Review: High Frontier 4 All (Space Diamonds)

Today on the (virtual) table we have High Frontier 4 All from ION Game Design. This game is a highly detailed space game. The regular game should take about 8 hours, we are playing on a random weekday night so that was not going to happen. So rather than the full blown game we have chosen to play the Space Diamonds module to get used to the game's movement. Space Diamonds basically is a race around the inner planets collecting points and heading back to Earth.

The start of the game consisted of a debate on how to pronounce Lagrange Point (this actually took a lot longer than you would think). It was lucky for me I was playing with 3 physicists who were nice enough to explain to me what Lagrange points are.

This is the 4th edition of Phil Eklund's game High Frontier. When you play the full game you are a space faring company that is mining, expiring, buying patents and building rocketships. the game also does a great job of getting you from simple rules all the way up to the full game via differs scenarios and modules that you can play.

The game was very realistic in the movement. For instance when you have more fuel your ship is less efficient at using the fuel because the ship now weighs more. The use of the Lagrange points and Hohmann intersections. There was a minor amount of resource management in this very scaled down version of the game. Each player had to track their fuel and plot the courses to reveal the exploratory tiles for victory points and complete secret missions. The two missions I drew were straight forward I had to collect to exploratory tiles from two parts of the map 4 tiles all together.

We all really enjoyed the movement mechanics

As I was zipping between Mars and the Hermes asteroids with my electric rocket Chris was exploring the Jovian orbit with his laser rocket for some reason (This was an inner planets mission). In the end I was able to complete both missions and head back to earth first (this earned me 4 extra VP) and won the game beating all the physicists (Engineers are way better at application). We all really enjoyed the movement mechanics and look forward to the next game. Next time we are going to tryout a scenario with a little more meat to it. this case the rule book was beautiful and easy to navigate and understand.

So far this game is amazing and you should get it on your table, keep in mind that it’s a heavy game. One thing that a lot of heavy games suffer from are confusing rule books, in this case the rule book was beautiful and easy to navigate and understand. the newest release will be in stock this August so get your pre-order in now.