Game Review: Space Station Zemo
In the distant future, a group of survivors is stranded on a doomed space station. There’s only one escape pod left. They must compete with each other and the perils of their environment to activate and enter the last remaining escape pod before someone else does.
Space Station Zemo created by InQuest. is a strategy board game for 2-5 players and takes about an hour to play.
Before you can play Space Station Zemo, you must first make the game. All the materials are free in PDF form online (you can get them by searching, but Board Game Geek has them collected here). They are designed to be printed on card stock and assembled by you. We were able to put it together in about an hour (depends how much you care about the look of the final product)
Once you have that together, it’s time to play.
Choose a character: Chuckie the Zombie, Floyd the Droid, Mush the Abomination, Pete the Cook, or The Rats (literally just a lot of rats). Each character has a special power that will help you to win the game. You then choose a secret access code for your character (three letters, either A or B, to limit options).
The Space Station is composed of rooms and hallways with the escape pod at the center. The winner of the game is the first person to successfully enter the escape pod OR the last character alive.
Each round consists of a movement phase and an action phase. All players move their characters first, then decide what they want to do (fight, pick up an item, push a button, etc.)
To enter the escape pod you must first set your character’s access code (each character secretly chooses one before the game starts) by visiting each of the three code rooms. You must also have a Pod ATM Card. This can be found by visiting rooms in the station. Each room has a card that you can pick up. Some cards are traps that kill you. Others are items that help you kill others. As you navigate the board, you’ll have to fight the other characters as they try to accomplish the same task.
Space Station Zemo is fun and ridiculous. The characters’ special powers change the strategies of gameplay, making it more fun (some can teleport, others leave explosive polyps, a few change form). We assign characters randomly when we play because certain people are TOO good at playing a particular character.
It’s disappointing that there is no manufactured version of the game available for purchase because I would love to have a real board and game pieces. The quality is the only real drawback that I can see.
Things can get messy quickly in a game where you’re playing against each other and the board itself. Game effects such as an open airlock and a security bot are just as deadly as fighting other characters.
I highly recommend Space Station Zemo. The rules aren’t as complicated as those of others that I’ve reviewed here. It still isn’t a children’s game, but it is suitable for younger players and for those who are interesting in getting into more strategy-based games. Since the game is free, the only investment is time—a perfect tradeoff for game players.