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Preview: Explosion in the Laboratory

"Hey, do you want to come over and mix some potentially volatile chemicals?" If you have ever been asked this or are curious about mixing some chemicals together to see what happens then the newest push-your-luck micro game designed by Corey Andalora Explosion in the Laboratory should be something for you. This upcoming game is published by Weird Giraffe Games and available on backerkit until November 17th at 8pm PST.

Explosion in the Laboratory is a one to four player game that takes less than 30 minutes to play (less with 2 players). This is an interesting push-your-luck game where on your turn you will be picking up to 6 random chemicals and putting them in 3 flasks. The point of the game is to be the player with the most points at the end of the game.

So how does one score points by mixing chemicals? Its fairly easy. There are three beakers in the middle of the table at the bottom of each of the beaker cards there is a point value you will score. To score that beaker card you put chemicals into the flasks. by doing that in particular combinations you will create the compound to score the beaker. The flask cards also can score you points directly or get you process cards.

Process cards help you during specific phases of the game listed on the card. Each process card has 2 orientations that have 2 effects for you to choose from. These effects can change the way you score augment your scoring values and so on. These are handy to have stock of so do not forget to earn some along the way.

So how does one score points by mixing chemicals?

How do you get those chemicals that we keep talking about? Each player on their turn will shuffle and deal out the 6 lab cards in a row. Then the player counts the fire level icons on the bottom of the 3 beaker cards, this number will be the card that the chemical is chosen from. Then the number on the left side of the left most and the number on the right side of the right most are added together and that is the number chemical you get from the card that matches the current number of fire icons on it. Each of the lab cards have 20 chemicals on them and each has a number. You can repeat the process of shuffling and picking the chemical up to 6 times on your turn. I really enjoyed this method of random selection it worked well and there were enough cards that combos were hardly repeated.

If you push your luck too far and happen to cause an explosion well you do not earn points

The beakers rotate when you score them and they lowest value one will rotate ate the end of the player turn. This keeps things fresh too as the point values change and the number of fire icons change. So there are some combinations of chemicals you do not want to mix. If you push your luck too far and happen to cause an explosion well you do not earn points that turn and you do get a process card as a consolation.

Explosion in the Laboratory is an awesome little push-your-luck game that fits in your pocket and offers a lot of complexity for its size. The game plays well single player but the excitement of explosions is best with more friends. I enjoyed the randomization and the additional level of fun that the process cards add. I recommend this for the gamer on the go.

Players: 1-4

Year Published: 2023

Recommended Ages: 8+

Time to Play: 15-30 Minutes

A prototype copy of Explosion in the Laboratory was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games for review purposes by Weird Giraffe Games. This is a prototype and the finished product may vary from the depictions here.



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