Today on my monthly-ish feature about the games that still have a spot on my shelf despite the passage of years, we’re talking about Space Alert, the most stressful game that I’ll argue against playing before somehow acquiescing and playing anyway, blood pressure be damned. This is Yesteryear.
To this day, Vlaada Chvátil’s Space Alert remains the only game I’ve ever created an accessory for. I’m not talking a Plano box for keeping pieces sorted or an extra pack of dice so you don’t have to share the same set. Instead, I’m talking about a custom T-shirt, designed to look like a captain’s uniform complete with Space Alert logo and everything.
See, my family growing up was never much into games—
ALERT. ENEMY ACTIVITY DETECTED. PLEASE BEGIN FIRST PHASE.
Space Alert is one of my favorite games ever designed, a hilarious seizure-inducing experience that I’ve never quite been able to write about. Probably because just thinking about it makes me twitchy. In the restless nights that follow those abortive attempts at discussing the past trauma that is a ten-minute round of Space Alert, I dream of stealth fighters uncloaking off the port bow, alien amoebas squirming beneath my eyelids, a giant nebula-lobster shredding the ship’s armor with snapping pincers. Down the corridor someone begins to scream, cut short by explosive decompression.
I don’t know if this will help me finally come to terms with my unseen injuries, but at long last I’ve begun the first tentative steps at working through the pain. My tool of choice is a five-star rating of Space Alert over at the Review Corner. Give it a read.
There’s this card game from Steve Jackson Games called Ninja Burger. It’s supposed to be hilarious. I really don’t see it.
This is more a problem with humor in board games than just with this game itself — it’s hard to make a funny board game, especially one that will be funny even after you’ve become familiar with its mechanics and pieces. More on that below.