HomeGame ReviewsLab Wars Review: The Game of Life for Scientists

Lab Wars Review: The Game of Life for Scientists

Lab Wars is a science themed strategy card game, designed by actual scientists, to celebrate the fun and competitiveness of science


Lab Wars Game Stats:

Players: 2-4 players

Time: 30-60 minutes

Ages: 12+

Created by: Caezar Al-Jassar & Kuly Heer

Published by: Alley Cat Games

Retail price: $27 on their website

Categories: Strategy, Card Building, Science


Lab Wars Gameplay:

Each player has their own lab area, which is where they build up their lab and research points. Gameplay consists of two phases; in the first phase, players play simultaneously. In this phase, players choose their character for the round. Then they prepare the play area for the round, collecting research points, a lab item card for their hand, and doing any other actions that are triggered in this phase.


Next, in the second phase, players take turns buying and building up their lab. They can purchase lab items from their hand by paying with research points. Also, they can conduct experiments by tapping their lab items and triggering the described effects. Finally, players can advance their career by purchasing up to two impact cards, which have fun names like Nuture Paper, Published Book and Nobel prize. Impact cards are all worth different points, and the earlier you purchase it, the less it costs you.


The goal of the game is to get the highest amount of impact points. The timer mechanism for the game is when two of the three types of impact cards run out. Then, points are tallied along with a couple of bonus points.


Lab Wars Game Review:

The strategy element in Lab Wars creates a slight learning curve to the game. The more you play the game, the better you will get at it. If you are a veteran player and are introducing others to the game, I recommend letting them play a full game together first. This will let them get a feel for the game and how the various cards work. Plus, no one wants to be stomped their first game.


First of all, choosing your scientist for the round is a unique game mechanic. I loved trying to figure out which character my opponent was going to play so I could try to counter it! It has a pretty balanced rock-paper-scissor element to it, since almost all the cards can be countered. I only played with 2 players, but I can imagine that the counters come into effect more often with more players, and can really change the game up.


Some of the lab item cards seemed to be a lot better than other cards. Likewise, some of the action cards seemed pointless when you had a lab item that could do the same thing more efficiently. Part of getting these cards may be luck, and plus there are ways to discard cards for other benefits, so it works out.


Overall, Lab Wars made a great game date night experience! I would recommend it for small get-togethers. Check it out some more on their website!
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