Nnnnot a fan. The minis are beautiful and I could be potentially coaxed into giving it a second go, but as it stands this game is cooler to think about than to play, as it is such a bundle of disparate complex and sometimes counter-intuitive mechanics that it just doesn’t come together into a smooth game. It has the Arkham Horror Revised Edition problem where so much of every turn is upkeep and your own actions are so few in number and so governed by randomness that it just becomes a pain in the ass to play.Great minis, great art, love the Alien theme and wanted it to be good, but the actual game needs a lot of pruning and revision because it is a hot mess.
Updated thoughts after 5 plays:Pros:- Plenty of actions for everyone to do- Plenty of time to do most everything you want- "Random" things are never too swingy and always feel like a calculated risk, you always know the risks. Have 2 serious wounds? The next alien attack might kill you, have a larva on the board you may die from eclosion, have quite a few fire/malfunction tokens, an event may blow up the shipt...etc.- Theme is great and feels tense the whole way through the game- Usually people disregard their goals in favor of playing co-op. Cooperation is much more meaningful in this game *because* we usually have conflicting goals so it really feels like we're working as a team and putting our own interests aside.Neutrals:- Pacing of the game is fine, depends on how quickly people play their turns. Downtime isn't an issue for me since the game itself is so tense/engagingCons:- Player elimination, it's possible to have to sit through much of the game if you died early. However, deaths are usually a long time coming/expected, hardly ever a surprise. And even then it's very much dictated by your choices. If you stick together and play smart it's easy to avoid death until the last part of the game.Great first experiencePros:Even though we triggered self destruct early on I felt like I had plenty of time in the game to do meaningful things. I was able to explore the ship, fix an engine, find the nest, carry an egg across the ship to the lab and examine the egg, then make a run for the shuttle only to be left behind at the last second of the last round.I like the way the enemy health works, it's counterintuitive, but is a good way to give each enemy different health totals, while keeping that total a secretThe intruders also seemed appropriately hard to kill. Difficult, but not impossible, and not too easy either.The bigger intruders felt and actually proved much scarier. (The models meant something unlike rising sun). There's plenty to do on the ship for everyone. Fix rooms, explore, fix engines, fiddle with coordinates, attack intruders, research corpses/eggs, open escape pods...etcCons:Rounds seemed to take too long, likely because we were learning the game and 1 player was slow on their turn. It definitely sped up toward the end.