I have fond memories of playing board games like “Arkham Horror” or “Agents of Smersh” that are essentially multiplayer versions of gamebooks. That is, they’re similar to old Choose Your Adventure Books, but with some sort of RPG-style stats, more state, and significant random elements. “Skybreak!” is a charming space adventure written in that style.
Gameplay: The goal of the game is to acquire certain kinds of items (or abstract things like scientific data) by randomly travelling through space. Exactly what kinds of items are needed depends on the details of the initial character construction, and the stats chosen at that point also affect how the later vignettes on each planet play out. None of them are particularly complicated, but they’re enjoyable and play smoothly. 6/10.
Mechanics: The encounters on each planet are similar to those in the two board games above. They’re straightforward and designed well, although they get a bit repetitive over the course of the game. There’s significant state to the game (enough that the author provides a printable character sheet for reference, although all that information is also easily accessible from within the game), and there are opporunities for exchanging or otherwise taking advantage of items that the player has collected. 6/10.
Presentation: The lightly comedic of the game is consistent throughout, and I enjoyed the scenes that played out on arriving at distant planets. There’s a large roster of skills, character backgrounds, and other embellishments to add variety to the gameplay. 6/10.
You might be interested in this game if: You’ve played and enjoyed games like “Arkham Horror” or “Agents of Smersh.”