What It Is
Race Through Space is part of Ravensburger's Imagine, Play, Discover series. Products in this line are designed to introduce children to basic strategy as well as logic and deduction. The object of the game is to get all three of your rockets to land on the moon and earn the most points for each rocket.
To play, set up the game pieces according to the game instructions. The moon card will be on top and the 10 galaxy cards will make a vertical line below it. Each player chooses a color and takes all three rockets of that color. All players' rockets begin the game on the fourth galaxy card from the bottom. On your turn, roll the die and "fly" one of your rockets toward the moon the number of galaxy cards shown on the die. So if you roll a two, move your rocket forward two spaces. There are certain cards and die symbols that hinder or help you. The asteroid field card slows you down. Even if the number you rolled would otherwise let you fly on, your must stop on the asteroid field card until your next turn. If you land on the shooting star card, you can then move up three galaxy cards. If you roll the arrow symbols, you can either move one of your rockets up to join one of your other rockets, or you can move one of your opponent's rockets backward.
As the game progresses, the game pieces move. Every time it is the first player's turn, he or she must take the bottom galaxy card and move it to the top, right underneath the moon. If there are any rockets on the bottom card, they fall into a black hole and are out of the game.
Once you reach the moon card, you must enter a space station. There are 12 space stations ranked from 1–12, and you want the ones with the highest number/point value. The first rocket to arrive will always pick space station 12, the next will pick 11, and so on. There can only be one rocket on each space station.
The game is over when all rockets have either been absorbed by the black hole or reached the moon and entered a space station. Each player adds up the numbers on their space stations, and the player with the highest score wins.
Race Through Space comes with a moon card, 10 galaxy cards, 12 rockets, and a die. It is for two to four players.
Why It’s Fun
There are quite a lot of rules to this game, so you might want to play a practice round first to make sure everyone understands how to play. The twists and turns with the different galaxy cards and the moving game board change up the gameplay and encourage players to think strategically in order to get all their rockets to the moon. A player must decide the best rocket to move to avoid the black hole, while also keeping an eye out for opponents who may move his rockets backward. While this may sound complex, kids like this kind of thinking, and the game will be different every time it's played, which is an important determinant whether kids want to play a game repeatedly.
Who It’s For
Race Through Space is for ages 6 and up.
What To Be Aware Of
The directions don't say whether the first player moves the galaxy card before rolling and moving his rocket or the other way around. We assume he must move the galaxy card before rolling. The directions are also not clear about what happens if the first player is out of the game, either because all of his rockets made it to the moon or were eaten by the black hole. We assume the second player takes on the role of "first player" and moves the bottom galaxy card up on each turn.