Force Friday is now about three weeks behind us. Disney seems to be picking up where Lucas left off: inundating the marketplace with Star Wars merchandise. And Hasbro is only too happy to do their part: retheme games with Star Wars licenses. Here is a look at what Force Friday brought us, what games are tired retreads and what games are hidden gems.
1. Loopin’ Chewie
Loopin’ Louie was an old Milton Bradley game where a motorized airplane would fly around a farm. The players would bat the plane around in an effort to save their flock of chickens. Despite its absurd theme, Loopin’ Louie is quite highly rated, garnering a solid 6.97 on BGG.
The game is out of print. But Hasbro has held the rights to the game since taking over MB in the 90’s. Now with Force Friday, Hasbro has released their Star Wars retheme: Loopin’ Chewie. Chewbacca flies around the Death Star, picking off stormtroopers. Players bat the Millennium Falcon around in an effort to save the stormtroopers from Chewbacca.
While the theme is still absurd, Loopin’ Chewie looks like its a heckuva lot of fun. It only plays up to three players (Loopin’ Louie played up to four). But if you want a good family game, Loopin’ Chewie has you covered.
2. Star Wars Monopoly (2015 Edition)
Oh good! Another Monopoly™ iteration. And another Star War Monopoly iteration at that. This marks the 7th iteration of Monopoly with a Star Wars theme. What more can they do to this game?
Well, a lot it seems.
This version of Monopoly has no trading. It has no player elimination. It plays in 30 minutes. And it is area control.
When did the brain trust at Hasbro lift Euro mechanics whole cloth and apply them to -opoly iterations? I guess the answer is: right now.
The game ends when all the properties (planets) are purchased. The side (Dark or Light) with the most planets wins. The particular player amongst the winning side that owns the most planets is the singular winner.
This game allows you to collect cards like they were action cards in Twilight Imperium and play them more strategically. Overall this game plays drastically different than Monopoly. Off hand, I would say most modern board games would be better than this version of Monopoly…but this version of Monopoly will certainly be a nice gateway for people new to the hobby.
3. Sorry! Star Wars Edition
Sorry! Star Wars Edition is a prime example why Hasbro is referred to as Hasborg by board game aficionados. Dear Hasborg: just because you own the rights to Sorry! (which you assimilated from Parker Brothers) doesn’t mean you have to reskin it with a Star Wars theme.
In a game of Sorry! players draw a card, follow the instructions on the card, then discard the card. The card will allow them to move one of their pawns 1 to 11(?) spaces on the board. The goal is move all your pawns from the start area to the end area. It is essentially a game of Trouble with the dice mechanic replaced with a card mechanic.
This Star Wars version adds deflector shields. Some of the cards grant your droids (pawns) temporary immunity to your opponents who would otherwise bump you, forcing you to start over. The board is shaped like the Millennium Falcon (and looks pretty cool). Other than that, you should spend your $19.99 on one of these other games.
4. Star Wars Battleship (2015)
In 2002, Hasbro released a Star Wars Battleship game called “Advanced Mission”. There were advanced rules for your ships. You had more search and fire options than you did with the pedestrian Battleship games.
So why, oh why did Hasbro take a step backwards and release this pedestrian Star Wars Battleship game in 2015? This new release is simply Battleship with Star Wars ships. The rules and goals are the same. The board is smaller (9×9 instead of 10×10). This is most likely a cost savings for Hasbro. Of course the cost savings is not passed onto the consumer since the MSRP for this Hot Carl is a staggering $19.99.
I would urge anyone looking for a Star Wars Battleship game to pass on this version and seek a used copy of the 2002 edition.
5. Star Wars Risk (2015)
This marks the third time Risk has had a Star Wars edition. Each edition has its own Risk-esque rules. But each is a different game with a different feel.
And this time, I think they almost perfected it.
Star Wars: Risk (2015) will be a hot commodity for several reasons. The pieces? Awesome little Star Wars fighters. The rules? A simpler version of Star Wars Queen’s Gambit. The play time? 35 to 45 minutes.
Hasbro has really nailed it this time. And I think they know it too. They are releasing a “black box” edition in a couple of months. This too will be a hot commodity. I suspect this will be out of print before too long. Hasbro doesn’t keep these games in print for long. If you are a board gamer, this is the Force Friday to pick up. MSRP is $29.99 for the red box, $49.99 for the upcoming black box.
6. Where to buy these games?
These games are available at local department stores. The gaming/hobby stores may not be able to get these games. I haven’t seen them at Out of the Box for example.
7. Where to play these games?