The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction is a stand alone game based on the popular "Manhattan Project" board game by Minion Games, this is a simpler card-only game using dual-purpose cards in a quick and exciting race to completion!
The world is again threatened with war! As the War Minister of your small nation, you have been tasked with confronting aggression by developing atomic bombs for your country. Your spies have stolen the needed technology, but you need to acquire the materials and personnel to get the job done before your rival nations do. Once someone has built 10 megatons of bombs, the final round will finish, and the player with the most bombs will win, their nation’s survival assured!
In The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction, players take turns trying to most efficiently use the cards available to them to aquire the most points. While there is an amount of strategy that can be employed, this is a card game and luck inherently plays a prominent role.
The game awards players for there efficient use of there resources. You are going to need to think ahead in this game as the funnel of resources and actions that is created can be quite eloborate as turns go on. Players have very limited interation with each other outside of a few cards but thats not really a bad thing as the fun of the game comes from the race to the finish line.
The game isn't as easy to understand as something like Takenoko or Tsuro, but when you have grasped the overall objective and how a turn runs it becomes quite intuitive. That being said, if you aren't used to the concept of dual use in card games it may go slightly over your head.
This game was designed to be the pick up and play version of The Manhattan Project and it very much is a success in that area. The game comes in a extremely portable package (unless you pick up the deluxe edition) and is easily a game that can be played between other larger games or whenever there is a small amount of time to kill.
The game is essentially a double deck of cards. The art is quite good but if you are looking for a more premium product you should definitely pick up the Deluxe edition which comes with tokens to replace the double sided Yellowcake/Uranium cards. You will be doing a conciderable amount of shuffling for any game of more that 3 players so the cards may begin to wear.
The game doesn't actually require that much in terms of strategic thinking but problem solving is definitely a key part. This game is best taught as a player by player basis, a two player game which open hands might be best for those new to card games.
The game shines at 3-4 players, with 5 there is simply too much card cycling going on and at 2 it tries to turn into a grudge match that it was never designed to be. There is a solo varient and while it does have some challange to it, the game really is best played with friends.
Like its predecessor, The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction is all about the Nuclear age. Developing the staff and resources needed to produce bombs. What will these bombs be used for? Well it doesn't take a genius to work that out. When paying close attention to the theming behind the cards and what they do I did get an image of what the game was trying to do, but apart from that the theme is little more than a simple backdrop.
The Manhattan Project is a beloved Strategy game that requires quite a time commitment, players are rewarded for this but if you are looking for a smaller, more digestible version of the game, or maybe just an introduction to the franchise, then this is definitely worth a pick up.
Have you played The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction? Do you agree with our review? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and please like us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram!