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After a drought of nearly 9 years, 2009 is certainly shaping up to be the year of the Star Trek board game. Today TrekMovie has all the details and full reviews of three new Star Trek games from Fundex, ‘Star Trek UNO’, ‘Star Trek Scrabble’, and ‘All About Trivia: Star Trek’.
The return of the Trek board game
This article is especially appropriate for the week of April 20th which is known in United States schools as "National Turn Off Your TV Week" (we practice the superior modified version "National Turn Off Your TV Except for Star Trek Week.") While switching off the TV, this is a good week to play board games, and what better way to get ready for the new film than to get together as a family and play games inspired by the show that started it all. Known especially for their Phase 10 game, Fundex Games has three different Star Trek board games, Uno: Star Trek Special Edition, All About Trivia: Star Trek Edition, and Scrabble: Star Trek Edition. Today we review each one.
Scrabble: Star Trek Special Edition
Scrabble and Star Trek have much in common. Both have been television shows and are enjoyed by millions of people from more than 100 nations. This version of Scrabble has been modified (dare I say augmented?) from its original form with many Star Trek features. Firstly, the board itself has been transformed with Star Trek imagery and designs. Helpful suggestions of Star Trek words and point values surround the game board.
The Scrabble holders are gray and black to symbolize Starfleet. Also, the rules have been altered to allow for Star Trek play. For example, proper names of Star Trek characters, planets, aliens, and technology are allowed, with special words getting bonus points. The rule book includes a guide to these words. Spelling "Kang" earns 5 points extra, while superior words like Khan earn 20 points (I grow fatigued at spelling). Also, instead of triple letter scores, there are ‘Tribble letter scores’. When exchanging tiles when no words could be spelled, a player is instructed to say, "I am doctor, not a linguist!" If a player challenges whether a word is a real world, they must inform the other player the word is "illogical."
It would have been nice if the board was even more Trekified (for example, the Shrek Scrabble game board is in the shape of Shrek himself). However, this is a very fun game, which provides good Star Trek features to a classic game. If you ever wanted to play Scrabble and use the name "James Kirk" now is the time!
Uno: Star Trek Special Edition
Some fans might remember that in 1999, Mattel released a version of UNO themed around the original television show. Now, Fundex provides a Trekified UNO that has some great features. All the cards have Star Trek imagery (which consists of different imagery than the 1999 set) featuring the iconic TOS crew of the USS Enterprise.
The game plays much like a regular UNO experience, although there is a cool new "Beam Up" card designed exclusively for this set which was not available in the previous release. Perfectly named, the "Beam Up" card rescues a player from having to follow the penalty given to them because of another player’s activity cards. For example, if Player A places down a "Draw 4" card, Player B next to them has to take four cards (which is bad because you want to be the first player with no cards to earn points). If Player A has a "Beam Up" card, it is as if Scotty saves the day and the "Draw 4" instruction is negated.
UNO is always a fun and is America’s #1 card game, but the Fundex version is even better for Star Trek fans because of its fun features. Better yet, this is a Star Trek game (that unlike trivia games), requires no special Treknowledge to play. Everyone could enjoy this fast paced game.
All About Trivia: Star Trek
Some TrekMovie readers had lamented during the reviews of the Star Trek Scene It? and Monopoly: Star Trek Continuum Edition that they wished that there was a 1960s Kirk era version of these games without reference to the subsequent Star Trek shows. Now, those fans have been answered with the TOS All About Trivia game from Fundex. The game features 1000 trivia questions from the 79 original episodes and the feature films.
Players start off as Ensigns at Starfleet Academy and progress in rank to Captain and command of the USS Enterprise by answering the trivia questions. If a player is on a "Warp Speed" space, they get to answer questions on the card one by one, advancing an additional space for each correct answer. Also, much like the Uno’s "Beam Up" card, each player gets three "Communicator" cards. If a question is too difficult, fans could play a "Communicator" card and they get a different question.
The questions are a nice mix, allowing for both casual fans and trivia experts to enjoy the game. There are five categories of questions:
- Captain’s Log: questions about the narratives of various episodes and feature films
- On the Bridge: questions about characters
- Strange New Worlds: questions having to do with the alien cultures the crew encounters
- Tools and Technology: questions about Trektech
- Quotes: identifying the who’s and why’s of quotes (who said them, why did they said them, to whom was the line spoken, which episode did the quote occur, etc.)
This is a fun game requiring no DVDs or electronics and is perfect for pure family time without the television. It is fun and fast paced. What is nice is that unlike Trivia Pursuit, if you have a weakness in a category, you could win the game (whereas with Trivial Pursuit you must get the pieces from each category). This is quite fun, especially for those who have a good knowledge of the Kirk adventures.
More from Fundex Games
These are only a few of the planned Star Trek items from Fundex this year. There are possibly going to be more Star Trek games and puzzles. TrekMovie will continue to have all the details about Fundex and other Star Trek products in the next few weeks. Now, turn off the TV (except for Star Trek which is scientifically proven to be good for your health) and enjoy your Star Trek games!