Game at a Glance
A review copy of this game was provided by the publisher; however, my opinions are my own
Do you know how many pieces of M&M’s candy are in a standard-sized bag? Do you know how old the character Shaggy was in the Scooby Doo cartoon? In Shoot for the Stars, a trivia game about guessing numbers, you will be making educated guesses on questions such as these. The goal is to get as close to the correct answer as possible without going over.
Players take turns as the captain of a starship preparing to blast off to outer space. A trivia question is read and the captain answers in number form. The other players are passengers and get to decide if they want to stay on board, abandon ship, or make a higher guess to take over the role of captain. People may choose to keep upping the answer until everybody has decided to stay or abandon the ship. At that point, the answer is revealed.
A mission is successful when a captain’s answer is at or below the correct answer. In this case, passengers who remained on the mission are awarded star coins, with the captain taking the majority of the points. If the captain has overshot the correct answer, they will lose points and all players that abandoned that mission get to take star coins. At the end of eight questions, the game ends and the player with the most star coins is the winner!
Shoot for the Stars‘ gameplay relies on pushing your luck in a bidding war for the captain’s seat. Taking risks by shooting for high numbers may yield more points and scare other passengers off the ship. But if the captain pushes the answer too high, they alone suffer the penalty.
This bidding structure is the foundation for the entire game. This is a party game, and the purpose is well-served by this simple structure. Shoot for the Stars provides a light, approachable experience.
It is possible to get runaway leaders in the game. Fortunately, other passengers can actively choose to knock these players out of the captain’s seat and force them to outbid or jump overboard.
Players are not required to know the answers (and are not likely to). This makes Shoot for the Stars welcoming for a wide range of players. All that is needed is general knowledge about pop culture and current events. In the cases where players aren’t familiar with the subject of a question, it’s easy enough to coast along and decide to stay on board based on the confidence of the other passengers. The box says this game is for ages 10+, and that seems about right.
This party game is light, and easy to learn and teach. My peers immediately understand the concept after I compare it to The Price is Right. Most of the rules revolve around scoring – there are some intricacies to explain. I think player aid cards would have been a helpful addition.
The game comes with 110 double-sided cards, ensuring that the same person may play this 27 times without repeating a question. As a person who always seems to forget numbers, I could play with repeat questions after some time has passed.
Theme / Aesthetics
Full of star coins, astronaut meeples, and a large cardboard rocket ship, Shoot for the Stars embraces its theme wholeheartedly. It’s campy, silly, and perfect for a party game. It’s also clean and not likely to cause offense – I have yet to come across a trivia question that would make me blush in front of my grandma or my kids. Overall the game is silly and wholesome.
I like the components. The rocket ship attracts attention. Both the ship and the planet board aren’t necessary, but are nice touches that add to the table presence – I appreciate them. The screen-printed astronaut meeples look fantastic, but I wish the colors on some of them were brighter (the pink and purple meeple get mixed up a lot).
Interaction / Fun
This game does a fantastic job of facilitating interaction. This numerical approach to trivia provides a lot of openings for amusing arguments. The interactions here sometimes feel like a game of chicken where players attempt to push their opponents to their limits. Players remain engaged during the quick turns, and the answer reveal is pretty exciting – especially after several captain changes.
Shoot for the Stars is a social game. Shy players may choose to hang back and play quietly, but something about the format seems to help reserved players come out of their shells. For that reason, I think this is a wonderful icebreaker game for getting to know new players.
With seating up to eight, Shoot for the Stars accommodates a good-sized group and would be a great start to a large game night. It plays quickly enough that it could be used as a filler, or played back-to-back several times. I think it’s important to have games like this on the shelf.
There are considerations to keep in mind. First of all, some of the cards have QR code answers. In the unlikely event that people want to play with no cell phone access, they might run into hiccups. Also, the small box can make storage difficult – especially when trying to fit the rocket ship back in. It’s doable, it’s just a little tricky. I do wish it came with player aids to help people understand scoring, as well.
This game facilitates easy conversation. I have used it successfully as an icebreaker game when meeting new people, and have also played it with longtime friends. It has worked well for me in both settings and in all cases, everybody seemed to be having fun. In fact, one new friend popped onto Amazon mid-game to order their own copy.
Shoot for the Stars is a fast-paced party game with wide appeal. It is incredibly easy to get into this The Price is Right-style ante-upping with numbers. It is a great trivia game for those who don’t know trivia, because everything is about “guestimating” and seeing how high you can push things before you’ve gone too far. This one consistently brings laughs and smiles to the table, and for that reason, I will be keeping it in our collection for a long time.