Review: Mission Control Critical Orbit (3WS Games) – English

Mission Control to Major Dice. Houston, we have a problem. In Mission Control, players collectively try to bring the mission to a successful conclusion, but each player contributes in a unique way. Mission Control, locked!

Mission Control: Critical Orbit is a real-time cooperative, asymmetric roll-and-write game. That’s a mouthful and a combination you might not have expected. You and three friends collectively try to ensure that the captain can install pipes to transport oxygen to cylinders. To do so, players must collect pipes and valves and unlock cylinders. Don’t have three friends who want to join? You can also play the game with fewer players and an A.I., but the game is clearly made for four players.

Each round the captain rolls 3 dice and, after consulting with the other players, this captain decides which dice the players get and which the captain himself uses. The captain gets Tetris-like tiles to place pipes, unlock cards to unlock cylinders and parts to make valves. The captain needs the other players to do this.

The other players assume the roles of checkpoints in Houston, Cologne and Bengaluru. Each of these players has its own sheet to play a mini-game. Players write down the values of the two dice on their sheet next to previously placed numbers. Houston must make shapes with the same values to unlock tiles. Cologne must fill cells by stacking numbers to unlock unlock cards. Bengaluru plays a derivative of sudoku to unlock flaps.

As players color boxes with a star, another player gets a bonus. While the other players are scribbling away nicely, the captain can connect all the tiles, valves and cylinders obtained in hopes of unlocking enough oxygen to win. It sounds simple, but players do all this in real time.

Mission Control: Critical Orbit is a funny and frantic four-player game. The game feels innovative in that three players are all playing their own roll-and-write game and one player is puzzling in totally different ways. In particular, the captain must make choices under pressure and be able to direct the other players. A funny and smooth activity for a close-knit or well-matched group.