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Review: Wormholes

Imagine a galaxy (don't think Star Wars) that is peaceful. In this galaxy there is a technology that allows space ship to instantly transport from one place to another in the galaxy. This technology is the namesake of the game Wormholes designed by Peter McPherson and published by Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG). Wormholes has players exploring space and building a wormhole network and they do it all for the sake of being a space taxi service (not a bad thing). Wait a second... Whats a Wormhole? "A wormhole (Einstein-Rosen bridge) is a hypothetical structure connecting disparate points in spacetime, and is based on the special solution of the Einstein field equations." If that didn't help then Just imagine it being a tunnel between 2 points that spans billions or millions of light years of distance but the tunnel is a few meters long. This is an over simplification of some real theoretical physics but it will do for this board game.

Wormholes is a route building pickup and deliver game that is set in space. Players will accumulate points by being the first to put a wormhole next to a planet, dropping off passengers, and having other players use their wormholes.The mechanics of the game are straightforward and make for an easy first game. I played this at Gen Con in 2021 and picked it up right away with only a few mins of a teach.

The object of Wormholes is to have the most points at the end of the game. Players do this by exploring space and placing wormholes. On a players turn they have 3 energy to move, and can take free actions in addition to that. Free actions let players place wormholes, go through a wormhole or drop off passengers. The game is that simple and just like a rocket player will be speeding through the game.

The name of the game is Wormholes so players need to be placing down wormholes to score points is the the game. Each player has 10 wormhole tokens (they come in pairs one for each end of the wormhole). When when a player is the first to place a wormhole token next to a planet they score points. There is an ascending order of point tokens for exploration, so the first planet explored get a 1 point bonus where the last gets 3 points. The other way of earning points is by having other players use your wormholes. As mentioned a free action can be moving from one end of a wormhole to the other. When this happens the player's who's wormhole it is is paid 1 point from the supply. This is a rather smart way of designing the game so players don't ever get stuck in the far reaches of the board and not being able to pay to get back.

An easy to learn game with some complex strategies.

Wormholes is an easy to learn game with some complex strategies. Its all about moving fast through the board and creating wormholes that are attractive to the other players to use as well as setting yourself up for an optimal path. So back to why players are creating wormholes and moving their ships around in the first place, well its to drop off passengers. Passengers can be dropped off at any space adjacent to the planet on the card. Each passenger is worth 2 points and there bonus points for everyone after 5. making efficient routes and utilizing other players wormholes sparingly is the basic strategy of wormholes.

There are a few other points to make about Wormholes. First this game does offer a single player variant. The solo version has three difficulty settings you can use (Normal, Hard and Expert). The player will play the game as normal and the "AI" will make wormholes based on the cards it discards from the passenger deck. Players may use the AI wormholes as they would in a normal game adding points to the AI player. The game ends in the same manner as the normal game 3 turns after the last planet has a wormhole next to it.

There are black holes, photon cannons and wild wormholes that will add extra flavor to your game.

The board for Wormholes is completely modular. There are 8 modular boards and they are double sided adding to the repeatability of this game. On the boards there are planets and some of them have other space features that make for some extra variety on the board. There are black holes, photon cannons and wild wormholes that will add extra flavor to your game.

Wormeholes designed by Peter McPherson is a great light/mid-weight game for your game night. Its super easy to setup and learn and you and your friends or family will be playing in minutes. Wormholes offers a lot of replay value and with the modular board no two games will be the same. Wormholes is available on AEG's website or at your FLGS.

Players: 1-4

Year Published: 2022

Recommended Ages: 10+

Time to Play: 45-60 minutes

A copy of Wormeholes was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games for review purposes by Alderac Entertainment Group.



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