Jul 272006

This is one of Marc’s games we playtested on Tuesday night.


This game is a card game with a deck full of rocket components like boosters, fins, and cones. The object of the game is to assemble various sizes of rockets to launch various sizes of astronauts. The astronauts include a chicken, a dog, a cow, a monkey, and a human. To collect the rocket parts, a blind auction is performed on two pieces at a time. The high bid gets his choice. The low bid gets second choice. Ties are broken with another bid.

To gain more money, you can sell of unwanted components, which all have a black market value on them.

To launch your rocket, you must perform a die roll for each component in it to see if it burst into flames on take off. Each component has different modifiers. If you succeed in your launch, you score points for your astronaut.


First off, I think this is a very nice framework for a game. It is simple and quick to pick up. People like building things, and using cards to build rockets is a great idea that works perfectly. Launching random animals is another plus.

I think the auction system needs some tweaking. While the bid high/low mechanic may work great with two players, it didn’t work very well with more than two. Maybe the idea can be expanded upon. Possibly have one card for each player. Bidding will determine the pick order of the pieces. There are a ton of different styles of auction mechanics out there, but I still think that you can find a new one that will be interesting and still work for this game.

Failure to launch is another problem. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime: All pieces of your rocket are discarded because you rolled low. Now matter how good you bid, you can’t help rolling a 1. Also, you get no credit whatsoever for even trying to launch. You go back to square one, only with less money. One way to fix this is to lessen the blow: Give the players some compensation money for each card discarded. Another way to fix this is to localize the damage: Only the failed component is discarded. One thought I just had is to give players experience for trying: Each time you fail a launch, you get an experience card that adds +1 to all your rolls on your next launch. This will give players with good bidding skills a way to overcome their bad luck.

Some other suggestions I heard thrown out:

  • Put the quantity of each component on the card itself, similar to Bohnanza.
  • Make the animals into cards. Why stop at just five animals?
  • Add other income opportunities. Right now a player with no money or parts is virtually screwed.
  • The bonus cards should be able to be added after the roll.

Overall, this is a good start, and I look forward to seeing any tweaks made.

One Response to “Rocket Game”

  1. hi l love rockets

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