Mars At­tacks

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Videogames/ miscellaneous -

It’s the Topps

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

2+ play­ers | £ 49.99 Pub­lisher: Man­tic Games

Another month,

another Kick­s­tarter- funded game. Mars At­tacks takes in­spi­ra­tion from the in­fa­mous Topps trad­ing cards of the 1960s to de­liver small- scale skir­mish com­bat be­tween Mar­tians and Earth­lings.

There is a lot to like: a box over­flow­ing with 40 char­ac­ter­ful 28mm minia­tures, a gen­er­ous amount of mod­u­lar scenery to play with and a slick rules sys­tem de­liver a game that’s easy to pick up, fun ( and funny) to play, and pleas­ing to look at.

How­ever, although a lot of the com­po­nents are beau­ti­fully made, some are no­tably poor. The pa­per bat­tlemat won’t lie flat ( we hate th­ese things!) and so knocks the scenery down. Civil­ians, mu­tant bugs and burn­ing cows ( re­mem­ber them?) are in­te­gral to the game, but are pro­vided as poorly made card stand- ups which ruin the ef­fect some­what. There are re­place­ments avail­able, but they add an ex­tra £ 30 to your pur­chase price. No doubt it’s all to do with Kick­s­tarter plan­ning ( model civvies, the deluxe play­mat and the like were stretch goals). Nev­er­the­less, Man­tic’s Dead­zone SF game, though more ex­pen­sive, feels more com­plete. The card com­po­nents cheapen what is oth­er­wise a solid of­fer­ing.

It could also do with a bit more va­ri­ety. There are nine hu­man he­roes and a lot of Mar­tian grunts. A ( small) wacky Mar­tian death ma­chine in­stead of some of th­ese might have bet­ter cap­tured the spirit of the fran­chise – but that’s a mi­nor is­sue. We ea­gerly await the ex­pan­sion sets. A good hy­brid board/ wargame that could be­come great. Guy Ha­ley The game fea­tures some newly cre­ated char­ac­ters like Tor, a Mar­tian Gen­eral who wears a cloak and car­ries a staff weapon.

Aim for the head jars!

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