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Things From Another World
Solar Bases
Solar Bases
by University Creations, Inc. (1971)
Player Count
2 to 6

Playing Time
30 minutes
  • Educational
  • Math
  • Space Exploration
  • Designers
  • Ronald J. Tallarida
  • Rating: 0/10 from 0 users


    This game uses a space exploration theme to teach players about number bases (binary, octal, decimal, etc.). Each player starts play with a "matrix card," a supply of plastic chips and a "flight sheet" for scoring. Gameplay consists of five flights, each containing two phases: "Blast Off" and "Establishing a Flight Path." After five flights have been completed, the player with the highest total score is declared the winner.

    During the "Blast Off" phase, the player voted mission commander draws and announces cards from a special deck of playing cards containing the standard four suits but only the numbers 1 through 9 (Ace is replaced by 1, and no face cards are included). Players place chips on their matrix cards, Bingo-style, until every player has at least one complete row or column of chips. At this point, players choose from among the 3- and 4-digit numbers filled in on their cards to establish "flight numbers," which are written on their sheets.

    In the "Establishing a Flight Path" phase, players are dealt cards from a second deck of "base cards." Some of these cards contain game-balancing bonuses and penalties which apply only when drawn by players holding specially-marked matrix cards. The remaining base cards list a planet of the solar system, the number base that the planet represents in the game, and a list of digits which are valid in the planet's base. For example, Mercury represents binary (base 2), so only digits 0 and 1 are allowed. The player replaces all illegal digits in his or her flight number with zeroes, then converts the resulting number to decimal using a special base conversion wheel included with the game (except for landings on Pluto, which already represents base 10 and requires no conversion). The final result is added to his or her score.

    The game includes two sets of rules -- "Brief Instructions" which get players started in just two pages, and a 10-page "Guide Book" which includes more detailed instructions, game variations and mathematical background information. The game was filed as U.S. Patent 3,618,952.

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