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Vanished Planet
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Store:  Family Games
Theme:  Science Fiction
Genre:  Cooperative
Format:  Board Games

Vanished Planet

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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Game, 2005

Ages Play Time Players
8+ 60-120 minutes 1-6

Publisher(s): Vanished Planet Games

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Product Description

A seething mass of darkness has appeared where Earth once was, and it's stretching out deadly tentacles towards the six homeworlds of the galaxy's other empires.

The galaxy has been thrown into chaos; colonies are rebelling, workers are fleeing their jobs, and old hatreds are threatening to foment into war.

Now, cryptic missions are being transmitted from the vanished planet Earth. It's up to you to complete those goals, banish the creature, and restore Earth to its place in the galaxy before your homeworld is consumed!

Vanished Planet is a cooperative strategy game for 1-6 players, who must work together to manage resources and complete mission goals to win.

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Game, 2005

Product Information

  • Publisher(s): Vanished Planet Games

  • Year: 2003

  • Players: 1 - 6

  • Time: 60 - 120 minutes

  • Ages: 8 and up

  • Weight: 1,932 grams


  • 1 game board
  • 55 black creature tokens
  • 60 small tag tokens
  • 24 large ship tokens
  • 20 goal cards
  • 29 event cards
  • 11 creature growth cards
  • 100 resource cards
  • 50 personnel cards
  • 30 technology cards
  • 18 upgrade cards
  • 12 equipment cards
  • 1 resource score pad
  • 1 rulebook

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.4 in 8 reviews

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by csw11235
Better than some, worse than others, but probably better as a computer game
August 13, 2007
Our game group recently gave this game a try after several months of letting it sit on the shelves. We've recently become intrigued by cooperative board games and in that light decided to give it a whirl. Over all we felt it was OK, but probably not good enough that we'll seek it out to play again. The game has a lot of pieces, both physically and conceptually. However the mechanics were pretty straight forward once we'd played a round or two. The quick-start walk through was very useful to get us going. The mechanics style is exception driven - a general set of rule with ways to bend and break those rules available by spending resources. Once you learn the base mechanics the cards tell you everything you need to know. The flavor is fine, though there are some places where there's dissonance between the flavor and the mechanics. The general style economic. Players start with a small income and over the course of the game they invest their resources either in increasing their income or in action which more directly get them towards winning the game. Income tracking gets to be a bit of a pain. The game went on a bit long. There came a point where it was obvious that we were going to win and we didn't feel like playing anymore - the actual process of play wasn't fun enough keep us going. Also, there was a bit too much open information - the best move was too often obvious to all players, leading to a lack of interesting discussion. If you're interested in messing with game rules, this would be a good one to get to use as a framework. If you like relatively light games this would probably also be OK. If you're going to buy only a single coop board game, get Shadows Over Camelot instead. If you already have that then this might be worth your time as an exploration into other styles of coop play (though you'll probably be a bit disappointed by the play). All of us in the group liked this much better than the Lord of the Rings coop game.
Cooperative Settlers of Catan
June 07, 2005

I am a big fan of cooperative games. Not only is it nice to take a break from competitive angst, but my wife and multiple friends of mine really enjoy cooperative games (that is, it's easy to get a cooperative game going). So when I saw a cooperative game that won Game magazines family board of the year, I bought it without reservation. Vanished Planet has not disappointed me.

Both my wife and I have played Vanished Planet solo multiply times, as well as together, and we've played a couple of times with groups of four people. My wife now regularly asks to play this game (a big plus to me).

Another reason Vanished Planet is popular with my family is that it plays is similar to Settlers of Catan (a favorite of mine for nine years). The game involves building, limited trading, and resource management. Instead of building for 10 victory points, the player builds for individual goal points of 5 (or more) per player. The incentive to do this quickly comes from a giant black tentacle monster that will eat all the player's home worlds if the goals aren't completed in time. The difficulty of the game is adjustable, and right now we're doing pretty good with 'hard' (I'm working up the courage to try 'nightmare').

Unfortunately, this game does have its flaws. In terms of components, the black creature disks are a little to big, the spaceships are domed wooden disks, and the rules could use some editing. My wife thinks the game plays a little long, and I could see people have some difficulty with the complexity of the building (there are 16 different 'things' that can be built).

However, I still think this game is very worth while, and consider Vanished Planet one of my better game purchases. I strongly recommend it to families and cooperative game enthusiasts.

by Roy L.
Uninspired and Poorly Produced
June 05, 2005

I'm not sure what the hype is about. This is an average game at best: uninteresting mechanics and mediocre art along with terrible production quality. The rules, in particular, are a mess.

If you're an experienced gamer, you'll find nothing here. If you are new to games beyond Monopoly and Clue, you might enjoy a few games, but will quickly move on. Try before you buy.

Show all 8 reviews >

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