ROVE Review

ROVE missions

ROVE is a cute explorer robot that needs your puzzle solving brain to complete its mission. This new wallet game from Button Shy Games is a solo game that requires careful planning, puzzle solving and perseverance. So let’s jump in and check out what this cute little robot can do.

Moving Modules

To setup the game, layout the 6 module cards in a 2 x 3 grid. These module cards will be rearranged using movement cards to help ROVE complete missions. Begin by flipping out the top mission card and pulling 5 cards to make up your player hand.

ROVE module cards

Mission cards serve two purposes. On the front they have an illustration of the mission and the pattern you need to accomplish with your module cards. On the back are the movement points that you can use from your hand. The goal of ROVE is to complete a total of 7 missions.

Each module card has specific movement rules and a one time ability that can be activated. To move the module cards, play a movement card from your hand and use the top movement value. If the pattern in the middle of this card is met before playing the card then you can use the bottom movement number which is always higher.

ROVE movement cards

You may need to play multiple movement cards to accomplish the pattern on the current mission card. Once you accomplish the mission pattern, draw one new movement card and flip out a new mission card.

Mission Control

Movement points are in short supply in ROVE. On average, movement cards only have 2 movement points available. Ultimately you’ll need to access the higher movement value as often as possible. Hitting this matching pattern on the movement cards require careful planning.

ROVE module pattern

ROVE is a challenging puzzle and each aspect of the game works so well with everything else. Since each module card has unique movement rule, it can be a challenge to move these into just the right place on the grid. Sometimes you’ll have to rely on luck draw just the right mission card. Spending 3 movement cards to complete a mission can really ruin a good run.

A saving grace has to be the one time use module abilities. These can be played before or after using a movement card. Playing these at just the right time really makes all the difference.

ROVE mission cards

I’ve said it before. Solo games aren’t really my favorite. BUT (a big but), ROVE is really good. It’s a puzzle that doesn’t feel punishing. Finishing a mission card and seeing the panorama of adventures that your robot goes through is so satisfying. So far I’ve only successfully completed 6 missions. This honestly has pushed me to say “one more game” immediately after running out of cards.

ROVE is such a portable game that it begs to be played outside of the home. I think the only draw back is that it does require more table space than you would imagine. If you want to keep the adventure alive, ROVE comes with a mini expansion that has your robot buddy exploring dangerous plant life on this strange planet.

ROVE is available from the Button Shy webstore on Black Friday (November 26, 2021). Supplies are limited to only 1,800 copies.

Highs

  • Finishing missions to make the panorama is so fun
  • Unique module movements create an ever changing puzzle
  • Challenging gameplay

Lows

  • Takes up more table space than expected