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The Awful Green Things from Outer Space
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The Awful Green Things from Outer Space

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Ages Play Time Players
12+ 60-90 minutes 2

Designer(s): Tom Wham

Manufacturer(s): Steve Jackson Games

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Product Description

The crew of the exploration ship Znutar just wanted to cruise around the galaxy, discovering strange new worlds and playing pool. But then their ship was invaded by the Awful Green Things. And suddenly they were fighting for their lives.

In this wacky two-player game, one person takes the part of the Awful Green Things. Every turn the monsters multiply and grow... especially if they can gobble up a crew member! The other player commands the crew, frantically trying weapon after weapon in hope of finding something to defeat... The Awful Green Things from Outer Space.

This new edition of the classic science-fiction game includes 151 DIE-CUT color counters (and a ziplock bag to hold them), big full-color gameboard, five GREEN dice, and the rulebook. And now you can take the battle to space! "Outside the Znutar" gives new rules and counters for fighting on the surface of the ship.

Product Information


  • 151 DIE-CUT color counters
  • 1 ziplock bag
  • 1 full-color gameboard
  • 5 green dice
  • rulebook

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.4 in 8 reviews

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Why another review?
August 26, 2001

This game is one I've played since the Snit's Revenge days (oops, I'm dating myself, sorry kiddies). Anyway, it is a funny game, and that isn't a bad thing for once. Why write another review? Because most of these don't seem to tell you how to play.

Basically, you are either the crew or the green things (read: 2 players). The green things grow more numerous every turn (read: time limit). The crew has 20+ members and nearly as many weapon types (read: try all the weapons). A big element is finding a good area effect weapon that kills. The crew should work on these types first, hoping to get a good one to blast the green things with if they try to mass up. However, don't try an area effect on a room full of stuff. If they get blasted to 'fragments', next turn you will have a mass (3.5 times as big) of nasty aliens. Try weapons one at a time on an alien, if possible. When you get a good weapon, use it relentlessly, and methodically drive them back. Or run off the ship. Or just die.

I'm not sure if this game is unbalanced against the crew, even though some say it is. It does take more brains to play the crew, though, of that I'm sure.

The feel of the game is at its highest early on, when your cook is holed up in the kitchen, throwing food and knives at these horrible little blobs, only to be finally eaten by the slimy enemy.

Fun game! One of Tom Wham's best...
January 07, 2001

This game is a blast to play. Due to the randomizing weapon effects, it leads to a fun game of experimenting along with strategizing, and decent replayability. One can suffer from no-win situations if the wrong chit pulls come up.

This is arguably the best game that Tom Wham has produced, and he produced many of them (The Great Khan game is another). It has his trademarks of silliness and randomness, but with a good dose of strategy.

Highly recommended.

Now look what you've done!!
September 19, 1999

"Hey, Sparks! Watch out! Theyre comin outta the wardroom!"

"Oh, man! The Znutar is crawling with them! Wheres Captain Yid and the Robot?"

"Theyre with Smodum trying to contain an attack back in the science lab."

"Were running out of options with these things! Here, try this fire extinguisher on it before it gets any bigger."

"Nope. Another dud. Boy I sure could use a can of Zgwortz right now. Hey! I wonder . . . ?"

AGTFOS is a wild and woolly romp through all stereotypical B-type science fiction movies rolled into one. This, plus the riotous cartoony atmosphere created by Tom Wham meshes well to produce a truly fun game.

One player controls the ever increasing Green Things, while the other player maneuvers the crew of Snudalians, Smbalites, Frathms, and Redundans throughout the starship Znutar in an effort to remove them. The sequence of play is Grow (for Greenies) or Grab Weapons (for crew), then Move, then Attack. Even though the strategy is straightforward in every game, each play is far from similar. The only way the crew player can successfully control (hopefully) the Greenies is to attack them with different items on the ship. These range from stun pistols to pool sticks, and with the effects of each item ranging from 4 dice to kill (good) to grow or fragment (bad), the results are always a surprise for both players! The crew attacks with an average of two dice, but can gang together. This isnt much of a problem early on against eggs or babies, but stopping a crowd of adult Greenies (which have a defense of 16!) is an awesome task.

