Anyone who's ever watched the original series of Star Trek will be aware of the risks involved in beaming down to a planet wearing a red shirt. In pretty much every episode. a crew member wearing a red shirt met their demise. So much so that fans quickly recognised that any non-regular character who appeared wearing red would be not long for this, or any other, world.
That is the premise behind Kristian Fosh's Escape from Flat Earth. Think of this as original series Star Trek in card game form. Players each start with three 'red shirt' character cards (in the preview prototype shown here on Board's Eye View, these include tributes to the crew of the USS Enterprise as well as characters from other science-fiction franchises). They'll each be playing cards to a mission line, set at the start as comprising 10, 15 or 20 events, depending on how long you want the game to last. Event cards enable players to respond by playing matching Event Action cards from their hand. The rules warn you not to get too attached to your red shirt characters because they are unlikely all to survive. You always draw a card at the end of your turn and if that happens to be an Attack card, one of your red shirts will be killed, unless you have a Teleport card in your hand that allows them to beam to safety.
There are player action cards too that add a further 'take that ' element by letting you steal cards from other players. The Recruit card even allows another player to steal one of your precious red shirt crew members. Given that everyone starts with just three, this seemed to us to be potentially overpowered, so you'll want to try to keep a Sabotage card in your hand to scupper this action if someone tries to play it on you.
Escape from Flat Earth is an unashamedly tongue-in-cheek game that we've had a lot of fun playing. Certainly, if you've liked any of the versions of The Captain is Dead (AEG), you'll get a kick out of Escape from Flat Earth. The ending can feel abrupt and maybe a little arbitrary but you'll not begrudge that in a light card game that plays as quickly as this. Publishers I Love Toast have put a lot of love into this game; even down to packaging it in a box that beeps like a Star Trek Communicator!
Escape from Flat Earth is on Kickstarter right now. Click here to check it out.