In the distant future, our civilization, spread throughout the solar system, relies on a Solar Lift for power. Through neglect or sabotage, the Lift is now failing. Survival is in question.
Zeroic Games and Mr. B Games are set to re-launch their Kickstarter expansion to Helionox: The Last Sunset – Mercury Protocol. Helionox is a movement-based science fiction strategy card game set in a shattered solar system. The Mercury Protocol Expansion is completely integrated with the original core set (The Last Sunset). It promises to bring more reasons to travel the solar system, pick fights with nasty events, and deliver much needed cargo to the Interworlds. Additionally, it offers several new card types including four unique ships each with different abilities.
We were lucky enough to get a preview deck of the base core game and the new expansion. First things first, we broke open the original boxed set. I immediately noticed that this highly-stylized game did not disappoint in the artistic department. Each card features stunning futuristic artwork that really helps bring this game to life. I have said it before . . . there has been a recent flood of card games to the Kickstarter universe. With little separating each game, it is difficult for games to emerge as truly unique. Helionox is certainly an exception to this norm.
Two words: mechanics and art. After wrapping our head around the rules and getting our feet wet with some gameplay, the art really helped to take this game to the next level. One thing I always look for is easy-to-learn rules. Although the mechanics are moderately complicated, it did not take long to grasp the concept of managing game “events” and compiling influence. It was a relief to play a game with a built-in time management system where a finite number of events governs the length of play. Additionally, the game mat really helped to organize and spacially map out gameplay. That being said, as with most games there is certainly a learning curve, you can expect to spend longer than the suggested 45-60 minutes playing your first several games.
Helionox: Mercury Protocol is the first stand-alone expansion to Helionox: The Last Sunset. It contains a new set of cards, new planets, and ships that integrate with a pick up and delivery system. Combining it with the original game allows for a 4-player game. Playing several two-player games, we began to get a feel for the value of this expansion. Adding new ships and planets, expands upon the very foundation of the games basic core mechanics. This is a well thought out expansion to a solid card game. If you like stylistic card games or refined science fiction, this game is for you. I certainly have my fingers crossed that this expansion gets funded and will be looking forward to playing it in the future.
A copy of Helionox: Mercury Protocol was provivded free for review by Zeroic Games and Mr. B Games
Frank is an attorney and family man currently based out of Las Vegas. He’s a long time gaming enthusiast with a tabletop interest in most dungeon crawlers and map strategy games. If it has dice and minis, it probably has his attention.