The Thing: infection at Outpost 31 is complex enough to feel crunchy but streamlined enough to be an easy five-minute learn and teach. Both seasoned and novice players could easily have a fun night with this offering. Fun for a night of drinking with friends or a game night with the kids. I think almost everyone would enjoy this romp through the frozen tundra.
Welcome to the Table.
I am at Tremendicon in Springfield, Missouri this weekend. As is typical when we gather in person, we had a chance to sit down with a small group of friends while prepping for this convention and play The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 Board Game.
Designer: The Op Games
Artist: Phantom City Creative
Property: The Thing
Edition: Standard Edition
Age rating: 17 and up
Players: 4 to 8
Playing time: 1-2 hours
The game is based on the John Carpenter film The Thing and drops up to 8 players into the roles Antarctic Outpost crewmembers. Each player is handed a Blood Test Card that is kept secret from the other players and lets the players know if they are humans or one of the Imitation aliens attempting to sabotage all the missions and destroy the facility or escape at the end of the game to in theory infect the world with imitation alien monsters.
The game works in turns, where each player pulls a mission card that has a set amount of needs based on the items the players have. Everything is done with your cards facedown so that whoever the infected player or players are can sabotage and disrupt plans. This also sows seeds distrust and paranoia among the players as the further along in the game track you get, the more infected players there are, and the more things can go wrong quickly.
I won’t hash out all the minute details of the game but it is complex enough to feel crunchy but streamlined enough to be an easy five-minute learn and teach. Both seasoned and novice players could easily have a fun night with this offering. You can check out the full rules at this link.
I was the Infected for the two games we played and never once did anything to sabotage a mission in a long-con attempt to escape on the helicopter. I narrowly missed a full breakdown of accusations only to learn when the game came to a close that I was one of three Infected and could have easily sabotaged my alien counterparts, if I had been playing that way.
Until next time, use the flamethrower… unless you are no longer you.