They have set up their empire of trailblazing innovation and groundbreaking technologies on a somewhat unremarkable planet circling around a rather average star. Years of hard work and steadfast dedication to their clear-cut vision of looking further than the day-to-day toils and chores of humanity have cemented their reputation as the forefathers of the future humanity.

Secretly, they have never stopped dreaming about the thrust of all their entrepreneurial actions and deeds – reaching the stars. Now, the time has come for them to embark on a second giant leap for humankind, making the outer reaches of the solar system our home. Only one of them shall go down in history as the first explorer of space and a person who truly forged their will and power according to the bold words: citius, altius, fortius – faster, higher, stronger.

Rocketmen, by Martin Wallace: a fast-paced race to the final frontier - space.

In Rocketmen, a sci-fi deck-building game by Martin Wallace, published by PHALANX, players can feel like a tycoon in the space industry, managing huge enterprises, focusing on environmental protection, discovering advanced technologies, and sending out various missions, which will become the mainspring of colonization of deep space. Players (one to four) compete with each other exploring space and colonizing Earth Orbit, Moon, and Mars – in solitaire, the player compete against an Artificial Intelligence. To win, a player must find a balance between the “mission” and “money” parts of its deck and use them efficiently, as the victory conditions reward those who are the fastest.

The player is given a starting deck, containing missions and resources. Each card can usually be used in two or three ways, which means it will always be possible to realize its potential and it will not linger in a player's hand. With the help of the initial cards, players will expand their companies with new technologies, equipment, and resources, making the achievement of missions faster and more reliable.

Finally, when players feel ready to act, they choose a mission objective and start preparing, using the unique abilities of the cards and the resources available. Each of which will contribute to achieving the objective and securing the mission from any problems.

Players must find a balance between the “mission” and “money” parts of the deck.

Something can always go wrong. As happens in the industry - for example with SpaceX projects - even the best prepared mission can fail due to random factors. But does Elon Musk give up because of this? No, for him every failure is a valuable lesson, an asset in subsequent missions - so here, too, a failed mission gives the player not only a lesson, but also some opportunity for immediate modification in mission preparation.

Players gain Victory Points by successfully launching various space missions with main objectives to explore three celestial destinations: Earth Orbit, the Moon, and Mars. Every successful mission gives players considerable perks: additional rocket points, extra cash, increased hand size, and supplementary resources. These, in turn, help them prepare more easily for their future missions. The game ends when one of the players scores a certain number of Victory Points, all 12 space missions have been completed, or if a player chooses to end the game by placing their fifth or sixth token resulting in each destination having at least one mission completed.

Rocketmen was successfully funded on Kickstarter in early 2020. Its English retail edition, distributed by Ares Games in non-European countries, is due to release in June 2021, as the backers’ fulfilment will be completed, alongside three accessories. For more information, visit the game’s page.

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