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WATCH: How To Play – Planet of the Apes by IDW Games

 Join host Becca Scott as she breaks out some of the best boardgames the industry has to offer every week here on Geek & Sundry!

This week, Becca’s teaching us all how to play Planet of the Apes by IDW Games. If you’re a fan of the original movies, you’ll get a kick out of this take on it. Each player is a facet of Colonel George Taylor’s psyche and needs to work together to survive. The real beauty of this game lies in its flavor text to help set the scene, so don’t neglect it to rush through the game.

You’re working through major and minor scenes to get to the end of the story. Each of the major scenes has multiple encounters that need to be resolved. To resolve an encounter, you need to roll dice Yahtzee style to match the needed result. Action cards can be used to gain additional dice or rerolls as needed. If you don’t succeed, you get the bad stuff (usually moving the Ape or Statue of Liberty forward on the board). The scene ends when either Taylor or the Ape reaches the zero spot. Then it’s time to move on to the next scene.

On your turn, you can take three actions. Actions include: draw an action card (either face up or from the deck), clear face up action cards and refresh them, have an encounter, give a card to another player, spend either two or four of the same suit to heal, or spend four cards to move the Ape marker back a space. There are three more actions you can take at any time: turn in three matching cards to get a red (wild) dice, turn in three matching cards to gain a skill token, or turn in four cards to get a special card.

When your turn is over, you move the sunrise token to the next tick on its tracker. When it makes its way back to the sunrise spot, draw one of the Planet of the Apes cards and resolve it. Then check the active encounters to see if any of them have sunrise effects. Resolve them and continue to the next player.

All you need to do to win is make it to the eighth and final scene, the Discovery.  That that point, the game reaches its narrative climax, but unlike the movie, there are different endings to this story.

Don’t get too cozy, though, as there are two different ways to lose: have everyone have their cards flipped to defeated at the same time or the Statue of Liberty reaches the zero spot on the board. If it feels a little like Pandemic where the odds are stacked against you, but just remember that you are an endangered species on a planet filled with damn, dirty apes.

Ready to explore? Check out Planet of the Apes for your next movie and game night!

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