting to challenge the black voids of space.
All told, Jump Gate is a pretty good way to kill an hour at the gaming table, actually better than many of the options out there.
Check it out at www.mwgames.com
-- Review appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper August 24, 2011 - Yorkton, SK. Canada