Wormholes Review Infrastructure! In! Room! – GAMING TREND

AAt first glance, Wormholes may seem unassuming, but the slim box is packed with my favorite pick-up and delivery game on the market. In my experience, the genre tends towards a rotten loop of movement from point A to point B that exceeds its welcome. Wormholes avoids this by throwing a delicious layer of infrastructure that turns it into its own beast. I know, every other train game consists of building a track and moving goods back and forth, but railroads can’t instantly teleport you across the galaxy, right? Wormholes puts its players in the role of interstellar taxi drivers, who take passengers to their matching planets for points. But you’re not a Fifth Element Bruce Willis space taxi, you’re more like Q from Star Trek as a taxi driver, ripping holes in the fabric of spacetime to make your fares so much easier.

Spinning in Wormholes is easy enough to go faster than light. Ships have the power to move three hexagons per round unless they swap from one side of a wormhole to another, potentially giving another player a victory point for using their wormhole. Players can drop a paired wormhole token on or next to their ship at any time. Players can randomly draw passenger cards from the deck if they are adjacent to a planet, or choose from the discard if they are next to the space station, up to the hand limit of four. Finally, if a player is adjacent to a planet, they can deliver all matching passengers in their hand and add them to their scoring pile.

Scoring is equally easy. When a player opens a wormhole next to a previously unconnected planet, they take the top tile from the exploration pile, which I probably love more than is fair. As the pile shrinks, the value of the tiles escalates, encouraging players to connect planets that were too inconvenient for other players. Finally, the last planet will be connected, which activates the last three rounds of the game, followed by the last three tiles in the pile. At the end of the game, each passenger in a player’s pile is worth two points, with an added bonus for each unique planet they’ve delivered to past five.

As simple as the rules are, Wormholes offers an intriguing decision-making space, with players splitting their focus between delivering passengers, grabbing scout tokens, and simply creating a network that entices other players to use it to passively gain VP.

There’s also a solo mode, but it’s a simple race against the clock top scorer who loses the real fun of seeing how players’ networks interact, or how far stubborn/thrifty players try to avoid someone gives something else points.

All I will say to Wormholes is that with only three points of movement it becomes immediately apparent if someone has screwed up and has no strategy for getting back to the center of things after traveling to the outer limits of the map, but honestly said I would put that more on the player than on the game.

Just as even someone with a sophisticated palette should enjoy the simple elegance of a well-done lager, Wormholes’ great production and no-nonsense design has the ability to please anyone.

—Nick Dubs

Nick grew up reading fantasy novels and board game rules for fun, so he accepted that he was a sucker from a young age. When he’s not researching the intricacies of a hobby he’ll never pick up, Nick can be caught attempting either to cook an edible meal or befriend local crows.

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