It’s the future and wormholes are the hottest form of travel! Wormholes is a pick up and deliver game where players are strategically using this new form of travel almost like a space Uber. Let’s strap in and get to know this game.
Give Me Some Space
The game board is built out at the start of each game. Piecing together the space tiles lets you alter the board from game to game, which gives more variability. Tiles have a basic side and advanced side for players who are looking for more options. Every game starts with the space station as the central hub for all players.
Your wooden ship will zip around the board, slowly at first, picking up travelers and dropping them off. Travel is slow, moving one space per energy spent. Players will use free actions like picking up, dropping off, and dropping wormholes around the board. Wormholes starts off at a slow pace and speeds up as you explore.
No matter how the board comes together, players will have obstructed spaces that imped travel. Wormholes become the best way to deliver passengers, quickly.
I often tell my family that I just want a tube to shoot me to my final destination instead of sitting in a car for hours. I guess I’m really just waiting for these sweet traveling wormholes! Players can spend an action point to drop a wormhole on their space or an adjacent space. Wormholes are always placed in numerical order from 1 to 5.
Travel through these wormholes isn’t active until it has a matching number and color. It costs nothing to move through these wormholes. With careful planning, reaching the furthest planets is a snap.
Players can travel through active wormholes that match their player color or any active wormholes from another player. Players earn a point token every time another player travels through their wormhole. It’s not much to start, but creating prime travel routes through space can lead to players using your wormholes over and over.
Players are encouraged to explore planets by placing wormholes adjacent to them. Each time this happens, a token comes off the exploration stack. This works like a game timer, counting down until the game enters the last 3 turns. I really like the agency that this stack gives players. If you want a longer game, don’t place wormholes adjacent to planets. Trying to end the game? Drop those wormholes right next to the unexplored planets.
In Wormholes, players want to drop passengers off at the locations on the cards in hand. With a hand limit of 4, having similar drop off points are a huge win. Dropping off a single card or 3 identical cards cost the same amount of energy.
There’s also a discard function that allows players to curate the hand they want. Discarding a passenger will make them available as a face up card at the space station. Planning routes and making the most of your free actions gets more satisfying as the game unfolds.
Dropping off passengers will score 2 points per card. This is where the majority of your points come from during the game. “Galactic Tour” bonuses are given to players for delivering passengers to more than 5 planets. Players add their delivered cards, tour bonuses, and point tokens earned during the game to get their final scores.
Planning routes and making the most of your free actions gets more satisfying as the game unfolds.
A Forgettable Experience?
Wormholes is a straight-forward pick up and deliver game. AEG did an excellent job with the components and color choices in the game. The wooden wormhole discs really pop against the backdrop of space. It’s so satisfying to drop these tokens on the board and open up new routes for travel.
I struggle with my feelings about the game because of the amount of hype I saw when the game was first released. After my first couple plays of Wormholes, I felt like I was missing something. Seeing loads of love for the game on social media really set my expectations far too high. Wormholes is a really solid game but not one that could meet the initial hype when it was released.
My biggest gripe isn’t with the gameplay, but with the quality of the cards. The cards feel cheap and the quality doesn’t match the other excellent components that come in the game. The cards show the destination planet you’re traveling to but it never feels like you’re delivering an actual passenger somewhere.
Wormholes is a game that underwhelmed me based primarily on the amount of buzz around its release. The mechanic of traveling through wormholes isn’t enough of a hook to make it stand out. With a variable setup of the map and support of up to 5 players, Wormholes has a good amount of replayability. The question is whether or not I would choose this over other pick up and deliver games in our collection.
You can purchase Wormholes at your local game store or online through Amazon today.
This game was provided to us by the publisher for review. Read more about our review policies at One Board Family.
- Easy to teach and introduce to new gamers
- Variable board setup leads to different strategies
- Wooden components are well designed and look great
- Card quality feels cheap compared to other great components
- End game can creep up quickly if not paying attention