‘Firefly: The Game’ board game review
By Ed Appleby, Illustrator
Board games based on licensed products are usually not good. They are either a cosmetic upgrade to a classic board game, or a rushed out game with clunky mechanics or gameplay that distances itself from the source material. Being a self-professed Browncoat, I was thrilled to discover this is not the case with Firefly: The Game.
Firefly: The Game is a pick-up-and-deliver style game for one to four players, designed by Aaron Dill, John Kovaleski, and Sean Sweigart in 2013, and published by Gale Force Nine. Players pick a ship and a captain and then proceed to fly around the ‘verse building a crew and completing jobs of various states of legality for a variety of shady characters, all the while staying clear of the Alliance cruisers and ships full of carnivorous Reavers.
The game is won by being the first to complete the required goal, which is chosen at the beginning of the game. The goals range from pulling off a big job, to just making enough credits to retire. Some goals are for single player games and others are for multiple players, making the replay value of the game quite high.
However, there are a few downsides to the game. The rule book is small and information can be hard to find during gameplay, which makes the game hard to play as a beginner. Game length tends to run at least double the estimated time given on the goals. Finally, as fun as it is to see all of your favourite crewmates from the Serenity, they are very overpowered compared to the rest of the crew in the game, leading to unbalanced gameplay from a lot of crew poaching by other players.
I was very pleasantly surprised how much material the designers managed to get out of the source material. The game itself feels like it belongs in the appropriate universe. I would recommend the game to any fan of Joss Whedon’s series, or anyone who wants a complex, but not too complicated, game and aims to misbehave for a few hours.