List Price: $39.99
Regular Price: $31.99
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In the year 2288, off-world mining is now controlled by a few mega-corporations. It is no longer just people or nations that are subject to exploitation, but entire planets and moons. As the CEO of one of these mega-corporations, in Charon, Inc. you will vie against CEOs of other corporations as you exploit the planet’s resources and colonize Charon, the largest moon of the dwarf planet Pluto.
You will stake claims to the various mining regions of Charon, acquire resources for building facilities, use special actions (fair and unfair) to gain advantages over other CEOs and build your empire to achieve victory in this fastpaced game of planetary domination. !
While researching this game I was surprised at several lackluster reviews. Still the game board and description of the game drew me in and I'm very glad it did. This is a very enjoyable, thoughtful design. You're not going to find strategic depth here, but you will find strategy in trying to acquire territory, and thus, gems with which to build your mining space base. Yes, you're not flying rockets and exploring space and I guess the theme could have taken place anywhere, but to me the planet illustrated on the game board and the art in general gives a feeling of being in space. A player's turn is simple, place a flag and watch as the cascade of actions are triggered and collect gems. However as others place flags it becomes increasingly difficult to get the gems you wanted and to pick which action you really need to perform to stay in the game. We found that everyone chose certain actions more often than others, but timing is important in picking one action over another, and this adds a bit of tension to the game. I would recommend that you take a serious look at this game. On those nights when you don't want to play a 2 hour brain-burner, but want something that requires planning and thoughtful strategy, Charon, Inc fits that niche nicely.
This is a very well designed game. Good, agonizing choices. This is an area majority, set collection game that gels quite nicely. I would even go so far as to say the design is quite elegant.
There is one mechanic in particular, that I think is relatively novel and quite fun. I can't think of another game where this cool "bonus action" mechanic is used.
There are five possible bonus actions at the end of each round. As players move pieces onto the board (for area majority) their options for playing any particular bonus action diminish, with the possibility of not being able to use one of the actions at all. It all depends on which of your pieces you move, and which of your opponents pieces have been moved. Very clever.
There is quite a bit of randomness in the game, but this is mitigated by the total control of your flags during each round. For such a somewhat deep game, the time to setup, play, and put away is surprisingly short.
I'm really looking forward to teaching this game at our monthly library game night. This one will appeal to many people, and many age groups.
The first in the Gryphon Games Family Games series is Charon Inc., which is a reference to one of the moons of the planet (?) Pluto. In the game, players assume the role of CEOs (here's hoping that the corner office and six-figure salary will be included in a later expansion) of a space-age mining corporations that are leading the rush to colonize and mine the moon Charon. As a player, your job is to lay claim to the various mining regions of the moon and, utilizing the resources you collect, construct various buildings that will ultimately earn you victory points at the conclusion of the game.
The components are quite nice, and there's some interesting area control mechanics, combined with a choice of special abilities players can compete for each round. The heart of the game is about placing flags to stake your claim in areas on Charon, which in turn will get you the gems (minerals) needed to complete various point-scoring buildings - represented in the game by cards. The theme is arguably pasted on, but using flags for the claim-staking area control mechanic does give the game a certain charm.
Charon Inc is not something for the AP-prone, and won't suit the tastes of every group, but there are certainly going to be gamers who really enjoy this style of game. Also be aware that the game will feel quite different depending on the number of players (2-5).