Meteor is a real-time cooperation game. There are no turns; players play together as a team, winning together or losing together. Each game lasts five minutes or less.
Players build and launch Rockets to destroy Meteors, develop Technology to gain powerful advantages, and Retrofit unusable resources. Players win if they destroy all the Meteors, but lose if one or more Meteors impact the Earth.
- 5 Altitude Zone Cards
- 39 Energy Cards
- 31 Rocket Cards
- 6 Technology Cards
- 26 Standard Meteor Cards
- 10 Boss Meteor Cards
- 13 Power Cards
- 11 Challenge Cards
- 5 Retrofit Reference Cards/Launch Site Leader Cards
- 1 Set Up Card
- 5 One-Minute Sand Timers
Shuffle the 26 Standard Meteor Cards together to create the Meteor Deck.
Create a Meteor Field by placing the correct number of Meteor Cards face down, according to the Set-Up Chart below. If this is your first game, place Meteor Cards Face up to see the exact size and Traits.
The Meteors should not be stacked, but spread out in the middle of the play area so they can be seen by all players.
Optional: Players may choose to do a "Meteor Mulligan" only once by reshuffling all the Meteor Cards together and creating a new Meteor Field.
Stack the Altitude Zone Cards in descending order near the play area (5 on top, 1 on bottom).
Place all Sand Timers near the Altitude Zone Cards.
Give each player a Launch Site Leader Card to be placed directly in front of the player. This quick reference card represents each player's Launch Site.
Shuffle the Energy, Rocket, and Technology Cards together to create the Resource Deck. Deal each player's Resource Cards according to the Set-Up Chart below.
Meteor is a real-time card game, therefore players do not take turns. All players play cards and make decisions at anytime during the game.
Choose one player to be the Timekeeper, and be sure the Altitude Zone Cards and Sand Timers are within easy reach of that player.
He/She performs Altitude Zone Changes and ensures one Sand Timer is always active during game play. At any time during play, the Timekeeper may pause the game for a "Timeout" by placing the active Sand Timer on its side, allowing time for rule and icon clarifications.
To resume play, restore the Sand Timer to its previous position. When a Sand Timer runs out, the Timekeeper changes Altitude Zones by completing the following steps.
Change Altitude Zones
Remove the active Sand Timer from the game.
Remove the top Altitude Zone Card from the game.
Start a new Sand Timer for the new Altitude Zone.
Each player draws new Resource Cards according to number of players.
When a player decides he or she cannot do anything without acquiring more Resource Cards, the player says "Pass". If ALL players "Pass" at the same time, the Timekeeper Changes Altitude Zones as outlined above.
No More Resource Cards
If the Resource Deck runs out, it is not reshuffled and for the remainder of the game players cannot draw any more Resource Cards. Players can continue to play Resource Cards from their hands, but any effect that would let players draw Resource Cards is ignored.
Until the Technology Card "Communications Satellite" has been built, players may not talk to one another, except to say "Pass", "Launch", or "Time Out". Gestures and non-language vocalizations are also allowed.
Once the Communications Satellite is built, players may talk but may NOT show each other Resource Cards they hold in their hands, except as allowed in the Advanced Game by certain special ability cards.
Please ignore this rule if this is your first game. (Tell players what cards you have, ask players what cards they have. Discuss strategy).
A single Launch Site can only accommodate one project at a time. A player may discard an unfinished project at any time to make space for a new project.
Once a Resource Card is placed in a Launch Site, the Resource Card may not be moved to another player's Launch Site or put back into a player's hand.
Players may place any Resource Card from their hands into any player's Launch Site, including their own. The player who controls the Launch Site must be the first player to place a card in his or her Launch Site. The first card may be of any type-you do not need to start with a Rocket.
Three types of projects can be built at a Launch Site: Technology, Retrofit, and Rocket.
Players complete a new Technology project when a Technology Card and the corresponding Energy Cards are combined in a Launch site.
Once the Technology has been built, discard the Energy Cards and place the completed Technology Card near the Meteor Field to remind all players of the advantage.
Players build a Retrofit project to transform Resources they cannot use into new Resources.
Retrofits are completed when four Energy Cards or four Rocket Cards are played into a single play area, as described below.
These four cards are immediately discarded and five new cards from the Resource Deck are drawn by the team as follows:
- 5 player game: each player draws one Resource Card.
- 3-4 player game: each player draws one Resource Card. The player that built the Retrofit draws the rest.
- 2 player game: The player that built the Retrofit draws three Resource cards. The other player draws two Resource cards.
To Retrofit Energy Cards, all four cards must be the same type of Energy, or all four must be different types of Energy. There are only five possible Energy Retrofit combinations: Four of a kind of Red, Green, Yellow or Blue, or one of each of the four types of Energy.
HINT: Remember Green & Blue are more scarce!
