Disclaimer: This is a paid preview, images and words are my own.
In Lander you are playing as one of four possible corporations who together, have funded a space mission to colonise a new planet. Before the arrival of the 5,000 strong colony, a small team of personnel are sent to prepare the planet for habitation. However, upon entering the atmosphere a huge electrical storm resulted in a crash landing, killing most of the crew.
While you may have worked together to launch this mission, competition to be the market leader is fierce and the corporation who contributes the most to colony development by the time the colony arrives in 6 years time, will be victorious.
Lander is a resource management game where you must complete as many missions as possible, as the corporation with the most mission stars wins the game.
You will start the game with just two crew members, a few claimed sectors of the planet and a handful of activity cards and resources. At the start of each year you will gain resources equal to sectors you control and their productivity levels. Over the years you will expand your control over more sectors and upgrade their productivity.
With more resources you are able to acquire more crew as some of the stasis pods survived the crash. Crew members classes and traits, along with resources and claimed sectors will all be vital components to complete private and public missions, as well as achieving bonus stars through special Accolades.
As competition is fierce you will need to be ruthless, using action cards and leadership abilities to sabotage your rivals, even going so far as possibly killing their crew members!
At the beginning of each year, event cards will be drawn, these represent the unexpected situations that may occur in these uncertain times. Some event cards will require a choice, while some will simply have a set effect on the players who must be able to adapt to the changes. Once the events have been resolved you will continue with the Year set-up which involves each player drawing a new sector and then claiming an adjacent sector to one they already own. You will then collect resources produced by all sectors you control. Finally you will receive your start of year allocation of activity cards.
Starting with the first player, known as the Colony Governor players then take it in turns performing orders which are essentially the actions that are available to all players in the game. You can perform as many orders as you like in a single year provided you have the resources to do so. At any time you cannot or choose not to make any further orders, you must instead prepare for Year End. All other players will continue to make orders, until all players have prepared for Year End.
Orders range from acquiring new crew members, improving their classes and traits, to exploring more of the planet and taking control of sectors. You can build up your structures to increase productivity for future years or use action cards to attack other players. There are a lot of orders available in the game and I go into each one in more detail in the video below.
Managing your resources is key to success so you will want to be frugal with the limited resources and keep in mind you are building for the future!
One of the unique aspects of Lander is it’s multiple Game Styles. This means you can alter the gameplay to suit your preference based on experience and the amount of time you have to play the game.
- Basic Simulation is an introduction to the game where players race to complete 7 Mission stars. This is great as a tutorial game for beginners or if you just want a faster game.
- Early Arrival is designed for more experienced gamers who are still looking for a slightly shorter game. When any player reaches 10 Mission Stars, the game will end at the end of that year.
- Planned Arrival is a longer, more immersive experience where you will play over 5 years and the winner is the corporation with the most Mission Stars at the end of the game.
There is even a Team Play mode for 2 vs 2! The set-up and game play varies slightly with each mode but there are really helpful guides for all of these game styles.
Lander is now live on Kickstarter, if you would like to see more you can watch my video preview below or you can find the Kickstarter campaign here!