- 50 Numbered Planet cards
- 8 Blast Off cards (2 of each color)
- 4 Wild cards
- 6 Countdown cards
- 16 Mission Statement cards
Object of the Game
The object of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all of your cards by matching colors, numbers or words at the right time, and by completing Missions correctly!
Separate the 16 Mission Statement cards from the rest of the deck. Shuffle them, then place them face down on the playing area off to the side.
Shuffle the rest of the deck, then deal out 6 cards to each player, face down. Put the rest of the cards face down in a draw pile in the center of the playing area.
Turn the top card face up next to the draw pile to start the discard pile. Players look at their cards.
Note: If the game starts with a Wild card, the dealer determines the color and number or word it represents.
The player to the left of the dealer goes first, and play passes to the left.
On your turn, do one of the following:
Match a Card
Match a card from your hand to the top card of the discard pile by placing it on top of the pile. This ends your turn. (Only one match per turn is allowed).
Matches can be the same color (orange, green, purple or red), number (1, 2, 3, etc). or word (Blast Off).
Play a Wild Card
A Wild card (the alien) can take the place of any card you wish. Place the Wild card on top of the discard pile, and say out loud which color and number or word it represents. This ends your turn.
Play a Countdown Card
See the "Countdown" section for details.
Draw a Card
If you can't make a match you must draw a card from the draw pile and play it, if you can. If not, add it to your hand. This ends your turn.
Note: If the draw pile runs out of cards, leave the last card played on the table, then reshuffle the rest of the discard pile to form a new draw pile.
To start a Countdown, play a rocket card on your turn (on any card on top of the discard pile), then shout "Countdown!
All players must count out-loud in unison in the following order: "10-9- J-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-Blast Off!"
While counting and without taking turns, everyone races to get rid of matching cards. If a card in your hand matches a number called, slap it down on the discard pile right away! If another player beats l you to it, you must put your card back in your hand. But make sure act fast - you might have the next card that is called!
Numbered cards and Blast Off cards can be any color, as long as they're played in sequence.
If no one can play the next correct card in the sequence, skip it and move on to the next card after that. Keep going until the Blast Off card is played. The player who plays the Blast Off card turns over a Mission Statement card (see the "Mission Statements" section below). Play continues to the left of the last person to play a card during the Countdown.
You cannot play another Countdown card during a Countdown that's already in progress.
You can play a Wild card (in place of another card) at any time!
If no one has a 10 card, move on to the next card (9). If no one has a 9 card, move on to the next card (8), and so on.
If you play a Wild card as the last card of the sequence, in addition to turning over a Mission Statement card, you must also announce the color and number or word for the next play.
If no one plays a Blast Off (or Wild) card, no Mission Statement card is revealed.
Any time you play the
Blast Off! card in a Countdown, you get to announce a new Mission. When this happens, draw a Mission Statement card and announce what it says out loud. Place the card face up so everyone can refer to it if they need to.
This new "rule" must be correctly followed by all players on their turns until a new Mission is read. (For a fun variation, see "Mission Out of Control!" below).
If you forget to follow a Mission at the right time and another player catches you, you must draw four cards from the draw pile.
(Shh ... if no one catches you, keep playing!) Play continues normally.
End of the Game
The winner is the first player to run out of cards.
If you'd like, you can name runners up (2nd place winner, 3rd place, etc). by continuing the game until there is only one player left with cards.
Other Ways to Play
Here are some ideas in case you want to try different variations of this game:
Mission out of Control!
This version can get crazy, but it's lots of fun for more experienced players.
Instead of canceling out the last Mission when a new one is introduced, every Mission stays in play for the entire game.
All players have to remember all of the Missions that have been announced, and do the correct thing at the correct time.
Make Up your Own Missions
During the point in the game when a Mission card would normally be turned over, create your own Mission instead. Announce it to the group (and write it on a piece of paper for everyone to see).
The wackier and more outrageous, the better. But remember, the Mission you create has to be equally fair to all players. Here are some examples to get you started:
When a Wild card is played, the next player has to skip his turn.
When a red or green card is played, the order of the game changes direction.
When an even-numbered card is played, each player passes her entire hand of cards to the player on her left.