We now have an official NASA board game, based on actual moon missions

    Launching real soon!


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    Its been awhile since I wrote anything about board games. Now more than ever, I really miss playing analog with friends over the weekend. I have to admit, things changed quite a bit in the cardboard scene ever since an IRL “Pandemic” hit us.

    Much as I really want to get back into board games, my only options are either playing with friends using an online tool like Board Game Arena or visiting a lot of board game news portals like BGG, and checking out what’s the current hotness on Kickstarter. Why am I saying all this? Well because one particular game really caught my eye and got me excited!


    Credit: Jonathan Gilmour
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    In a recent Facebook post by Jonathan Gilmour, he revealed an upcoming game called Apollo: A Game Inspired by NASA Moon Missions. And based on the images, this looks to be a finished product that’s ready for take-off!

    Here’s what he has to say from his post followed by a brief description of the game coming from the box:

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    “Super excited to finally get to talk about this game! Sarah Addison co-designed this and I don’t know if I have ever put as much work in such a short time frame into a game as I have this one. Sarah definitely took a strong lead on the design and really showed her design chops off! We play tested this so many times in such a short period, and so many designers said we were insane for trying to do it.

    Thank you to Pandasaurus Games and Buffalo Games for the opportunity to make an official NASA game. If I went back and told Kid me who wanted to go to space camp that I’d get to do this, they wouldn’t have believed me.

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    Also, those sliders are a REALLY smart design. I don’t think I’ve seen any like that before. I love a good solution to a track like that.”

    You are “Go for Launch!”

    1961. President Kennedy challenged the nation to land astronauts on the moon by the end of the decade. Now it’s up to you to walk in the footsteps of NASA’s pioneers and embark on the missions that made history… FOR ALL MANKIND>

    Play as MISSION CONTROL and ASTRONAUTS. Work together and strategize to complete flight stages, overcome obstacles, repair the spacecraft, and keep communication clear. It’s the team that determines if the mission SUCCEEDS or FAILS.

    Here’s some images taken from Jonathan Gilmour’s post:


    Credit: Jonathan Gilmour

    “One person is Ground Control, and the other players are on the mission, and the communication is limited between the two. Ground control knows all the stuff that’s going wrong, and has to figure out how to best communicate it to the Astronauts.” -Jonathan Gilmour


    Credit: Jonathan Gilmour

    Based on the description, Apollo looks to be a full-on cooperative game for 2-5 players where one person takes ground control while the rest are astronauts going on a mission. Communication seems to be a key factor in the game, though I’m assuming it will have a mechanic that limits giving out details to everyone just to keep an element of tension and suspense going.


    Credit: Nmcnair McNair

    Components seem to be top-notch as well! Just look at these sealed mission packs! In my head though they are both ice cream and spaghetti, respectively. If its not too obvious, I’m really excited for this! Game-time seems to be right up my alley as well, with a 30-60 minute duration.

    No official release date yet but when I asked Jonathan Gimour on when this will launch, he said “I think real soon!”.*

    I can already hear the countdown.

    *Update: The game will release on July 26, 2020.

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    Brian Papa
    Brian Papa
    Geek gamer extraordinaire who constantly continues to champion the cardboard cause one uninitiated muggle a time! Meeples love me. Dice hate me.


    1. Releases where? Is it going to be an exclusive like the Pan Am game and Target? Or will it be a general release? A hint of where to keep an eye out would be nice.

      • Hi Robert, it looks like it could be a mass market game because of availability at Target. I’m guessing copies will be evergreen since this is not an exclusive nor a KS release game.

    2. It looks cool, but that Facebook link is dead and there’s no mention of this game at Can’t find anything at either company’s FB page and Google was no help either.

      • They just announced it yesterday. The game came out of nowhere that it doesn’t even have an entry on BGG. Facebook link works fine for me.

        • Links works for me now too. (Actually found the same FB item yesterday by searching his name, but the link as a no-go.)

          I hope they aren’t missing some marketing opportunities. Isn’t it typical when announcing to provide a link that will enable purchase?

    3. As it is an ‘official NASA game’ I would expect you could find it at any NASA gift shop for the foreseeable future. They’re going to see this as an educational tool as well as a poistive marketing effort and will likely fund reprints for a very, very long time.

      • Could be but based on the teaser this is going to be a full-on coop rather than be the first nation to go to the moon.

    4. So how near to the actual facts is it? For example, would there be any mechanics of the game that would never happen in an actual mission?


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