A couple of weekends ago the guys came over and brought over a classic board game complete with challenges, traps and an uber bad guy. The game was fresh and unpunched counters and pieces looked virgin-like as they sat unmolested for years in the casing. I of course had to get into it and so did my friend Randy. Very soon we were learning Klingon and getting our phasers ready - I am talking about the Star Trek TNG VHS Video Boardgame of course.
The premise of the game is very simple actually. The Enterprise docks into spacedock for some much needed repairs. The majority of the crew are off the ship including the command staff. Only your team remains on the ship. A dastardly Klingon who's name escapes me at the moment steals the ship and gains control of the bridge.
After a quick demo on how to play the game in which you roll the die and move around the ship trying to get access chips to increase your security clearance you are told by the Klingon that he tires of the peace between the Federation and the Klingons and wants to bring about a war by stealing the Enterprise and flying it to the Klingon homeworld of Cronos.
The players must race time as the VHS plays in the background and the Klingon keeps chiding them and giving them BIJ (Klingon for Pain though I won't tell you what it devolved into over the course of the night). Each time we got to 'experience BIJ' we had to take a BIJ card and read it outloud. It was always something really fun like lose access cards or enter a stasis field or lose your phaser. I also won't tell you how much fun it is to talk to the television when the television talks back.There was more than once that we called him names. At any rate, throughout the game he tries to challenge you with the Klingon Sword and if you fail you get BIJ, heck sometimes you get BIJ when you succeed.
You get a lot of BIJ in the game and sometimes you get access chips and security access to the holodeck where you can consult with holographic images of iconic characters, no Riker does not give advice for picking up chicks and you cannot actually date Bev Crusher but the holographic interpretations are very realistic cardboard cards that are contained in a Holodeck. The holodeck allows access to specific rooms and gives clues on defeating the evil Klingon.
The pieces are fairly simple in that the characters are cardboard standees, the rank markers are cardboard, the access chips which fit neatly into the playing cards are also cardboard but the best are the plastic tubes that are used as stasis fields in which the Klingon continually places the characters and the oversize phasers that are the same size of the characters. The stasis fields keep you from moving and make you look like you are stuck in either a vacuum tube or a pump of some kind (you figure it out) but we really enjoyed messing with people when they got into the tube. What's worse, when you get into a stasis field you have to wait until someone gets to the board piece that allows them to be dropped or wait until the Klingon drops them himself.
Once you get all the access cards you can make your way to the command bridge but there are time warps and other elements that are twists and surprises throughout the game. The overall atmosphere in the game is really good though.
Mel and I won this round when we took our oversized pen-I mean phaser and took it to the Klingon on the bridge. We were able to stop the Enterprise from entering Klingon space and flew back to the space port and were rewarded by some great speech in the instruction manual though personally I would rather had Bev Crusher or Counc Troy give us all big hugs.
For the acting alone with the Klingon calling the players MAK (to stop) and Klingon worms and other fun phrases the game is worth it for that alone. The actual game itself is really fun however and game play makes for an interesting evening. You might want to be careful though because there are hidden dangers throughout the game and if you get caught by the Klingon on your turn he might make you experience BIJ...