The year is 2740 and there is unrest within the multicultural melting pot that is Alpha. Take on the heroic roles of Valerian and Laureline, agents of the Spatio-Temporal Service, who have been tasked with neutralizing an enemy threat and saving the City of a Thousand Planets. Complete your missions and fend off threats while you keep nemeses at bay. Score enough mission points before your enemies can track you down.
The goal of Valerian is to score 20 or more Mission Points before the Threat Tracking hits 20 or one of the draw decks is exhausted.
Put out the gameboard that represents Alpha. Shuffle the Alien, Nemesis, and Mission decks. Shuffle the decks of tiles for Level 1-3, each separately. Put the Airlock tile in the center of the board (E4). Draw cards from the Nemesis deck to place the Level 3 and 2 tiles around the board. Put the Tracking Point (red) cube at 00, the green cube on the number based upon the difficulty the players decide, and the piles of yellow and blue cubes to the side of the game board.
Each player chooses a color, gets his dice, and picks a standee to use, placing it on the Airlock tile. Shuffle the Gear deck and deal two cards to each player. Each player draws one Mission card. Determine which player goes first.
The players go through the following phases on each of their turns: Tracking, Action, Nemesis.
On the Tracking phase, the player moves the Tracking (red) cube up the track a number of spaces equal to the total level of the aliens and nemeses chasing you. Skip this phase if you aren’t being chased.
The Action phase is when the player rolls his dice, then chooses from the following actions to perform. For a Move action, pick a die and move up to that many tiles for a single action; movement ends if using up the number of tiles on the die result or when entering a new Level 1 tile or turning over a Level 2 or 3 tile. A player may Collect Energy Cubes when occupying a tile has cubes on it and put them on his Gear card(s). A player can spend an action die to Complete a Mission when on a tile of the level of the mission and is not being chased; move the Mission Point (green) cube up the track and place a Mission Tracking (blue) cube on the tile occupied by his standee. Players can Attack the aliens and nemeses chasing them by spending as many die plus any gear bonuses that equal or exceed the strength of the enemy; this can be done multiple times until all die are spent.
Finally, the Nemesis phase has the player draw a card from the Nemesis deck. If there are Tracking Point counters available, put one on the board at the coordinates on the card, otherwise, place the card in front of you to resolve if it is an action or chase if it is a creature.
I had seen the movie and was curious to see what kind of game would be made from it. Seeing it was a co-op gave me even higher hopes for it.
Everything came prepackaged, no punching necessary. The components are made of wood, plastic, cardboard, and playing cards. The cardboard pieces and gameboard are thick and heavy-duty. The playing cards are a decent stock as well.
The art of the game comes from stills in the movie for the playing cards and location tiles. The game board is a large picture of Alpha. It would have been nice to see art from the comic series, but the game was based on the movie.
Like many co-ops, the group works together to determine the best path forward to achieve the goals and keep the threats at bay.
The age range is 13+ but I think that is primarily due to the size of the components as the rules are really not that complex given the few available actions and few actions able to be done per turn. Being a co-op also reduces complexity given you can work together to plan what to do on each turn.
I don’t why this game took so long to get to my table. Minimum player count, co-op, and low playtime makes it a great game for introducing new and young players to gaming. The game has a lot of variabilities to set up with the random tiles and drawing cards which can keep the game fresh. You can also vary the difficulty based on where you want to start the Mission Point cube (you could also do the same with the Threat Point cube, too).
I have very little negative to say about the game. The lines for placing tiles are almost too faint to see and maybe being able to scale complexity a little but really it is a concise, quick game that can be easily reset to go at it again.