Eye Found It: Star Wars is one incarnation from a series that also includes Disney, Despicable Me and Journey Through Time versions. It is, in essence, Where’s Wally (a.k.a. Where’s Waldo) turned into a board game. It works much better than I anticipated and perfect for keen eyed younger players.
How it plays:
Each player gets to choose a starting planet featuring action and characters relating to the planet from across the original Star Wars trilogy, prequels and the Force Awakens. Planets include Tatooine, Endor, the Death Star, Jakku, and Hoth among others. Player then compete to find specific objects or characters on their planet determined by a shared pool of cards and a roll of the dice. These include generic objects like chairs, cups or bridges, characters such as Luke, Padme or C-3PO or more niche things like AT-AT Walkers, bogwings or DLC-13 mining droids. Not all objects appear on all planets and the pictures are incredibly detailed – demanding a keen eye, good lighting and, for some people, possibly a magnifying glass.
As you’re in competition with other players (2-4 can play) you win a round by finding more objects (or the same number for a tie) than your opponents and circling them with a green plastic ring. There are multiples of some objects (foot prints, flames) and other objects and characters may appear just once or not at all on your planet. A point token is drawn for winning the round. The game comes to an end when a player draws the R2-D2 point token – worth three points (all others are worth one point) – and at this point scores are tallied and the player with the most points wins.
The game is loosely held together by this search for R2-D2 – the story has him disappeared and sending back holographic projections of objects he encounters – but the story doesn’t really matter – it’s Where’s Wally with Star Wars stuff – if that elevator pitch sells it to you you’ll be rewarded. There’s a bit more to the game play (rolling a dice to select cards; flipping the planet cards; changing planets) but not much – so despite the suggested 6+age range N’s been playing it since he was 4 just fine.
What we like about the game:
N loves it – we’ve had it for 15 months now and we’ve been going back to it repeatedly ever since. He loves the pictures – the search for objects favours young keen eyes – and it rewards a general knowledge of the films (knowing who has been to Tatooine or where you’d find a bogwing really helps). This is also one of the drawbacks – anyone who has ever looked through a Where’s Wally book with a kid who has more than a passing familiarity with it will know the diminishing returns of the challenge of the search. But there’s 60 cards and 7 double sided planets – so there’s enough to sustain many plays, but the dynamic changes over time and after a while outsiders turning up for a one-off game with N will stand no chance of winning (sorry grandma!). After fifteen months of gameplay if we have to find a mouse droid and nobody has an appropriate planet we know in seconds and move on to the next players turn. That’s not to say it’s no fun any more – but the nature of the game has changed. It’s also worth noting that almost as soon as we got the game we married it up with an egg timer to make the searching time finite. I couldn’t imagine playing it without it now.
If you’ve got bad eye sight – avoid. If you hate Star Wars – avoid – but even then there’s other flavours available. Otherwise – this game offers a pretty level playing field for family games night and an engaging central task that is great for when you don’t want to think too much. And of course it’s perfect if you have kids that loves Where’s Wally type searches.