In another of our regular board game spotlights, Zatu Games finds itself outside in the rain, trying desperately to stick its old key into a newly fitted yale lock, surrounded by sodden boxes of its possessions, possessions which include Dark Moon, the 2011 release from publisher Stronghold Games and designer Evan Derrick.
Dark Moon is about a deep space mining expedition, possibly the most typically cursed endeavour imaginable bar time travel and having a wedding if you’re the smug antagonist in a rom-com.
This particular deep space mining expedition is a deep space mining expedition to Titan, and the particular misfortune that befalls it is the illuminatingly named ‘incident’, which leads to a number of the crew becoming infected with a virus. This virus causes sufferers to try and subtly destroy their crewmates. It’s like The Thing but without dog tentacles and chest teeth.
Players (3-7) are divided into infected and uninfected. The aim of the former is to destroy. The aim of the latter is to not get destroyed.
The game presents players with a series of crises to solve or tasks to complete. They do so by secretly rolling a series of dice, and then choosing the value they want to contribute. Positive values help; negative ones hinder, and depending on the player’s allegiance they may decide to contribute either.
There are a series of cards, drawn each turn, that grant players extra rolls, let the infected cause malfunctions, and present choices that may threaten to reveal their identity as an infected.
Players may use part of their turn to call a vote against a suspected infected. It is the job of the non-virus-ridden to root the out and eject them into the oddly welcoming vacuum of space. If they find them all, they win. If the infected successfully sabotage the mission and shiv the crew, they win.
Founded in 2009 by industry veterans, Stronghold pride themselves on being a company of gamers making top quality games for other gamers. The company is currently owned by Stephen Buonocore - who also organises several gaming groups in the US and has playtested games for several other major board game publishers.
Other well-known titles from Stronghold Games include ‘504’ and the ‘Among the Stars’ series.
Evan Derrick is a graphic designer who specialises in creating art for games, and loves reinvigorating old games with his artwork. Dark Moon, for example, is an artistic punch up of BSG Express.
Derrick is also the creative director at Van Ryder Games - who are the group behind the Hostage Negotiator card game.
Dark Moon - Available Now
Pink Floyd, Transformers, Omega. Everyone’s crazy for moon darkness, so buy this game from Zatu today!