LUPO: The Space Adventure
This is a very special review of a game that is created for educational purposes. “LUPO World” is the company behind this project and it exists to create ridiculously fun products that spark people’s imagination, unleash their creativity and bring people together. From my experience, they are making a great job towards it!
If you are a teacher, a parent, someone involved in learning concepts or just a creative person that wants to be ridiculous and have fun, make sure to read on.
Unfortunately, planet Earth turned into a raisin and thus a new home for humanity has to be found. You are one of the brave and crazy minded LUPO-Nauts crew that will try to find a new planet and build a town there for the population to live on. As part of a crew, you will have your own unique mission and will try to contribute with all you got, your ideas and imagination! Are you ready for this adventure?
The main goal of the game is to have fun, explore, unleash your imagination and if possible build the best town among the other crews. The number of players will determine how many crews take on the mission and thus you have some rivals or if you are up to five crew members there will be only one crew that will have to succeed on the mission.
Get ready for your adventure
The game can be played from 3 to 25 players so as you can see it’s perfect for classes. On each game, one person will be the Ambassador of the Intergalactic Committee! The Ambassador’s mission is to guide the crews successfully and fill them up with the proper information about their encounters, missions Etc. That person must be the tutor, teacher or the most experienced player.
Before you start you have to split into crews of 3 to 5 people each. Each will take on one of the available crew roles, each with a unique mission and attitude. Let’s take a look at them:
DIPLONAUT: You want to create a social space for your citizens. You have to think about the needs of the new species you will encounter, how they will influence your design and how to help your crew understand them and their needs. In addition, you are puzzled about the activities that will make your citizens happy and how to ensure a social space that will bring them together!
BIONAUT: You are all about the food and the drinks. What resources will you need in this new world to produce the food and drinks that your citizens need? How will you deliver all that and at the same time adjust to the new environment and protect it from the rest of the crew or show them how to respect it.
STYLONAUT: You are concerned about making a place for your citizens to live comfortably. Your style needs to suit both species on the new planet and make them happy. It will also influence your design and you also have to make sure other members align their creations to that.
PROTECTONAUT: Your citizens need to be protected, but how can you do that and adjust at the threats and opportunities this new world has to offer? The citizens need to feel safe and comfortable so you also have to consider the environment for your designs. Helping your fellow crew members make their creations safe for everyone will be also vital for everyone.
CHIEFNAUT: Transportation is an important aspect of a civilization and you have to take care of that. The opportunities and challenges will be many in a new and strange world. You will have to find possible energy sources to power your designs and ensure to make them safe, comfortable and fun! Encouraging your crew members to exchange ideas and help each other is also one of your responsibilities on that mission.
As you can see all roles are different and focus on a specific aspect that is vital for survival in a new world.
The Space Adventure
The game plays in 6 different phases, the first one was the “Briefing” where the basic story unfolds so everyone knows what the game is about. The second is the “Form Space Crew” phase where roles are dealt and players get to name them, learn about each other and give a name to their awesome crew!
Now your journey shall begin and you are ready to build your sturdy and cool spaceship. The third phase, “Build Spaceship”, is where you have to give a name to your spaceship and built it to fit your crew’s name. You can use whatever you want to build the spaceship, any mean of creation but the easiest to use will be a piece of paper along with some writing materials.
“Lift Off!” is the fourth phase where you are ready to travel through the universe. Each player now takes the mission card of its role that says pretty much what is written above for each character. Then, each crew is dealt a “world” card which shows the crew the brand-new world they encountered, you made it there! It can be anything, like a magnetic world, a no-gravity world or a candy world, yummy! As you would expect, every habitable planet has another species, so a “species” card is dealt to each crew meeting their new roommates. These are no less strange, you may encounter radioactive mutants, shy giants, hungry pandas(cute!) and much more. Lastly, a “style” card will be dealt to each crew to determine the new exciting style that you want your town to have. It might be a spooky style, a magical one or everything is round! Be ready for anything.
Your main goal is almost completed, it’s time for the “Town Creation” phase where you build your new home. Create the town altogether, bringing your own ideas to the table and following your personal mission. A “world impact” card may be dealt to each crew to bring an unexpected event to the table that they will have to adjust. Lastly, if you are feeling that there is the right mood on the air you can drop a “crew impact” card that will make each crew do some ridiculous things.
It’s “Showtime”! Each crew will present to everyone their whole creations, their design process, challenges and anything else they want to share about their journey. At this point, as an Ambassador, you are free to challenge their decisions or praise them, ask questions and decide whether there are winning criteria or not. That means there can be no winner and just enjoy the experience or follow a basic winning goal like which crew adapted the best and was closer to their mission.
That is pretty much the whole “game”. I say it that way because it is more like a teaching tool and narrative experience. You can find a short description of the available cards here, an interesting competitive version of the game at the end of the page here and some modules here.
This idea is absolutely amazing and the tools that LUPO World has available on their site for teachers and how to effectively use this game on classes can show their passion for new ways of learning.
Who is this game for?
You have to know, as already mentioned, that this is more like a tool and would recommend to RPG fans, groups that want a structured narrative adventure that can let their imagination free, having fun and of course people involved in learning processes.
Perfect for kids
This package is perfect for kids in so many ways. For starters, as a hobby enthusiast, it introduces people at young ages at tabletop experiences with narrative elements. Then, you have them work in teams for a greater purpose but having their own unique missions and style at the same time, feeling as a strong force in a collaborative effort. Critical thinking is also involved as challenges come up and tasks that need to be resolved logically but with keeping a silly and fun mood.
Creativity is involved all the way throughout the game and especially in the way that the player will bring their creations to life as there is absolutely no limit. Lastly, they will come up in front of many people and will proudly present their experience, creations, and all the process in between as this is something they love to do, having a moment in the spotlight. This is crucial in young ages as there is too much judgment in our world and about what is proper or not, so this freedom of expression will certainly be used as a big boost to the kids’ self-esteem and overall experience in a learning session.
This is a try to show an alternate teaching method through gamification principles. I would love to see more things in this field in a professional level and it is something that starts to flourish in some countries and this is only the beginning.
THE RIGHT MOOD TO PLAY THE GAME
As you can tell you have to be in a light and creative mood to enjoy the game. Let yourself loose, don`t be shy about your ideas and your creations. You will have to think in logical and real ways about solving all the tasks that will come up your way, so don`t take it lightly on that aspect. Be silly and have fun!
-Lot of modules make it feel like a sandbox experience
-Beautiful art and fun concepts
-Great teaching tool
-Perfect for groups of children
-Don`t have that many different cards
-Styles can feel a bit too abstract
-Crew impacts can be too silly to follow
*If you didn’t read the whole review, this is more like a narrative experience and teaching tool rather than your typical card game.