Hasbro is taking some of its most iconic board games to the final frontier.
Today (Oct. 5), the toymaker is launching Space Age versions of Battleship, Monopoly and Trouble for space cadets young and old looking to prove they have the “right stuff.” The games — Battleship Outer Space, Monopoly Space and Trouble: On the Moon — are launching exclusively at Target as part of Hasbro’s new Space Capsule collection, just in time for World Space Week 2020, which runs through Oct. 10. Read on for our first look at the new games.
Battleship Outer Space
In Battleship Outer Space, which sells for $19.99, two players will face off on a cosmic battlefield in three dimensions, with space stations and spaceships taking the place of the traditional sea-faring battleships of old. Instead of picking two coordinates on a two-dimensional grid, players have to pick a Sector (one of three levels) and a row or column to pinpoint their target.
“It’s a 3D battle for the universe!” Hasbro explained in a description. “In this twist on classic Battleship gameplay, players search for the enemy’s fleet of spaceships and vaporize them one by one.”
I played this with my 11-year-old daughter Zadie and it only took a short while to get the hang of visualizing your opponent’s armada in three-dimensional space. She favored placements on the upper Sectors while I opted to spread my forces wide and thin in hopes it would ensure survival. (It did.)
“You sank my space battleship!” may not have the same ring as the original, but it works and at least you can pretend you’ve passed the first test for the U.S. Space Force with a win. There’s a real three-dimensional chess-from-“Star Trek” vibe to the game’s set-up, too. And I’ll admit, it blows the 2012 sci-fi film “Battleship” (also based on the board game, with an alien twist) out of the water. (Pun intended. Sorry, it’s what I do.)
Monopoly Space, also available for $19.99, replaces the property-purchasing push of the original with a race for space settlement for up to six players. You still have to buy up stuff, but instead of Park Place and Boardwalk, players can vie for Mercury’s Great Valley and or Caloris Basin. Railroads are replaced by “Warp Runs” and you’ll have to snatch up resources on planets and moons to build domes that will hopefully lead to a successful colony.
“Players travel around the gameboard buying and selling planets, mining resources and setting up their colony,” a Hasbro description states. “For a player to start creating a colony, they have to collect three resources and then ‘burn’ them by returning them to the Bank in exchange for a dome. Collect all five domes to get closer to the win … but watch out! Landing on an Action space can set you back or move you forward in an instant.”
Die-hard space fans may get a thrill out of the player pieces in Monopoly Space. I spotted a space shuttle, complete with external tank and solid rocket boosters; a satellite; a Mars rover and — of course — an astronaut. The stickler in me did notice that the moon’s far side is inaccurately listed as the “Dark Side,” but hey, it’s only a game, yes?
One other thing to note: This isn’t Monopoly’s first brush with space. In 2006, Hasbro released the Monopoly: Here & Now Edition, which featured NASA’s Johnson Space Center as one of the buyable properties (the game featured famous landmarks from across the U.S.). A year later, NASA launched the game into space aboard the STS-117 space shuttle mission to the International Space Station.
Trouble: On the Moon Edition
Rounding out Hasbro’s new Space Capsule games is Trouble: On the Moon Edition ($14.99), which transports the race around the Pop-a-Matic dice dome to the moon for two to four players.
“It’s a space-themed Trouble game that’s out of this world! In the Trouble: On the Moon Edition board game, players imagine being moon mission astronauts who need to race to safety,” Hasbro said. “They need to move quickly using space tethers, and watch for low fuel, fresh oxygen and a moving rover on the Action die.”
I grew up with the original Trouble and have played many a game with my daughter using her “Star Wars” Edition of the game (which makes delightful R2-D2 sounds, I must say). As a space reporter, a spacewalk emergency is something I always dread during real-life coverage, but it makes for a competitive game. The game’s packaging suggests that asteroid impacts may be the cause of Trouble’s moon woes.
Finally, I’m not sure NASA’s Artemis astronauts would need to rely on tethers on the moon when they land (the Apollo astronauts did not), but it is a nice nod — if only on the board — to the tethers spacewalkers use on the space station today.