GTM #261 - Alien: Fate of the Nostromo



ALIEN: Fate of the Nostromo

 A perfect organism, ending the crew members of the commercial starship Nostromo one by one. Players can now recreate the tension of the classic 1979 thriller “Alien” on their tabletop! In ALIEN: Fate of the Nostromo by Ravensburger, players take on the role of one of the Nostromo’s crew members and work together to move through the ship, gather supplies, and craft items while evading the Alien. To win, they’ll need to complete all starting objectives plus one final mission before their morale is completely depleted, or the Nostromo self-destructs.


Recreating a Thriller in Tabletop

In the time since its release, “Alien” has achieved sci-fi horror classic status with good reason. Its themes still resonate with audiences, and its utilitarian aesthetic has achieved a timelessness that other futuristic films have not. The Alien’s appearance and speed are uniquely spine-chilling, providing plenty of jump-scares throughout the film. It was this combination of attributes that allowed Ravensburger to identify a great opportunity to make a game where players could work toward a common goal while recreating a stressful environment. The objectives ensure that players move across the ship while knowing that the Alien could be just beyond the next bulkhead.


Immersive Gameplay

ALIEN: Fate of the Nostromo provides an immersive experience by allowing players to take on the role of one of the Nostromo’s crew members – Brett, Dallas, Ripley, Lambert, or Parker. While some crew members like Ripley are more popular among fans of the film, each character is well-balanced. If they have fewer actions that they can take, their special ability makes up for this. For example, Brett has the fewest number of actions, but his special ability lets him reduce the cost of crafting items, and he does not have to spend an action to craft them.


One of the biggest victories in this game’s design is that while it offers plenty of strategy, players still feel on edge while taking their turn. There are two phases in a player’s turn: The Crew Action Phase, and the Encounter Phase. During the Crew Action Phase, players move through the Nostromo, gather supplies, and craft or use items. During the Encounter Phase, players draw an Encounter card. Encounter cards can move the Alien closer to crew members and place more “concealed” tokens on the board. These concealed tokens are flipped over when a crew member enters a room with them and may result in a surprise encounter.


As the crew moves around the ship to complete objectives, they’ll need to consider their actions carefully. The Alien will always take the shortest route to the nearest player as it moves during the Encounter Phase. Players must be mindful of which actions will be most effective during their turn, and what routes will be most efficient as they move around the ship. In addition, as the game goes on, more Encounter tokens are placed, which makes an encounter more likely. This makes it more challenging to choose a completely “safe” location, so working together to quickly achieve starting objectives before crew morale is completely depleted will be paramount.

ALIEN: Fate of the Nostromo has a great variety of items that players can use to their advantage, like Grapple Gun, Flashlight, and even a Cat Carrier to capture Jonesy! While all are useful, it helps to plan ahead and decide which items will be most beneficial in completing objectives. It’s important to craft these as soon as possible, so players will need to remember to pick up scrap during their turn. Some items prevent the crew from losing morale too quickly and are great to have on hand. The Electric Prod reduces morale lost if players encounter the Alien, and it does not cost an action to use. While the Incinerator costs the most scrap to craft, for the cost of one action, it will send the Alien back to its nest if it is within three spaces of the player.

With ten different starting objectives and five final missions, ALIEN: Fate of the Nostromo has great replay value as no two games will be the same. In addition, once players have figured out different strategies to achieve victory, they can add Ash to create a more challenging game. Ash makes it more difficult to gather the scrap necessary to craft items and will even reduce morale if he is unable to take scrap from any crew he encounters. While this game supports up to five players, it is also a great one-player experience, as a single player steps into Ripley’s shoes and takes on the Alien on their own.

ALIEN: Fate of the Nostromo is intended for ages ten and up and plays in 45 minutes to an hour. Look for it at your friendly local game store soon!