The arrival of this game, thanks in large part to Jeremy Howard, was peak secret: i’d never heard of it, and didn’t know what it was all about. Beyond that, my guesses (and perhaps yours) turned out to be completely wrong!

(click to view transcript)

Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table. i’ve got a game here on my table called The Artemis Project, and i haven’t done an unboxing in a few weeks now, because i actually absolutely ran out of things to unbox entirely! So how did this one come my way? Well it’s thanks to the lovable and (presumably) cuddly Jeremy Howard, who bailed my butt out on this one. He sent me this game – at great cost, i might add, because… ever since the lockdown, UPS has been imposing this weird charge… like, normally, the package arrives at your house, you have to pay customs, and customs will be a buck. But now, they’re not doing COD stuff – cash at the door – they’re saying “Oh – you know – let us know if you want us to clear customs for you,” and you say “Yes,” and they say “Okay: customs was $1.25, and the UPS charge is 25 dollars!” So… i think it’s a little bit of opportunistic gouging, to be honest, but it’s… it’s… now crazy expensive to send stuff to me in Canada, depending on the way that it’s shipped, and who you ship with, so buyer beware – caveat emptor. Be very cautious with how and when and where you send packages. Maybe if you can prepay customs? i dunno if that’s a possibility? Or just not use UPS? i don’t know! i don’t know how it works. i don’t know much about shipping, but i’m very grateful to Jeremy for getting this to me to unbox. Now, i’m doing my live-to-tape set up, which i talked to you about a few weeks past, and sorry for all the blah blah blah, but this is cool: this is the culmination… i suddenly have my greatly desired, hotly-anticipated overhead camera, which is a Logitech Brio, so there you can see – there you can see my hands. Pretty exciting. So that’s cool. All the pieces are coming together. i still have no idea how to colour match it to this camera or whatever – we’ll work it out. There’s still a couple of little kinks. But i don’t know if you notice, but when i switch that camera… i’ve been teasing Rahdo about this piece of equipment that i got, because he’s been helping me get this live-to- tape setup together, and i thought of something – i thought “Man, even Rahdo doesn’t have this!” i’m running it now! This is the maiden voyage of this super-secret piece of equipment that i thought would be super cool, and i’ve got it going now, so see if you can figure out what the heck’s going on. i have hands-free camera switching! i was really excited about that! So… poor Rahdo. i’m just like “i’ve got something you don’t!” But anyway, that’s what it is. It’s… i can go “Pew! Pew! Pew!” And then… i showed my daughters, and they said “Well is that… was it voice-activated?” i said “No, because watch this:” (silently mouths “pew” a few times) There – you can kind of hear it operating, probably through the mic, so you’ve probably figured out what’s happening. Anyway, i’m pretty excited about that! It’s cool, though, because when i did an unboxing with the live-to-tape setup with Isabel a week… i was trying… i had one hand on my little controller over here pushing buttons, and i couldn’t grab things and manipulate them and open them, because i was constantly switching between the cameras with… with one hand, and now i can do total hands-free camera switching, which is pretty exciting. Anyway, blah blah blah. Enough about the setup. Let’s open up the Artemis Project which, as usual, i know absolutely nothing about! i do know that Artemis was the Greek goddess of the hunt! A fearsome lady with a bow and arrow, and deer skins all over her..? And it looks like it takes place in the Antarctic, i’m guessing, and being from Canada, i’ve said before that i’m not super keen on board games that have a winter theme to them, because it’s my lived experience, and i’d rather play a pirate game or something that takes place in there than the CaribBEan (or the CaRIBbean, whichever you prefer) because – you know, it’s warm and there’s monkeys and coconuts and piña coladas, and i prefer that kind of thing. But Artemis Project… i mean, the reason why this theme would appeal despite not liking cold and snow is that it’s Antarctic, and that kind of reminds me John Carpenter’s The Thing, which is totally badass, and if you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s an amazing movie. So that’s why it’s a little bit exciting. There’s submarines, there’s snow machines. i dunno. It looks cool. i have no idea what the deal is. Let’s discover it together, shall we? Soink! Soink! Soink! Boy, once i develop self-opening box technology, look out! Oh! Alright, listen closely: (opens box without auditory incident) Clean and smooth. Box Fart-O-Meter: zero. Right off the top, there is a an instruction booklet. This is from the Grand Gamers Guild. i’ve never played a game by the Grand Gamers Guild. There’s a story, there’s an objective… i like it when board games lead off with the objective. That’s what i try to do with my How to Plays as well – tell you what you’re trying to accomplish. Lovely graphic design throughout, and i love an instruction booklet, as you know, that has lots of pretty pictures, which this one does. Beautiful! And dense, though. Look at that: that’s… oh. Solo play drone rules. Interesting that they called their solo player thing a “drone.” Hmm. IS that interesting? i dunno. i’m interested in the weirdest stuff. So this is a 15-page rulebook. A little bit later than some of the heaviest stuff i’ve been covering, but still substantial and meaty. What else are you gonna say about a rulebook? Inside, you have the board… whoa! i’m all thumbs! There you go. Smallish board. i’m guessing this is a score track, and these are… these look like little worker placement spots. If this is a dice worker placement game, ima lose my mind, because i loooove dice worker placement games! And some tiles to punch out. i’m gonna pop one of those out. Now the one thing i don’t have that Rahdo was suggesting is a little – you know – this is kind of far away… it’s kind of hard to see the details on there. And what he has and what Shea have are little cameras to the side, and they have, like a… like a green construction paper, and they can they can put it on the green construction paper, and superimpose it over their overhead shots, so that that blows up and becomes all big and clear, and