Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
No. of players: 1-4
Amount of time to play: 60-90 min
Age requirements: 14+
Set-up time: 5 min
Planet of the Apes is a cooperative board game based on the first movie in the series. You must move through scenes by overcoming encounters that require specific dice rolls to beat.
In Planet of the Apes each player takes on a different aspect of Taylor’s psyche. The aspect of his psyche you play will grant you a unique special ability that will help you and your teammates throughout the game.
The game takes place over three Major Scenes and between each Major Scene there is a Minor one. Each scene begins with a Statue of Liberty, an ape and Taylor miniature being placed on a track. You must complete adventures to move the Taylor miniature along the track. Failure to succeed and events move the other miniatures. If the Statue of Liberty ever wins the race to the bottom of the track the players instantly lose the game. The ape reaching the bottom of the track is not an instant loss but will put the players at a disadvantage for the next scene.
On your turn you get three actions, attempt to complete an encounter, draw an action card, wipe the visible action cards, give a card to another player, or discard cards to heal, move the ape miniature back, gain a die or a special card.
When you try to complete an encounter you are required to roll something on the die (like a full house or a pair greater than three). You may discard action cards to gain additional dice or re-rolls. If you succeed you will move the Taylor miniature on the track and sometimes gain additional resources. If you fail either the ape or Statue of Liberty miniature will move, and sometimes both do.
At the end of your turn you check to see if you completed the scene or lost the game. Then advance the day tracker token. When it reaches sunrise you resolve the sunrise effects on all visible encounter cards and the top event card. These tend to be bad for the players. Then it is the next player’s turn.
If you are able to complete the final scene, you win the game.
Planet of the Apes is a cooperative game based on the classic movie. Whether it appeals to you might depend on how much you like the movie. The game is ok but I really think fans of the movie will enjoy it more.
The components for this game are really nice. The art, cards, and chits are all good quality. The rules are easy to follow and the game is easy to teach.
Planet of the Apes is fun but doesn’t break any new ground or innovate the cooperative genre in any way. This game was the most fun the first time I played it. With repeated plays the game felt the same. So I wish it had more replay value.
I tried it once solo and it was just as fun as when I tried it with a group. In fact I might have enjoyed it the most solitaire as there is no downtime.
The Planet of the Apes Board game will appeal mostly to fans of the movies. But others can enjoy it too. It is definitely worth trying if you are in either of these camps.
Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 3 out of 6
Luck 5 out of 6
Player Interaction 3 out of 6
Replay Value 3 out of 6
Complexity 4 out of 6
Fun 4 out of 6
Overall 4 out of 6