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Planet Of The Apes Review

Quick Look:

Designer: Richard Launius
Artists:  Jason Edmiston, Peter Wocken
Publisher: IDW Games
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 1-4
Ages: 14+
Playing Time: 60-90 Minutes

Photos By: Andrew Nebrich Photography

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

Zira: "What will he find out there, doctor?"
Zaius: "His destiny."

From the publisher:

Planet of the Apes puts 1-4 players on a crash course with feral foes, deadly environments, and unbridled psychological horror! In an innovative twist on the cooperative board game genre, each player takes control of one aspect of Colonel George Taylor's psyche, and must work together to survive the Planet of the Apes! Starting with the classic film, Planet of the Apes follows the plot of the original movie and promises players a thrilling adventure in an unknown land. Designed by Richard Launius, the creator of Arkham Horror, perfect for players who love games, or just want a new way to enjoy the films. Planned as the first in a series of games based on the classic series of films.

I have seen almost all of the Planet fo the Apes movies; however, when I think of the original Planet of the Apes, two things come to mind immediately:

The Simpsons Planet of The Apes Musical

And the time that Dr. Zayas read Mark Twain.

Planet of the apes is embedded in pop culture with the old and new versions. The plot twist at the end of the first movie (which this game is based on) was quite shocking for its time. And so once again we start the journey that Colonel George Taylor began so many years ago.


Rules and Setup:
Each player will take a character card as well as two skill tokens and one special card from the deck. Set all the scene cards up on the board according to the number on them and make a supply pile for all the tokens and dice. Place the day tracker on the sunrise spot. Place the sinking ship at 1 on the tracker and the statue of liberty on 13. The last person to watch planet of the apes goes first (I was a stickler and only counted the original movies).

The object of the game is to survive and to the end of the movie. You will do this by completing encounters within the scenes (eight phases). You will complete encounters by rolling dice using a Yahtzee style mechanic and sometimes in combination with cards to complete the roll listed on the card.

Science Fiction
Cooperative Play  
Dice Rolling 
Set Collection   
Variable Player Powers

Game Play:
One your turn you can do three of the following actions, as well as the free actions:

  • Draw one action card from two faces up or the top of the deck.
  • Discard and redraw the face-up pile of action cards.
  • Try to complete one of the encounters.
  • Give a card to another player.
  • Discard a set of two to heal one damage.
  • Discard a set of four to heal three damage.
  • Discard four of Nova or Zira cards to move Ape back one space.
  • Free action. Discard set of three to gain red die or skill token.
  • Free action. Discard set of four to gain a special card.

After your turn, you will see if any standee has reached zero on the tracker (if the Statue of Liberty reaches zero, the game is over) the active phase will end and trigger the end of scene phase. If not, then advance the day marker and add any effects from the active encounters if sunrise has occurred. Then the active player marker is passed.

Artwork and Components:
The game is spot-on for artwork. The cartoon style of it is perfect for the time period in which the movie was created. The game comes with minis or cardboard standees which I think was a nice touch and lets people have a choice which you don't see in other board games.

The Good:
The game fits very well with the theme. It takes you through the movie and you always feel like you're right in the middle of it.

The Bad:
The idea of being different personality traits of the main character sounds good in theory but comes off as unimportant. I understand this was done to keep the theme intact, but it feels a little off when one of his traits dies.

Final Thoughts:
This game is very difficult. If you want a challenging co-op, have at it. There is a lot of luck involved with the dice rolls, but there is also strategy in what to do on your turn. Several choices on how to play a turn and not enough actions to do them all. If you are a fan of the original movie series I think you will enjoy this game. If you take pride in playing a difficult co-op and finally beating it, you will also like this game.

Players Who Like:
Dice games, co-ops, a high level of difficulty.

Check out Planet Of The Apes on:

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/223777/planet-apes   https://idwgames.com/designer-spotlight-richard-launius-planet-of-the-apes-board-game/   https://www.facebook.com/idwgames/   https://twitter.com/IDWGames   https://www.instagram.com/idwgames/   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5dEdWw7YNV_CYVQmS6xv4g     

James Freeman - Reviewer

James is a child of the 80's he grew playing D&D and Stratego. He currently owns more games than his understanding wife of 20+ years thinks he should. James lives in Buffalo, New York with his previously mentioned wife, 2 teenage kids and one Havanese dog. Also, if someone outside of Buffalo says they serve buffalo wings, they are lying.

See James's reviews HERE.
Planet Of The Apes Review Planet Of The Apes Review Reviewed by James Freeman on February 08, 2019 Rating: 5

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