Ever had a game that the story line just hooks you? This is exactly how we felt when we heard the concept behind Sol: Last Days of a Star as pitched to us by Ryan and Jodi of Elephant Laboratories. The story, ironically dark, is that the sun of the solar system is dying. In fact, the sun could go nova any minute, wiping out the races that inhabit the different planets in the system. Your job is a last ditch effort to harvest the energy of the sun. You will transmit the energy back to the “Arks” that will be shipping off the remains of your race to start anew elsewhere.
Essentially players race around the sun, harvesting resources, and bumping each other out of the way to give their race the better chance of survival. The game adjusts well to different styles of play. The fake geek style of “cooperative” can be played and inserted just as easily as the real geek style of kicking your compatriot down the ladder on the last helicopter out of Saigon.
Why we loved Sol: Last Days of a Star?
As lucky geeks, we have the chance to play a lot of games when they are still in the prototype phase. Video games, RPGs, and board games alike, we take no prisoners. While we try to be gentle on the creators as we have deep respect for their craft, we are not so gentle on each other 😀 Any game that enables us to really screw each other over and kick a guy when he is down bubbles right to the top of our list. Sol: Last Days of a Star fits this bill.
Second, and probably most important to us is, everyone dies. The sun explodes after 13 novas and the game is over. From purely a mechanical point of view it’s nice that you know when the end is coming, from a ruthless geek point of view, all the players being vaporized in a blaze of glory is totally awesome.
Note: In the picture caption they name him Toolie, which just about sums it up perfectly.
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