Filler Games · Reviews

Review of Starlink

8AA30368-4AAE-4BE7-B69A-DD60703A8934Game: Starlink

Published: Blue Orange Games

Designer: Markus Slawitscheck and Arno Steinwender

Players: 3-6

Playtime: 30 Minutes

Play Type: Party Games

Synopsis:

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It is now your job to map the sky into a variety of picturesque constellations. Connect the stars in the sky to create a variety of masterpieces but then rely on your follow enthusiasts to name the constellations.

Game Play:

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Starlink is a quick and simple family friendly party game. Players will take turns drawing cards, choosing one of two words to draw, and trying to draw that word into a constellation. Those constellations have to fit within a small area defined by the telescope, must be drawn before the sand falls in the hour glass and cannot have curved lines.

Once the image is drawn, the other players at the table will take turns guessing what word the constellation represents. If the hourglass empties before someone guesses correctly, no players get points. However, if someone guesses correctly, both the player who guessed and the player who drew the artwork receive as many points as the stars shown on the original card. Each player is the artist two times before the game ends. Who ever has the most cards (points) in front of them at the end of the game wins.

Components:

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The components in Starlink are simple but effective. It comes with a large constellation wipe board, a telescope to mark size, two white dry erase markers, an hour glass and a deck of cards. I love how well the cards are laid out, the information is very clear.

The board itself is large enough to be clearly seen around the table, but not so large that it isn’t easy to pass around to people to draw their image. I also love the contrast and theme of stars on the night sky. One concern I have though is the reality that the white dry erase will definitely dry out eventually. White dry erase markers can be more difficult to find then their black counterparts. Additionally, I find it it much more difficult to erase the white dry erase completely off the board. I worry that it will become dirty quickly if care is not taken to properly clean the board at the end of gameplay.

Another small aspect that I felt could be more thematic would be the scoring counter. In Skylink, players take cards from the deck as points. I would have loved to see a small thematic score counter to provide a more engaging experience.

Overview:
Positives:
  • Easy to Teach
  • Quick to Play
  • Great for Beginners
  • Simple Enough for Younger Children
  • Plays Up to 6
  • Artistic Skills Don’t Define Success
  • More Challenging Than Meets the Eye

Negatives:

  • Very Light
  • Dry Erase Markers Will Dry Out
  • Needs at Least 3 Players to Play
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Blue Orange Games does a fantastic job releasing family friendly games that provide innovative mechanics with a simple rule set. I felt that Starlink fits well within their collection of games, as it was extremely easy to teach but felt like a new addition to drawing based games. While it seems as though it may be too simple for adults to enjoy, I would argue that this is not the case.

We originally played this with a group of all adults. We found that the drawing was more difficult to clearly depict than we would have thought. Often times, we also were thinking too deeply about what images could be. For example, once the word was “square”, and we ran out of time becayse no one would think that simply. It had the family laughing, and we  ended up playing up multiple rounds in a row. This may not be the game for players who are looking for a heavier, main event experience, but it makes a great filler game and a wonderful introduction to the hobby.

I would also suggest this game for families who are looking for activities to do with children who are seven or older to keep them engaged off technology. The reading that needs to be done is simple enough for younger children. Also, the ability to draw perfectly is not necessary to be successful in this game, so younger children should be okay with adult help if needed. I think it could be a great experience for families.

Once unfortunate thing about how the game is scored is that it requires at least three players to play. While this may not be deal breaking for some groups, it did make it difficult for me to get it to the table in the current climate of the world. I prefer games to scale at least to two players so that those who live only with one other person are able to enjoy the games as well.
That being said, I would highly suggest Starlink to those who enjoy lighter weight party games. It had a similar feel to games like Fake Artist Goes to New York or Pictionary, but I felt it was more thematic and easier to see at a high player count.

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