A long time ago, on a board far, far away you and your friends must save your ship and crew by escaping from the Gravwell.
The box contains:
- 26 Fuel Cards
- 4 Emergency Stop Cards
- 6 Spaceship Miniatures
- Round Tracking Pawn
To start the game, place the two derelict ships (the grey ones) on the yellow spaces (numbers 26 and 36) Place the round tracking marker on the start bubble at the bottom of the board. Each player takes a ship and places it on the singularity in the middle of the board and an emergency stop card of the same colour. Shuffle the 26 fuel cards and deal out cards face down equal to the number of players times three. (ie 9 piles in a three player game, 12 in a four player) Then place a second card face up on top of each. The set up shown would be for a three player game.
The game starts with each player mining these fuel cards. In the first round the youngest player goes first. Each player chooses a stack of two cards in turn until they have six cards in hand. Each round consists of six movement phases using one card of your choice from your hand each phase.
At the start of the phase each player chooses a card and flips them over simultaneously.
All cards revealed are played in alphabetical order, ie carbon would go before oxygen. (There is a handy distribution chart on the board). Hopefully you noticed there are three different colour cards which all represent different types of movement. Fuel cards are yellow and have a number between 1 and 10, your ship will move that number of spaces. However, your ship will always move towards the nearest spaceship so this movement may be forward or backward. Purple cards are repulsor fuel cards. Instead of moving towards the nearest ship, you will move the appropriate number of spaces away from it. Tractor beam cards (teal) do not move your ships, instead they move every other ship towards you. Start with the ship closest to you and work round the track, including the derelict ships.
During your turn you may also choose to use your emergency stop card. This starts face up in front of you each round. Once per round you may flip this card to prevent having to use a fuel card to avoid going backwards at the wrong time. However, bear in mind that at the start of the next round the player in last place will pick their cards first so it can be advantageous to be in last place at the end of a round. A round ends when each player has played all six of their fuel cards. All emergency stop cards are flipped over, all fuel cards are shuffled together and the round marker is moved up. To start the new round players mine cards again taking it in turns beginning with the player in last place and working in order so the player in first place chooses last.
Play continues either until a player has made it to the warpgate or until six rounds have been played, at this point the player closest is considered the winner.
Gravwell comes with six variants of the base rules including a solo variant, a lot of these can be mixed and matched for some really interesting scenarios, meaning there is a lot of re playability if you get bored with the base version of the game.
This is a very clever little game that can leave you incredibly frustrated (in a good way!) especially if you have been forced to use your emergency stop card earlier in the round and end up being pulled backwards. It also gets very messy when people are getting close to winning! This game has loads of player interaction which makes it a great 'warm up' game at the start of an evening.