Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Matt Leacock, the designer of such awesome games a Pandemic, Roll Through the Ages, and Forbidden island, has just put out a new cooperative kids game with Peaceable Kingdom called Mole Rats in Space.

(They’re not naked mole rats because they have space suits on)

Snakes have invaded the mole rats’ space station and it’s time to get out! First, you need to grab the essentials, 4 pieces of equipment, then pile into the escape pod and be rid of those pesky snakes forever.

To be honest, it has a very Alien feel to it. Just not horrific.

Each player takes control of a mole rat, gets one medkit, and a single card face up. Each turn player plays their card, taking the mole rat action first and then the snake action. They then draw a new card and play moves to the next player. Every player always knows card the other players currently have so they can plan their moves to their best advantage. Certain cards will allow you to move just your mole rat, while others will allow you to move any, or all, of the mole rats on the board. Beware, the same holds true for snakes. There’s also ladders and pipes on the board that you will go up, or get sucked down if you land on. Snakes, too!

Be extra warned. There are many ways to lose Mole Rats in Space. Land on a snake, move through a snake, or have a snake land on you? Go back to start and lose a medkit. Get bit again? Everyone loses. Get sucked out a pipe into space? Everyone loses. Run out of cards? Everyone loses. Snake get into the escape pod? You guessed it. Everyone loses. This makes Mole Rats in Space, unlike most Peaceable Kingdom cooperative games. This one is tough to beat, and that’s OK! The added challenge has kept my older kids much more interested in the game. This means they’re more likely to pull it out and play with my 3-year-old son and almost-7-year-old son.

This is the first time I can think of that such a renowned designer has put out a game through Peaceable Kingdom and overall I think it’s awesome for everyone. Mole Rats in Space is a solid game that the whole family can enjoy and gives you a bit more than the standard Peaceable Kingdom far. I know it’s quickly become a favorite PK game in our household!

A copy of Mole Rats in Space was provided free for review by Peaceable Kingdom.