In a world that has run out of resources we find ourselves in a bit of a quandary. We must now start mining for valuable resources in outer space. It is a dark, lonely place with an alien presence. It is your mission to take up the perils of mining in space to collect resources & turn them into a profit.

This is what you will do in Darkrock Ventures, a Euro style worker placement, with a resource collection , & dice manipulation mechanics. Darkrock Ventures is set for 2-5 players & may take 45 minutes to an hour to play. Designed by Michael Eskue (Council of Verona), artwork done by Darrell Louder (Dice Hate Me) & Naomi Robinson (Kanban), & will be published by Magic Meeple Games.

This past June while at Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio I was fortunate enough to demo this game with publisher Ian Stedman of Magic Meeple Games. Ian set up Darkrock Ventures & we sat down & played a full game. It might have taken 40 minutes to play. I’m huge into worker placement & Euro style games so this was a blast & I really enjoyed it.


So in Darkrock Ventures the board is set up with six nodes full of resources, a solar array where you can move through & pick up solar power resources, & various locations you can use to hire new worker or even fire workers, offload & sell resources, & ones that allow you to buy dice & manipulate your dice.

Each player has one die & three workers to start off with with a character card that represents a cargo mining ship. On a turn a set of communal dice known as “Power” dice are rolled. These dice will be used in conjunction with a players “Rig” dice to collect from the nodes.

After the Power dice are rolled each player takes turns placing their workers either on the nodes to collect or on a location to take various actions. Once all workers are placed, a neutronium die is rolled. This can also be used with a players Rig dice. Then a player must roll their Rig dice. Hopefully you don’t botch a roll, but if you do you will always collect a neutronium block.

After a certain criteria is met alien marauders will start to create havoc. After this happens, once per turn an alien card is flipped. This will tell what spot on the board they attack. If they hit that area where a worker is, that worker goes back to the cargo ship & is no longer able to help out that round..

The game ends when three of the six nodes are emptied.

Now like many worker placement and/or Euro games there is a scoring track. Once you reach certain parts of the track you will have the opportunity to unlock a Rig die. This helps out in the long run. Also you can use a worker to unlock a die for a one time use for your next turn.

There is a lot of playability & some deep strategy to this game. If you can’t manipulate your dice to pick up resources then you end up being between a rock & a hard place so to speak. I love worker placements & believe that this will be a game that I can bring to the table & play with my group. It was easy to pick up, quick to play, & in general an awesome game.

With that said the game launches on Kickstarter July 14th. Keep your eye out for it.

Here is the unedited video of the play through of Darkrock Ventures at Origins Game Fair 2015 with myself & Ian Stedman. I left the video unedited due to the fact that the banter between Ian & myself at the end of the video is wonderful. Darkrock Ventures game play

-Christopher Richter

Twitter: @Boardgaming_FTW