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In Victorian times wealthier people would sometimes ‘take a tour’. It sounds grand but these days we would call this a package tour, as people would move between several different destinations without spending a huge amount of time in any one place.
Celestia takes this theme and adds a good amount of steampunk fantasy to bring us a game of airships travelling to ever more exotic locations.
Celestia is a game for 2-6 players, and works best with 5 or 6 players. At its heart Celestia is a game that mixes bluffing with pushing your luck.
There are nine different locations to visit, and you have to visit each in order. A round begins with a new journey at the first location. The players take turns being the captain. The captain rolls the dice and evades (or not!) the hazards revealed.
Hazards include marauding birds, fierce storms, and roving pirates. The captain rolls the dice, and one by one the players decide whether they want to take a trip with this particular captain at the helm. Anyone who gets off now takes a scoring card from their location and takes no further part in the voyages until a new voyage begins.
Those who chose to stay are coming along for the wild ride. Once players have decided, the captain reveals whether he or she is able to navigate the hazards and reach the next destination.
You must have a matching card for each hazard symbol rolled. If not, the ship will crash. If successful, the ship moves forward one location and the next player becomes the captain, to start the bluff all over again. If the ship crashes, only those who left early receive any points. After a crash, each player draws a new card and a new voyage begins from the first location.
The longer you can stay on the ship, the more points you will receive when you leave, but the greater your chances of a crash. If you crash you get nothing, no matter how far you went.
At the start of a new voyage, any player may reveal they have 50 points or more. If so, then the game ends after the current voyage is complete and the highest score wins.
Celestia is suitable for players age 8 and up, and younger players will enjoy the bluffing aspect of the game, once they get the hang of it, and especially if they get to fool mum or dad! For older players, Celestia provides a fast game with plenty of shouting and laughter as bluffs are revealed and voyages succeed or fail.
This is a suitable game for anyone’s collection, and a great addition for those who enjoy social gaming in larger groups, or want to introduce younger players to tabletop games.