Game Review: Jump Drive

A quick card game review—

Jump Drive. 2–4 players, 10–30 min.

2007’s Race for the Galaxy remains one of the very best and most deeply satisfying games I have ever played. Ten years later, Jump Drive is the no-calories version. It’s literally a direct simplification, from the same designer and using many of the original’s card titles and art with closely related but less complex mechanics. Whereas Race arguably has somewhat of a learning curve that yields an impressively elegant system, Jump is just straightforward. It’s definitely a “filler” game, not nearly as deep in strategy or storybuilding as the original. But in that role Jump is very solid. It’s short and sweet, with just enough decision making and theme along the way. Right when you start to wonder how interesting the game actually is, you realize this is the last round and you need to make a couple very optimized decisions if you’re going to win. So in no way does Jump Drive replace Race for the Galaxy, but it seems a lot more friendly to introduce to more casual gamers, or to play when you’re really pressed for time. Overall a valuable contribution to the RftG franchise.

Deathwatch: Overkill Card Boxes

Games Workshop’s new game Deathwatch: Overkill comes with a ton of amazing components. But it doesn’t come with boxes to keep the two different decks of cards organized. Here you can download templates to print, cut out, and assemble to create appropriately sized tuckboxes for them.

The tuckbox pattern is by Craig Forbes. The art is of course by Games Workshop.


The basic materials needed are printouts of the two PDFs, a sharp hobby knife, a straightedge, and a cutting board. Ideally the PDFs are printed onto thick paper or cardstock and cut out directly from there. Otherwise you will also need some cardstock and either spray adhesive or rubber cement. You may also find a pair of scissors handy, as well as a black permanent marker and packing tape. When printing the PDFs, make sure to print at 100%, no scaling. The margins are sufficient that no downsizing should be necessary on any printer.

Though not necessary, if you roughly cut out the two designs you can then affix them to a single sheet of cardstock. They are not arranged as such on the PDFs because they won’t fit within the margins most printers require.

Spray adhesive and rubber cement should be used in well ventilated spaces. Make sure to press down and lightly rub the designs with a clean paper towel or cloth to ensure good contact and no air bubbles.

Using a straight edge, cut out along all the straight black lines of the perimeter of the design. Then carefully cut out the curved segments. Using a fresh hobby knife should make this easy, requiring only a single pass. Then, again using the straight edge, cut the shorter interior lines freeing the top and bottom flaps. Looking at the pattern reference on the printed page, all of the red lines are cuts to be made.

With the straight edge, next lightly score all of the fold lines by gently stroking the knife along them. Be sure to only cut the very top surface of the paper. There are a number of scores to make. Faint white dashed lines on the designs provide guides for the actual action, but look at the blue dashed lines on the pattern reference to see where they all are. Once all the scores have been made, carefully fold and then unfold the pieces to set the shape.

Finally, put glue on the flap on the right and press it against the inside of the left panel. This is probably easiest with rubber cement. Once this has dried, fold the top and bottom panels in to make a box. Success!

An additional, optional step to make from this point is to use a permanent marker to black out the white edges along the folds, making the final product look sharper. You may also want to use packing tape to strengthen the edges of the boxes, especially if you made the fold scores too deep and they start tearing apart.

Beta Station!

I believe Daryl to be dead, consumed by the pint-sized monster he’s raising, but a couple months ago I sat down and finally finished writing out a complete set of rules for our project now long, long in the making:


Along the way that’s become:


Beta Station is a fast playing, casual exploration and sci-fi shoot ’em up boardgame. Take the part of a cavalier relic hunter in a derelict space station, searching for lost technology and fighting off hidden terrors and competing treasure seekers in an exciting tabletop adventure!

I’d been fighting the name change for a long time, but in producing this latest iteration and started to think about some future directions I decided it wasn’t worth risking trademark, legal, and search collisions over the Relic Hunter title. Seemingly nothing is camped out on the Beta Station name.

Yesterday I spent an early morning arts and crafts hour putting together a new prototype:


Assembly was straightforward, though there is a fair amount of cutting just given the quantity of chits and tiles. For the next prototype I need to add cut line guides to both the chits and tiles. The former have none at the moment, so I basically just eyeballed it. The latter do but they get lost in the heavy black wall bleeds on some of the tiles. I also plan to add some doubled-over player markers, so you could use them as stand-ups rather than laying flat like all the chits.

Tom W has the prototype now, with strict instructions to guard it with his life. Hopefully him, Charles, whoever can get together and play some games without me in order to gauge the clarity of the rules writeup. Later this summer I hope to put together another set or two, playtest the rules writeup a bit, update on current manufacturing options and cost, and then get serious about plans for a small Kickstarter. Worse comes to worst, written rules were the last missing component to at least get the game out there as a print & play. The Beta Station prototype is indeed already available as such and I plan to have it remain so as part of drawing in people to the eventual Kickstarter.