Starlink

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Starlink is a drawing party game that takes its inspiration from the constellations in the night sky. On your turn, you must try to represent a secret word by drawing straight lines between the stars on the board, and then hope that the other players can guess what you are illustrating.
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Category Tags , SKU ZBG-BLUSTAR Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Good value for price
  • Ideal for developing many skills in younger players
  • Dreamy aesthetics and imagery

Might Not Like

  • Pens will eventually run out of ink
  • The additional need for extra resources for example tissues or wet wipes
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Description

Starlink is a drawing party game that takes its inspiration from the constellations in the night sky. On your turn, you must try to represent a secret word by drawing straight lines between the stars on the board, and then hope that the other players can guess what you are illustrating.

Calling all of my fellow space nerds and budding astronomers! If you are anything like myself, and love all things star related then I have a great table top game recommendation for you. Starlink (not to be mistaken for the infamous video game) is a game for 3-6 players aged 8 years and up. It's also a relatively new release from Blue Orange Games. The same company that brought the gaming world the likes of the very popular settlement game, Blue Lagoon and the much loved Kingdomino.

The inspiration for Starlink has been taken straight out of the night sky as you allow your inner budding artist to take over.

But you may be wondering, what does being creative and the stars have in common? I'm going to answer this exact question for you in this review.

The Aim Of The Game

As the information sheet states, Starlink is a table top game that allows you to "go on a celestial journey as you take on the role of astronomers!"

During play, the aim is to connect stars on the game board to draw a constellation. The player drawing is known as the "Stellar Astronomer" (SA). The remaining players are to attempt to guess what the SA is illustrating. Should a player guess correctly, points are earned! Whoever has the most points at the end of the game (after each player has been the SA twice) is then the winner and is declared "Best Astronomer!"

However the game is not so simple and straight forward as it seems, for a challenge, there are a few obstacles (rules) to throw you off course.

Contents Of The Box

In the box you are given a range of things to cosied with gameplay. You are given one dry erase game board, which is simply a crucial necessity to the game. You are also given 100 constellation cards, 2 dry wipe white markers, 1 telescope card and a sand timer. Crazy how that's all you need to play!

How To Play And Game Rules

Set up begins by placing the beautifully printed night sky, dry-erase game board in the centre of all players. The constellation cards are then to be shuffled and placed in a single deck faced down within reach of each player. The sand timer needs to be placed by the side of the game board. To begin play, the player that is situated closest to a window is the first to draw.

The rules are pretty easy to read, learn and understand. The participant that is the SA must pick up one card from the deck of constellation cards and choose one of the two constellations listed to draw. Only the SA can see this card and it should be hidden from all others in play. The SA is then to turn the sand timer and find a star on the board to begin drawing out their chosen constellation. But these rules must be followed:

• You can use as many stars as you need and link them to other stars in order to depict what is written on the constellation card.
• All stars count, no matter what size or how bright they appear to be.
• Every link between each star can only be done in straight line - no curves are allowed!
• A star can be used multiple times within the same constellation, however once a star is part of a constellation, no other player can draw on those stars. The remaining astronomers must guess what is being drawn before the sand timer runs out. As soon as the sand timer runs empty, drawing and all guesses must stop immediately.
There are a few more additions to the rulebook, but I shall leave that for you to find out for yourselves. But here, you can at least get the brief overview of how to play.

Artwork, Quality And Components

Automatically as a fan of all things space, it was the artwork that immediately drew my attention to Starlink. In regards to the artwork and illustration for the game, simplistic, but beautiful are the words I'd use to be more precise.

The game board is of good quality and folds out to form a complete circle shape when placed flat. Although it can take a little while for the board to be able to lay completely flat as it has spent time in a box folded into four sections.

The constellation cards are of satisfactory quality made of standard card. The font is of good size and is easy to read as the white lettering stands out well from the dark blue starry background indicating the names of constellations to be drawn. The reverse of the cards shows the game's attractive glowing logo (which is also beautifully embossed into the insert within the box).

The idea of including dry-erase pens with the game is a fab one, and I love that they are white so that the ink can easily be seen when drawing on the game board.

Although, there is room for improvement when it comes to the addition of said markers. The game contents include two dry-erase pens, awesome!

However each time they are wiped off of the board when using the erasers provided on the lid, there seems to be a not so sightly and sticky residue left on the spongey eraser. This in turn can make it difficult to wipe off drawings or wording after a few plays. Because of this occurring, I strongly suggest having some tissues or wet wipes nearby when wiping your board

I'm also pretty sure that the game's information sheet specifies that players should use a wet wipe to clear the board at the end of the entire game. So if you don't have any wipes to hand then this could be an issue in regards to leaving a residue on your game board. Saying that, it's not a major issue and it doesn't affect play.

The only thing that I can see becoming an issue during play in regards to the dry-wipe markers is that you are only be provided with two. When they eventually run out, and they will, then what?

Of course gamers can easily purchase dry-erase markers, but after doing some research on this, I found it incredibly difficult to find ones that are white in colour and also good enough to show up on the board.

If you did want to purchase additional pens for Starlink, then perhaps silver could be a good alternative. Despite this, I have played the game many times with different groups of people and the pens are still going strong, so in all honesty, this is not something I'm too concerned about at this point and it certainly doesn't stop me from continuously wanting to play the game.

Overall

Starlink is a game that I really enjoy, even though I had previously stated it's a game for gamers who just love the stars and the universe that we reside in, it really is not limited to those who have these interests.

If you like to participate in games that require a race against the clock then this is something you could absolutely love! The chaos of guesses being verbally thrown at the illustrator is very amusing, and it's also somewhat hilarious to discover someone's artistic or not so artistic flare.

Starlink is aimed at players aged 8 years and up, but really, I feel that there are plenty aged possibly even 6 years and up out there who could grasp the concept and the rules pretty easily if playing alongside older more experienced gamers.

Taking part in this little space themed activity is also a great way to interact with others. For younger players in particular, it can encourage development in skills such as reading, writing, fine motor skills and great imaginative and creativity development but to name a few.

It really is a great, well rounded game for all ages to enjoy.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Good value for price
  • Ideal for developing many skills in younger players
  • Dreamy aesthetics and imagery

Might not like

  • Pens will eventually run out of ink
  • The additional need for extra resources for example tissues or wet wipes