To Retrofit Rockets, all four Rocket Cards must do the SAME Damage, or all four must do a different Damage. There are ten possible Rocket Retrofit combinations: Four of a kind of 1,2,3,4 or 5 damage, or four of the five different combinations of Rockets.
A Player builds a Rocket when a single Rocket and the corresponding Energy are in his or her Launch Site. If a Player has two Rockets in a Launch Site, that player is building a Retrofit, not a Rocket.
After a Rocket has been built, the player that controls that Launch Site decides when the Rocket will be launched.
Players can never have leftover Energy in their Launch Sites after a Rocket or a Technology is built.
For example, if a player wants to build a Rocket that requires one Fuel Energy but she already has a Fuel Energy and an Atomic Energy in her Launch Site, she cannot add the Rocket and launch it and have leftover Energy. She may discard all Energy Cards from her Launch Site and start a new project, or try for a Retrofit project.
A player launches a rocket by saying "Launch" and pushing the Rocket and Energy Cards towards the Meteor Field, selecting a Meteor to hit. Rockets always do the amount of damage indicated on the Rocket Card.
Multiple Rockets may be launched by multiple players from different Launch Sites at the same time, and may target the same Meteor or difference Meteors.
Multiple Rockets targeting the same Meteor do the sum of those Rockets' damage. Since the most powerful Rocket inflicts 5 damage, multiple rockets must target simultaneously to destroy Meteors size 6 or larger. Rockets always hit and never miss.
At the beginning of the game, Meteor Cards are placed face down so players only know each Meteor's size range. As each Meteor is struck by a Rocket for the first time, flip the Meteor Card over to reveal the exact size of the Meteor. Leave the Meteor Card face-up for the remainder of the game.
There are three different ways a launched Rocket will interact with a Meteor:
If the Rocket Damage EQUALS the exact size of the Meteor, the Meteor is destroyed. Place the Rocket in the discard pile and remove the destroyed Meteor from the game.
If the damage is LESS than the exact size of the Meteor, the Rocket has no effect and is placed in the discard pile. The Meteor is unharmed and stays in the Meteor Field.
If the damage is GREATER, than the exact size of the Meteor, the Meteor is destroyed, but an Overkill has occurred! Place the launched Rocket in the discard pile and remove the destroyed Meteor from the game.
Some Meteors carry unique Traits that may affect how a Rocket interacts with a Meteor.
Overkill is an explosion caused by an overpowered Rocket that blasts the remaining Meteors one Altitude Zone closer to Earth.
The Timekeeper changes Altitude Zones immediately. If an Overkill occurs in Altitude Zone 1, the remaining Meteors are blasted into Earth and the players lose the game. If the players Overkill the last remaining Meteor while in Altitude Zone 1, the players win the game because there are no remaining Meteors.
Savvy players often work together to destroy more than one Meteor at the same time. If more than one Rocket creates an Overkill at once, then the remaining Meteors are still blasted
End of the Game
The game ends when one of the following happens:
- One or more Meteors are in Altitude Zone 1 when the final Sand Timer runs out. The Meteor(s) smash into Earth and the players lose.
- The players Overkill a Meteor in Altitude Zone 1, but it is not the last Meteor. The Meteors blast into Earth and the players lose.
- The players destroy ALL the Meteors and save Earth!
When playing for the first time, it is recommended that the "No Talking Rule" be suspended and that all Meteors are played face up revealing the exact size of each Meteor.
Being allowed to talk through the strategy, share information, and see the exact size of the Meteors to prevent Overkills can be very helpful while learning the game.
The advanced game is set up with three differences:
After creating the Meteor Field, players choose a single Meteor to remove from the Meteor Field and replace it with one of the Boss Meteors. Follow any additional rules and/or set up for that particular Boss Meteor as outlined on page 3.
Shuffle the Power Cards and give one to each player.
Shuffle the Challenge Cards and give one to each player.
If players win consistently with the Advanced Rules, they may play without Power Cards, but still include Challenge Cards. If players are struggling, they may play without Challenge Cards, but still include Power Cards.
The two players share an additional Launch Site between them. Either player may place the first Resource Card into the shared Launch Site. Either player may launch a completed Rocket from the shared Launch Site.
In a solitaire game, the player has two Launch Sites. If playing a Solo advanced game, remove the following cards:
Boss Meteor: "It Goes to 11!"
Power Cards: Communications Array, Secret Agent, Universal Aid Challenge Cards: Blue Shortage, Communications Blackout, Ideological Differences, Mistrusting, War Hawks, Weak Military
If your game setup puts you in an absolutely unwinnable game you may correct as needed.
- The "It Goes to Eleven" Boss Meteor is in play and you are only able to launch from two Launch Sites. You may replace the Boss Meteor.
- If a player draws a Challenge Card that makes the game unwinnable draw a different Challenge Card.