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Board Game Review – E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: Light Years From Home Game

Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial has its 40th Anniversary this year. Time just flies by. To celebrate, Funko Games has released a new board game – E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: Light Years From Home Game – to celebrate.

Funko Games very kindly sent me a copy to play and review and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with the game.

He’s 3 million light-years from home and needs your help getting back! E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was left behind, and now, federal agents are coming for him! In this cooperative adventure game, play as Elliott, Gertie, Michael, and Greg as you work together to send E.T. home. Bike through the neighborhood, using shortcuts and ramps to avoid the agents. Collect items that E.T. can use to build a communication device and call his ship. Then get E.T. to the clearing before his heartlight fades!

I must admit to judging the game by its cover. It has beautiful artwork on the box, yet I expected a simple game that would be fun to play in the moment, but would soon be forgotten. Turns out I was wrong.

The game is for 1 to 4 players and we played with the full count. The basic turns of the game are indeed quite simple, with only a few actions available to each player. However, the game mechanics and random effects available from the E.T. Power Cards ensure you have to focus on your strategy and work as a team to be successful.

The rule book is only a few pages long and clearly explains the rules. It was quick and easy to learn how to play.

Basically, you have to ride around town, picking up pieces of junk, dropping them off at different places on the map for E.T. to turn into useful devices. You then have to take those devices to the forest clearing in order to guide the Mothership in to pick up E.T. Every player also has their own individual ability that gives them an option that could help matters. All hunky dory so far and quite straightforward.

Throwing a spanner in the works are the various Government Agents (one per player, plus “Keys” the Peter Coyote character from the film) hunting each player and E.T., and three Police Cars.

After each player has resolved their actions they then have to roll a handful of dice. Depending on the result of the roll the Agents move towards their corresponding Player and Keys move towards E.T. If any of the players or E.T. are captured, E.T. loses some health and the player token is moved back to the starting spot. The cop cars follow a pre-defined path towards the forest clearing. If they reach their final spots then the clearing is blocked and it’s game over.

You may also have to do extra Enemy rolls during your turn should you do a dangerous move that takes you through the same location as an Agent or a police car.

So you are discussing together the best way to pick up the junk, keep E.T. away from the Agents and do things safely in order to win the game, yet every roll of those dice means your tactics are constantly changing. It becomes a most intriguing and tricksy puzzle resulting in some great discussion and some very close calls. All the players feel involved throughout every turn of the game. Even if it is not your go, you are working out the best route for your friends and if your characters ability can help in some way.

There are also the E.T. Power Cards with three of them being available at any one time. They can do many different things, such as E.T. making the bike fly which translates to being able to move to any other spot on the map. They really can get you out of a pickle.

Each one of these cards has some gorgeous artwork based on various scenes from the film and all the components are most satisfying to look at and to the touch. The player tokens are lovely plastic miniatures of the character on a bike. The little E.T. figure can be slotted into the basket on each bike. The Mothership looks great on a clear plastic stand. However, in my copy the plastic stand did snap while it was in the box and I had to glue it back together.

All in all, I was very impressed with the game. It takes the theme of the film and uses it well. There is a crunchy puzzle beneath the beautiful artwork and each turn sees you having to alter your plans.

Definitely worth getting to the table even if you are not a huge fan of the film.

The game is currently available from Target over in the US and it will be released in the UK on 31st July. You can pre-order it over on Amazon or your local games store.

Thank you for supporting Live for Films (LFF) when you order using the link below. As an Amazon Associate LFF earns from qualifying purchases. If you are using an adblocker you will not see the link.

Gameplay Features:

  • Adorable and detailed figures of the kids on their bicycles!
  • The E.T. figure and the device dice fit inside the kids’ bicycle baskets.
  • Beautifully illustrated components and cards that depict beloved scenes from the classic film.
  • Game board of Elliot’s neighborhood, including shortcuts and ramps that the kids can use to outrun the government agents.
  • “Fly” the mothership around the board until it rescues E.T.!

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