At a New Year's party I was introduced to a game that had a room full of 30-year-old nerds yelling things like: "Set shift-sanitizer to three! Contemplate existence! Wormhole, everybody flip!" Spaceteam is a hilarious cooperative game for 2-4 players where you must communicate instructions to your teammates while racing against your ship's impending destruction. It is fast-paced, funny, and loud, which is why teens will love it. Play this game with a group in a room where you can close the door.
Spaceteam uses your wireless internet connection to link your team's devices. It's the only cooperative app game I know of that requires players to be in the same room. Each player's screen has a control panel where you can manipulate various controls: buttons, levers, dials, etc. Many of these are labeled with lengthy, difficult to pronounce technobabble names. Some are instead labeled with things that sound normal, but come off as non sequiturs in the context of a spaceship, like a panel labeled "laundry" with a button labeled "sort." Instructions appear at the top of your screen. Some of these may pertain to the controls you can see, but more likely, they will be things you need to tell the other players to do. You need to tell them quickly because each instruction has a timer, and you're going to find yourself telling them loudly because everyone will be giving instructions at the same time. ' Successfully complete an adequate amount of these prompts and advance to the next level, where things will only get worse. There may be wormholes, which can only be bypassed when everyone flips their device upside down, asteroids that require you to shake your device, green slime that spreads across your control panel, and instruments coming loose and swinging wildly back and forth as you try to manipulate them. Wipe up that slime, hold the plasma gauge in place and remember to "work together... as a spaceteam."
Why should you play this loud, zany game in your library? It's a great icebreaker for new groups. You could try it at a Teen Advisory Board meeting to get people communicating with each other and working together. Trying to read the technobabble is an exercise in amusement and pronunciation and trying to beat higher levels is a real challenge. Play with a small group and see how many levels you can solve, or play with several groups and see who can get the farthest. Better yet, ' see who can be the quietest while still successfully completing the game's instructions. Recommend this game to fans of science fiction and wordplay.
Learn more about the runaway success of Spaceteam over at developer Henry Smith's blog, Breaking the Code. His most recent post includes some creative reviews and a picture of a sixth grade science class playing Spaceteam.
For more app recommendations, visit the YALSA App of the Week Archive.