Second Look—MoonQuake Escape

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Breaking Games has been a roll lately not only with great games but getting those games into retail. One of my favorites of theirs to hit store shelves? That’d be MoonQuake Escape, now on over 650 Barnes & Nobles store shelves.

In MoonQuake Escape each player plays a convict on the prison planet of Zartaclaton. A major quake has put the plant into a tailspin, freeing the prisoners and having them all scramble to try and use the last escape pod to get outta dodge before everything goes bottom-end up. It’s not a straightforward race for freedom, though. The planet’s surface is constantly shifting, making it difficult for the convicts to make their way to the pod. Toss in a prison guard that’s still operational and they’ve got quite the task to accomplish.

MoonQuake Escape’s board is made of several rings that are stack on each other so they can spin. This represents the unstable nature of Zartaclaton. Each turn players will get a certain number of charges to make various actions: moving, playing cards, peeking at other player’s cards, escaping hazardous territory, etc…  Players keep played cards, except equipment, face down. One of these cards is their alien convict. The only way to move and eventually escape is to keep this card hidden. If it’s revealed you’ll have to take some penalties and get it hidden again to progress through the game. This makes bluffing very important. Have a shield card? It may be too obvious to protect your alien, but placing it elsewhere may open you up for discovery.

Overall the game is a great time. It’s silly fun with a good mix of chaos and strategy. It’s more than just a cool gimmick. It’s a solid family game that I know I’ll keep coming back to with my kids.

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Breaking Games keeps on racking up the retail shelf space, this time scoring a deal with Barnes & Noble. Starting April 9th, 650 B&N stores across the nation will have Game of 49, Game of Phones, Boomtown Bandits, Keep Calm, and MoonQuake Escape on their shelves.

While we may be living in the golden age of technology, when people come home from work and school, they crave human interaction. That’s why the board game market has risen for seven consecutive years to become a billion-dollar industry,” said Shari Spiro, CEO of Breaking Games. “Breaking Games produces tabletop games that are highly engaging, interactive and entertaining. We couldn’t think of a better like-minded partner than Barnes & Noble to help us share the joy of board gaming with five of our most popular titles. There is something for everyone!

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paxeast2Easily one of my favorite tables in the Indie Tabletop Megabooth this year, and not just because they gave me a MoonPie, Moonquake Escape had me hooked as soon as I saw it.

In the game, players are trying to use last last rocket on a prison planet about to be destroyed. This is done by choosing face down cards in front of other players in hopes of discovering them. You also have to deal with the constant changing of the board as the moonquake rumbles through the planet.


Part bluffing, part luck, part risk tasking, all with a clever board assembled for a good time. Everything here looks amazing. Jeff Johnston has done a tremendous job, and this is a game I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on. Currently it’s in production, and will be released by Breaking Games in the near future. When it’s out, my kids and are are going to have a serious, planetary throw down.

I should mention that PAX East wasn’t the only time I got a chance to see Moonquake Escape. The crew was also at CT FIG, picking up the award for Best 1st Impression.

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