Z-Man Games’ PERRY RHODAN reviewed

We had opportunity to break out Z-Man Games‘ 2 player game PERRY RHODAN recently, and played it through to completion. It took a little longer than the 30 minutes described in the rules, but not much longer. Perry Rhodan is a game of two space merchants moving cargo around an alien solar system. The system has six planets (each with unique color and symbol) represented by free standing planet disks (heavy cardboard). Each ship (heavy cardboard in standup) has its own deck of cards, a special Ship Status Card to indicate your cargo or replenishment, called Interventions (special cards that act similar to interrupts in Magic, in that they grant the player an extra capability or bonus when played). There are a lot of Goods tiles, each with a planetary symbol on top and a different one on the bottom. At the start of the game, five of these goods tiles are dealt to each planet, where they are laid out in an overlapping manner to prevent too many clues from being obvious. The players start the game on the planet of the youngest player’s choosing, and go into turn rounds. A player may play the following sequence in any order:

1) Play 2 planetary actions, not necessarily on the same planet
2) Play 1 flight
3) Play 1 Intervention card.

Planetary actions entail picking up and dropping off cargo (tiles) and placing them in the “container” part of your ship status card. to conduct a flight, you roll a dice. These are movement points in the galaxy. You move 1 extra point between planets moving out from the sun, and skip the extra moving inward. Players pick up a cargo, transport it to the planet that is shown on the visible side of the cargo, and get your cash when reaching this planet. Afterwards the cargo is flipped over and shows another planet. That’s about it. First player to get to 70 Megagalax wins the game. Of course there are some complexities beyond that basic framework– mostly added by the Intervention deck. An intervention card can be a passenger you drop off on your way to a destination, an upgrade to extend a flight by a few crucial movement points, and etcetera. We found it fun, engaging, quite colorful and pleasantly themed. This isn’t “Merchant of Venus Lite” by a long shot, but it’s still a fun little game and very much worth the price. Great value for the money if you are looking for a lite introductory or gateway game. Gar liked it a lot. Think the old dial-in BBS Trade Wars games in 3D. Have fun!

(note bene, a red-faced admission: Due to not having the game fresh in my mind a week later… I started this post the night I played it and got interrupted so it sat around as a draft for a week or so. Stupidly I didn’t have the rulebook handy. I totally screwed up my narrative of a crucial mechanic description, and Herr Glumpler, the designer himself, was kind enough to provide edits, and the text above has been amended with his words.  Thank you, sir!  I apologize for any confusion my error may have caused!)

Perry Rhodan
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