This game has all of the advantages of any lighthearted two player game you currently enjoy, but with the added bonus of being unpredictable and different every time you play it. What it lacks in depth it definitely makes up for in fun and replayability.

A reliably good time
August 11, 1999

A favorite from my college days. Not too simple, not too complicated. Lots of decisions to be made -- by both sides -- and lots of opportunities for laughter (especially if you've seen the 'Aliens' movies or any sci-fi/horror fare). As I recall, the crew tends not to fare well, and the game set-up is perhaps more laborious than it needs to be. Still, the Znutar player has a resourceful (well, at least, SIZABLE) crew, and there's always the race to the Escape Pod. In short, no one complained when this game came off the shelf.

Points off for components
April 21, 2001

TAGTFOS is an older game from Steve Jackson Games, and if memory serves, it was first published in a magazine many years ago. This edition is of better quality than one would expect from the magazine version, but not THAT much better. The components, quite frankly, are shoddy.

If you are looking for a good, light game however, don't let the componentry stop you. The game itself is a surprisingly fun romp. I have never been a big fan of games that involved a lot of dice-rolling to resolve combat (a la Risk) but it seems to suit this game remarkably well.

The basic premise is that the oddball--and need I say ragtag--crew of the exploratory ship Znutar are off mapping the galaxy. On one stop they pick up a pretty rock, which turns out to be the egg of a particularly hungry (and fertile) alien.

One player takes the part of the crew, while the other takes the part of the aliens. The two sides are not evenly matched. Awful green things range from vicious adults down to helpless eggs, while the crew is composed of rather middling-to-weak officers and the mighty robot, which is an alien-thrashing nightmare.

What makes the game unique is how the two sides are quite different but equal. The awful green things can re-populate during the game while the crew, once gone, are gone for good. The crew however has the opportunity to find different weapons around the ship and use them on the invaders. Until a weapon is tried, the result of the attack is unknown. Will that pool cue kill the awful green thing outright, or will it disintegrate into a bunch of fragments, just waiting to grow into hungry adults of their own? This random factor adds a lot of tension and fun to the game.

While definitely overpriced for what you get in the way of cardboard and paper, the cost of TAGTFOS is definitely worth it if you are looking for a good source of non-alcoholic beer-and-pretzels fun.

Classic game let down by shoddy components
January 14, 2001

I loved the original TSR version (with the fold around box).

This is obviously the same game, with the extra 'outside the ship' rules that also appeared in The Dragon magazine.

I still like the game after all these years, but the poor quality of the game components (as noted by other reviewers, and common to a few of the recent Steve Jackson releases) is very disappointing. Hence 3 stars rather than 4.

A little pricey
January 09, 2001

Like many games from Steve Jackson Games (and Altas Games, for that matter) this game costs a little more than it should. Granted, the game is fun. However the bits are a bit cheap. For instance, the board (spaceship) is fairly thin--more of a postboard than a real game board. Also, the chits/crew/awful green things have to be cut out before they can be used. The green dice are also a bit small... (oaky, that last one was a wee bit gripe-ey)

The game is fun, but the lasckluster pieces--in comparison to the price--reduce the value, in my humble opinion. It would be more like a four star game if it were only cheaper.

Not All It's Cracked Up to Be
March 29, 2004

I'm a big fan of this type of game, and when Awful Green Things was a cut out game in Dragon Magazine that I got for free it was a great game. Unfortunately, nothing has changed since the original publication and the game simply doesn't justify the price tag.

Gameplay is simplistic, almost completely luck-based, and once you get through the 'theme' the game has little to offer.

That said, owning this game is owning a little bit of gaming history - Tom Wham was all that and a bag of chips for many years - and the games he published in Dragon will always hold a special place in the hearts of old timers like myself.

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