Meet Gravwell.

Photo 2014-03-12 03.06.51 PM

So, what’s the deal with Gravwell?

You are piloting a spacecraft, racing your opponents to escape the overwhelming chaos of a singularity via warp gate. Use elemental fuel cards cleverly to use the gravitational pull of the other ships to rocket yourself to the lead!

What makes Gravwell special?

Gravwell is a chaotic fast-paced race where it is not always the best strategy to take the lead! Since your movement is determined by the gravity of the other ships, you need to use your fuel resources carefully to try to maintain forward movement – or at least make sure any backwards movement isn’t too far!

Alright, so what’s the gameplay like?

The game is played over six rounds. At the beginning of each round, enough fuel cards are dealt face-down so there are three for each player. Then, a face-up fuel card is dealt on top of each. Players then take turns choosing stacks – one card known, one card unknown – and end up with a hand of six cards.

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Next, each player chooses a card from their hand and plays it face down. All players simultaneously reveal their cards. Whoever plays the card that comes earliest alphabetically moves first, and so on until everyone has moved. How you determine the direction in which to move each player is where the twist – and the chaos – comes in.

To determine which direction a player moves, you must first determine the direction in which the gravity is strongest. To do this, find the ship that is closest to that player’s ship. If two ships are equally distant (one in one direction and one in another), keep going until you find the next ship, and so on.

Once you know the direction of the gravitational pull, move – green cards move you towards the gravitational pull, while purple cards move you away from it. Blue cards don’t move your own ship, but rather, move all other ships on the board towards your own, which can really mess with the plans of other players. In all cases, if a ship lands on an occupied space, it keeps moving in the same direction until it lands on an empty space.

Keep going until you’ve played six rounds or someone escapes!

I think I get it. Who do you recommend this game to?

This is a great game for people who enjoy tight competition but don’t mind leaving some of the outcome to luck. While there is a definite strategy in how to ration your fuel cards, since you don’t have full control over what those cards are, many times the best play is not that which most improves your position, but rather that which hurts your position least. It’s a nice balance of making meaningful decisions but also sitting back and enjoying the ride – in this case, the chaotic yo-yo race towards the finish!

To Summarize:
Players: 1-4 (haven’t tried the solo rules myself)
Time: 20-35 minutes
Strategy: 2
Luck: 4
Complexity: 2
Game Elements: Drafting, Hand Management, Risk Management

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