Planetoid by Portal Dragon – Review

Planetoid by Portal Dragon - Review 1

Planetoid is a fun, quick game that is a great gateway game. It has way above standard components. It also allows for more experienced players to enjoy with an advanced mode and single player action. 

Ben

MeepleGamers

8/10
Planetoid by Portal Dragon - Review 2

Theme and What is it?

8/10

You have always wanted to see the galaxy. That is why you signed up for the deep space mining mission. It promised exciting opportunities for adventure and the ability to see some of the most remote edges of the known universe. 

But for three years now you have been stuck on this giant chunk of rock mining away at it to harvest the available resources; no adventure, no exotic locations. Just a big rock that kind of looks like the moon back home. There is an upside. The job pays very well, especially when you find the really valuable stuff. Now you just need to get back to some sort of civilization to spend all this hard-earned dough.  

These thoughts flow through your mind as you land your X5 deep space mining cart. At touch down you notice something out of the corner of your eye. Movement. What was that? You have heard rumors from other miners of strange things on the planet, but nothing confirmed. Everyone is always worried about “aliens” and you have always laughed at that, but now you are not laughing. Maybe it is not as crazy as you first thought. 

Planetoid is a set collection/memory game for 1-4 players. 

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Gameplay Mechanics

8/10

The heart of Planetoid revolves around three actions. Drill – players can mine a tile and reveal the adjacent tiles. Scan – allows players to lift up tiles to see what is under them. Move – take all of the collected tiles back to the ship. 

Players have the job of collecting tiles and trying to match them to a Collection Bonus tile that will award even more points if certain tiles are Moved back to the ship on the same turn. The game ends when all of the tiles have been mined or when the last Collection Bonus tile has been claimed. 

The player with the most points wins.

There is also an advanced mode and a single player option.

In the advanced mode, players use the backside of the player board which has a greater number of actions available. They can also upgrade their actions. Some actions use less energy and perform smaller actions. There are also actions that use more energy to perform more powerful actions. Some of these are so powerful they break stuff on your ship that must be repaired.

In the solo mode, players compete against an alien race. The aliens consume resources as they spread across the planet. Players must harvest as much as possible before the aliens consume everything.

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Initial Impressions

8/10

Planetoid was super easy to learn and teach. It was maybe 15 minutes to read up on it and teach it to a group for my first game. In the standard mode there is only a few action options and the game moves very fast. It was not hard for players to understand the rules and figure out a strategy. Even strategically, the game is very simple in standard mode. Players want to collect the required resources to collect bonus.

It was a very smooth game and the players all enjoyed it.

A few days later I set up everything for a solo game. This took some extra time to figure out because of using the advanced side of the player board and also getting the automation down for the aliens; this took a couple of minutes to review. It was a quick single player game that was an enjoyable experience.

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Game Build Quality

8/10

This is where Planetiod really shines. The build is crazy good. I would classify it as up there with Stonemaier games good. Thought was given to how the components interact with each other and also to how players will interact with the components. It is always a delight to find a game that has over the top quality. 

The player boards have cutouts to hold the energy tokens. The spaces on the planet board where you place the tiles has a piece under the middle of the tile that rocks it side to side. So when you push down on a tile it pops the backside up making it very easy to grab. Little details like that really add up and let you know the designer was thinking about how people would interact with the game. 

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Artistic Direction

8/10

Everything looks very nice. The theme flows throughout the game pieces and is cohesive. The planet game board looks like a big rock ready to be sucked dry of all of its natural resources. The alien tokens are fun and look great out on the board.

The art does a great job at allowing players to be involved with the theme and experience the game.

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Fun Factor

8/10

What makes Planetoid a very accessible game is how easy it is to teach. The limited actions in a standard game means that just about any skill level will be able to play this game and not feel lost or overwhelmed with choices. I liked the memory aspect of the game. Once you scan an area you have to remember what tiles you looked at and where they were at when it comes back around to you. As a player seeks sets of resources to complete bonuses, it does require a little bit of mental fortitude to make sure the right tiles are being mined. 

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Age Range & Weight

8/10

Suggested age range is 6+. For the standard game that is a very real recommendation. Young players will not have any troubles with Planetoid and will probably find the game very entertaining. The memory element is also a huge plus for the young players. 

Having an advanced mode allows players with more experience to enjoy the game. The extra options and choices will allow a seasoned gamer to see the game as “heavier”.

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Conclusions

8/10

Planetoid is a fun, quick game that is a great gateway game. It has way above standard components. It also allows for more experienced players to enjoy with an advanced mode and single player action. 

There are a number of reasons to add Planetoid to your collection. First it is a solid set collection game that looks awesome when out on the table. Second, the quality of craftsmanship is off the charts. Third, it can be scaled to any player level. 

You will want to keep an eye out for this one and give it a try when you have the chance.

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Planetoid by Portal Dragon - Review
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