5th October 2021
Tuesday night is here and the Woking Gaming Club is at The Sovereigns in Woking.
The first game of the evening was Jump Drive, whisk through the Galaxy instead of racing through it!
Jump Drive is a streamlined version of the great Race for the Galaxy and like it, shares a setting with games New Frontiers and Roll for the Galaxy.
What's in a game?
Jump Drive uses 2 different types of cards which will be familiar to players of Race for the Galaxy. All cards have a cost and may also have icons for exploring, genetics or military, they may also powers, victory points or income.
Jump Drive's art style matches that of the other games in the series and at least some of the artwork is recycled and as I've said before, it's not a bad thing as it lends them all a consistent look.
The game's iconography is for the most part straightforward and certainly less intimidating than Race for the Galaxy.
How's it play
On to play
Rounds in Jump Drive are played out simultaneously over 3 phases and players have choice from 3 actions, 2 of which can be completed in 1 turn.
When any player's score reaches 50+ VPs, then the game will end with the current round.
All players should calculate their VP total.
Points are tallied, highest score wins.
Jump Drive plays very quickly and the game can be over in a handful of turns; at the start 50 victory points may seem like a lot but thanks to the exponentially increasing scores, players will suddenly find themselves hitting the endgame.
They cannot afford the luxury of meandering in their decisions or make frivolous choices.
Players must learn to be ruthless with spending their hand of cards, keeping more than 1 or 2 cards back will really slow them down, this is even more true in Jump Drive than Race for the Galaxy as Jump Drive provides players the choice to put down 2 cards a time and that double cost can easily empty a players hand.
Sure, it's fine and prudent to play one card at a time but if opponents are putting down 2 at a time instead, they risk streaking ahead and it may be necessary to keep up with them!
Jump Drive is not only about engine building, it's about optimisation, players have try an exploit the opportunities given to them instead of searching too hard for them.
It's also impressive how Jump Drive manages to distil so much of Race for the Galaxy into a streamlined, more accessible and quicker iteration. Pretty much everything that makes Race for the Galaxy a good game is is present here: The hand of cards as currency, hidden choices, engine building and synergy and so on.
Jump Drive is an enjoyable experience, reasonably easy to learn with a quick set up and play time that provides players with meaningful choices, a game well worth trying: If you like Race for the Galaxy, you'll find a lot to like here.
I play, I paint.