WELCOME TO DARK MOON. The Noguchi Masaki interplanetary mining corporation welcomes you to its outpost on Titan, the dark moon of Saturn! You will be joining an experienced crew of miners, technicians, and adventurous souls who live to experience all the wonders that our solar system has to offer. Purpose, loyalty, camaraderie, friendship, and sacrifice all await you as a new and valued member of the Noguchi Masaki family!
DARK MOON (formerly known as BSG Express), is a game of deception and betrayal at the cold edge of space.
You are a crew member on a deep space mining expedition to Titan, the dark moon of Saturn. During a routine excavation, an “incident” occurs whereby some of the crew become infected with an unknown virus, and become paranoid, deceitful, and violent, trying to destroy the others.
At the start of the game, players are divided into two teams: Uninfected and Infected. The Uninfected team simply needs to survive until the end of the game, while the Infected team secretly attempts to destroy them. Each player knows which team they are on, but does not know which team the other players are on! Who is your teammate and who is your enemy? Can you trust your best friend? And why doesn’t anyone trust you when you tell them you’re one of the good guys?!
Roll dice, overcome traumatic events, throw your friends in quarantine when you don’t believe them, and (if you’re Infected) betray everyone at just the right moment to secure victory!
Once again, Zatu has decided to remove its cotton shirt, giving everyone for miles around a good look at its well-oiled democracy. Why so toned? Exercise. Exercise like asking gamers from the internet what they think of Dark Moon, the 2011 release from Stronghold Games, re-artified and re-purposed from the express version of the Battlestar Gallactica (BSG) game.
Here’s what they had to say, plated up into portions of positive and negative.
I’ve talked about how great Dark Moon is several times in the past. Long story short, the mechanical anchor for deception and uncertainty combine with meaningful end game and infected reveal keeps it tense to the end.
After playing Dark Moon a number of times I gave my copy of BSG away. While I like BSG it’s basically the one game you’ll play during a game night. I also really like the dice mechanic in Dark Moon. It makes suspicion not a death sentence. A few unlucky rolls and a traitor will throw you under the bus.
Dark Moon is our group’s go to hidden identity game. Rolling behind the screens allows you to be so nasty if you’re playing the traitor. It also makes it so hard to figure out who’s who. Being uninfected and rolling terrible is frustratingly fun all the way till the end. This game does a great job marrying theme and mechanics and for that we love Dark Moon!
It put BSG to the trade bin for me. I still don’t play DM much but when we have, it’s been fun.
It’s a top 5 game for me and probably my favorite hidden traitor game out there.
If I have a problem with Dark Moon, it’s that there’s relatively little information to go on in determining if someone is a traitor, since there are relatively few decisions, and the stock answer when accused of betrayal is always that the dice turned against you. Playing an effective hidden Cylon [in BSG] is far more subtle, because there are a large variety of ways you can influence the game, and a lot of ways you can inadvertently give yourself away.
I like it but the rule book is garbage. I wish the art was a little more… professional as well.
I really like Dark Moon, but I do find it hard for the Infected to win.
I have played the game about 10 times with every combinaton of player count and the infected have never won. To be honest I would much prefer BSG over this game.
I have enjoyed the game every time I’ve played it, but I do think it had pit falls. There’s just not enough chance for an Infected player to really affect the game without raising suspicion. I’m starting to think the Infected should just reveal on their first turn in order to cause the most damage throughout the game without waiting for 4-5 more turns to come around when the game could be entirely out of reach for a player to reveal and have the chance of effectively forcing mission failure.
Otherwise there’s little line between a person having truly poor dice rolls and pretending to in order to hide their Infected status while still causing occasional setbacks. The ‘Guys, I just roll really poorly’ excuse gets old fast and will get you jailed and crippled in a heartbeat.
I do like the game, but I think I could like it more if this dynamic was different.
It does what it’s supposed to do. When we have too many people or not enough time for Dead of Winter, we crack out Dark Moon. It scratches the same itch, just not quite as well.
And an in-depth discussion of percentages
90% of Battlestar Gallactica in 25% of the time.
chronos_filch thinks this is good:
I don’t understand why some people knock Dark Moon because of this, I love it. Sure I would rather play Battlestar Galactica but that can easily take 4 hours if you have new players and ones that are prone to taking a long time on their turn. I can finish a game of Dark Moon under the same player conditions in an hour and a half and get 90% of the same feel.
Shineuponthee also thinks this is good:
Doesn’t seem like a knock to me. It makes me more interested in it, actually.
wd011 feels misunderstood:
My assessment was certainly not intended to be a knock. But there are people that interpret it that way. The math shows the Dark Moon delivers ‘BSG-ness’ more efficiently than BSG itself.
Codeshark has a concise point:
I have played Dark Moon twice in a game night. It is difficult to do that with BSG.
You would need some seriously dedicated gamers that’s for sure. Hell I can play games for hours but my brain would be so fried after two gamed of BSG.
evildrganymede enters the fray:
My problem with DM was that I found it to be a vastly shallower experience than BSG. Yes, it’s basically a rethemed express version of BSG, but every time I played DM it just left me wanting to play BSG more. In the end I sold off DM because I just never wanted to play it.
DarkWolff registers their support:
This is the most accurate explanation of Dark Moon I’ve ever seen.
pickboy87 runs a number crunch real quick:
I don’t know 90%, maybe closer to 70%. I do think Dark Moon is excellent and currently I enjoy it far more than BSG (mainly because I overplayed the hell out of BSG), but I felt like a lot of the character development was lost in the short time frame of Dark Moon. I never felt like I had enough time to slow play as the bad guy and often in Dark Moon, you really only had a couple turns before you needed to reveal.
If it hadn’t been originally themed as BSG express, I wonder if the comparison between the two would be mentioned as often.
So there you have it: 90%, 25%, 70%, top 5, 10 times, 4-5 more. A comprehensive overview of Dark Moon. If your sold on dim celestial bodies, buy this game from Zatu now!