In my experience with tabletop gaming I’ve learned that there’s a game out there for everyone. There’s a game for the hardcore gamer, a game for the casual gamer, a game for the family gamer, and even a game that puts together the best from all those other games. There are plenty of different games on the market to choose from, which means that no matter who you’re trying to get into gaming there will be something to use as a gateway game. Recently we received a copy of The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet from Ludonaute, a French game developer, and I’m fairly certain that, not only is it a really great game, it’s one that will be a perfect gateway game to get your family gaming together.
What’s It All About?
The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet game is modeled after a book called The Little Prince. In the game players take turns picking and choosing different tiles to place down in order to build their very own planet. Their planet will serve as a home for the wonderful animals of The Little Prince’s world – the fox, the sheep, the elephant, and the snake – but players will need to avoid dangerous hazards like volcanoes a baobab trees!
Out of the Box and Setup
In the box you’ll get 80 different tiles (split into four groups: characters, uphill, downhill, and center), 5 score markers, and one rulebook. The tiles are made out of study cardboard and have their own designated slot in the box, so you don’t have to worry about storage solutions. The artwork on the tiles is minimalistic, yet it’s a wonder to look at. It’s simple enough to get what each tile has on it, but at the same time each tile is elegant in its own right.
When setting up the game each player takes a different score marker and places it on the score track at zero (Which is conveniently on the bottom of the box!). Each of the tiles are separated into their different category and placed in stacks that are set off to the side facedown. (You should have four stacks.) Depending on the number of players, you’ll remove a certain number of tiles from each stack. Then, a player is chosen at random to go first. The final part of setup sees the first player choosing a stack of tiles, taking as many tiles as there are players, placing one facedown, and setting the others face up next to it. Now you’re ready to play.
In The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet the goal is to create a planet that will score the most points at the end of the game. Each player’s planet must be made up of 16 tiles total: 4 characters, 4 corners, 4 sides, and 4 center tiles. Once players have fully assembled their planets (it will happen simultaneously), you will score your planet according to the characters that you’ve got.
Here’s a breakdown of the characters and how they score:
- The Geographer – scores 1 point for each tile on your planet with no volcanoes
- The Vain Man – scores 1 point for each snake on your planet
- The Astronomer – scores 2 points per sunset on your planet
- The King – scores 14 points if there is only 1 rose on the planet, 7 points if there are 2 roses on the planet, and no points if there are three or more roses on the planet
- The Lamplighter – scores 1 point per lamppost on your planet
- The Hunter – scores 3 points for each species of animal on your planet
- The Drunkard – scores 3 points for each tile that has been flipped because of baobab trees on your planet
- The Businessman – scores either 2, 3, or 5 points for each individual sheep of the color shown on his tile on your planet
- The Gardener – scores 7 points for each baobab tree on your planet (if you get three or more baobab trees on your planet, each baobab tree tile flips over and becomes worth no points)
- The Turkish Astronomer – scores 1 point per large star on your planet (even the ones on character tiles)
- The Little Prince – scores 3 points for each type of sheep and 1 point for each box on your planet
The game will take place through players taking turns. During each turn the start player chooses one of the four stacks of tiles and takes as many tiles as there are players. He/she will choose one tile and appoints another player to choose another tile. This new player takes a tile and starts building his/her own planet in front of him/her. Then this player will appoint another player, and so on, until each player has gone. The last player to go has to take the final tile that remains, and they will become the start player for the next round.
Play continues like this until each player has a complete planet in front of them. Once this happens, player score according to the characters they have on their planet, moving their score marker to the appropriate number on the score track. The player with the most points by the end of the game is the winner.
Though I consider myself a bit of a hardcore gamer who fancies things like miniature wargames and big name board games, I absolutely love The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet. From the moment we started playing it my group had tons of fun. There’s just enough strategy to the game to make you feel like you’ve got to play smart, while at the same time the gameplay is simple enough that you could teach your kids how to play with little effort. If you want to take a look at the game’s rulebook, you can check it out in English here. I think that this game is a definite must-have for your game room as it’s something everyone can enjoy. Make sure to keep an eye out for when this game hits shelves in the U.S.
Thanks to Ludonaute for providing a copy of The Little Prince: Make Me A Planet for review.