Overview - Mint Tin Aliens
This is one of two posts which are identical in some parts. They are meant to provide background to game reviewers who have offered their valuable time to take these games for a spin and share their thoughts about them.
Getting ahead in life often means learning new things and taking on new projects, and the Fearless Alien Recruits in Training Program is just what you need.
You go head-to-head against another eager recruit and work hard to earn merit awards in what might determine who the next Invasion Leader is.
And where does this program take place? Earth, of course!
Show your proficiency with map reading and get to Earth, demonstrate your maneuvering skills by creating crop circles, prove your mastery of advanced technology with the Abduct-O-Tron, and show that you can bend humans to your will with remote mind control!
Don't miss an assignment or you'll lose points. But you can make up points by doing extra credit. Even get a bonus for completing one of each merit award first!
Who's This For?
This light and quick game is great when you and a friend (or fellow aspiring world conqueror) have a few minutes to burn when you're waiting for lunch, hanging out, in the kitchen cooking with family, or even camping.
The play is easy and allows for conversation.
Casual is what this is all about and 10 to 15 minutes is all you need. Cows aren't just for abducting - they're vital to cheese production too!
How It Plays
Game setup is quick. Setting out all of the merit award cards, roll your saucer-shaped dice (and assignments missed indicator), and shuffle the task cards. High roll goes first, and then each player claims a die and sets it with 9 facing up.
Place 5 task cards face-up beneath the merit award cards and deal 4 to the first player and 5 to the second. Place the remaining cards face-down.
On each turn take,
- two cards from the face-up cards (replacing each immediately), OR
- two from the face-down pile, OR
- one from each.
Moolti-pass cards are the only exception.
If you take one that's face-up, it counts as both draws. But if it's face-down, it's like any other card and you can draw another.
Moolti-pass cards are wild and can be used to complete groups (you could even use several at once, but your alien opponent may not think that's fair).
Take and flip over merit awards by playing the number of tasks for each.
- 2 ufos are needed for sightings,
- 2 crop circles for we're here,
- 3 cows for abduction, and
- 4 brains for mind control.
- Any matching pair can be used for extra credit.
You'll likely need to shuffle the discarded cards once to complete a game.
Ending the Game
When all the merit awards are claimed, it's time to see who's done the best.
Add up all of your merit award points, and then to that add the number of cards you have and meeples you have (the first player to collect one each of the four awards gets two meeples), as well as the number on your saucer die.
Highest score wins!
To clarify "and then to that add the number of cards you have" let me offer this example. Let's say we have a game that uses dollars for game points. You have twenty $1 dollar bills and I have one $20 bill. We both have 20 game points. Now let's say that each bill is worth a point - now you have 40 points and I have 21 points. This rewards you, in Mint Tin Aliens, for getting smaller value merit awards and not simply holding out for high ones.
It's possible to have a tie, so you'll need to decide a winner by thumb wrestling, playing rock-paper-scissors, rolling the best 2 out of 3, or flipping a coin! Or maybe both of you can be winners!
End after the second player's turn and add up your points.
All photos are free to use with a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (there's no need for attribution though).