you don’t have to do this whole – you know – autofocus thing, bringing it closer to the camera and far away, and it gets blurry and sharp and everything. i have that on the way. So i have a rig to hold it, and i have a green piece of paper, but getting ahold of the cameras during the pandemic is the really tough part, so they’re not shipping out for a little while. It’s on order. It’s on the way. We’re almost there. Much more stuff on tiles! Little… little waystations, and little bases… that do things, i’m guessing? They probably do things. Are you with me? Yeah. They do things. It’s cool, though. The art’s neat. It reminds me of… i play a lot of Overwatch, so it reminds me of the snowy ice… war stations in Overwatch. This one looks like a heavy duty… look at this. This is, like, a super sky laser blaster building. Yikes! Chits and tokens… these ones are… thank you, by the way, for writing a comment and telling me that this is still a pentagon, even though it’s like an… you know… elongated… even if you have like, a… like, if it’s six-sided, and it’s elongated or weird like that, like it’s crystal-shaped, it’s still a hexagon if it’s got six sides, so it doesn’t have to be… symmetrical? Again, the dumbest stuff interests me. “Volcanic extractor.”” i don’t know what we’re extracting. i don’t know what we’re hunting, or fighting, or worried about… i don’t know if there are monsters, but there definitely is some sort of ship that we get to pull together! Maybe this is a card dispenser? Maybe this is… probably doesn’t look quite enough for a dice tower, but… ah haha! Oh, yes. Oh yes, Angelica: there ARE dice. …Angelica? What was her name? Miracle on 34th Street. …Victoria? i don’t know! i’ve never seen the movie! There’s a box. We have some… i’m assuming these are dice for… dice for all the different players, and they’re… wintry-themed. You’ve got purples and blues and greens, and a couple hot colours in there, aaand some hot-coloured translucent cubes. There’s the piece that fell out of whatever it is we’re supposed to put together. Let’s quickly dip through the instruction booklet and see what that is that we’re supposed to put together – ah! Here it is right here! “The draw bag helps you randomize your colonists. We’ve created an awesome alternative to the draw bag called the ‘shakeship.’Ssee page 13 for details.” i think i will! Page 13: Details on the shakeship. There it is! “The shakeship is a unique alternative to the draw bag for dispensing random colonists, especially if you’re worried that players drawing from the bag might be able to feel the shape of the colonists as they’re drawn.” i do worry about that, game. i do. So you put this together – it’s a little box – you put all the colonists and shake it up, and it dispenses like delicious maple candy! Mmm! We haven’t met those colonists yet, have we? Here they are! Oh yeah. i can see why they would need a shakeship for these colonists, because they’re not all… the same. These guys are kind of, like, gold skinny-looking and C-3PO dudes, and you’ve got little purple… oh, no! Maybe they ARE the same? What are they talking about? Eeee… Oh, they’re ever-so-slightly different. So these red guys look like they have a little gun out, and the purple guys are doing something different. So, yeah. They ARE a little bit different. Couple of discs… one unique piece that i will dig out right now, because it looks like… oh, yeah! Cool! i’m always interested whenever… whenever a game has, like, a unique wooden piece in it, because… i don’t know. It’s cool getting something that no other game has. And no other game has this weird… is this a personnel carrier, with like a snowy tank tread on the bottom? That’s kind of neat! Yeah. Cool! And back in here, green things! i don’t know. Those are either bases, or lllllunchboxes? And then down here: blue things! Those are symmetrical hexagons. Look: learning! Learning… grade four geometry. And player boards. Here they are. Look: the green lunchbox. Oh! i was pretty close, actually. That does look like sort of a lunchbox. Again, i wish i could bring it closer to the camera and show you, but i don’t like that blurry thing that goes on. Even without autofocus. You know, i turn off auto focus on my cameras, because i find that annoying too. You bring something, and then in bringing it closer to the camera, you’re not too sure how long it takes the iris to focus, and then when you’re finished talking about it, you may have brought it away, and all the… all the viewer sees is just some big blurry thing. Not a fan. We’ll turn off autofocus. We’ll get that camera going. It’ll be… it’ll be beautiful. We get a little deck of cards. A very little deck of cards. Not many cards in there. If i were to (hungh… teeth) if i were to estimate (grunt) that’s probably… i’m no good at estimating… i would say 50,000 cards. Approximately. Approximately! And they have on them… Nautilus Rescue! Heat rescue… this will give us a clue to the theme… Race to the Plateau. Looks like we’re developing the Antarctic? Oh… whoa! Whoa! There’s a sci-fi element to this that i did not expect! “Bones of the Behemoth i’m not looking forward to encountering one of these still alive,” it says on the card. Really cool! So there ARE monsters! Neat-o! Yeah – there’s some definite, like, Abyss-style sci-fi stuff going on in this game. Crazy cool! But not… not overtly. i don’t see monsters all over it. It’s just, like, the… the mere suggestion of monsters. And this is a pack of just a few little mats. These look like perhaps, maybe, they are encounter cards? If you flip them over, there’s not a whole lot of them, but that’s what i’m guessing they are? Or if you’re playing… maybe it’s like if you’re playing solo, these are the event cards? You know how a lot of… a lot of games, or cooperative games… i don’t know if this IS a cooperative game…? Should check the box that. They give you, like, a deck in every round you flip the deck, it’s like “Here’s the new terrible thing that’s happening this round!” But possibly this is it… Oh, no… wait. i’m reading them. i’m lying! These look like goals. Yeah. Most! “The player with the most marines and stewards combined gains three energy or three barrels.” Yeah, these look like goal cards. My bad entirely. They’re beautifully illustrated. i really like the artwork in this game. Looks hawt! Spicy hot, even in cool temperatures. Quick flip around… “The year is 2348 and we’ve carred out…” Take 2. “The year is 2348, and we’ve carved out a meager handhold on Europa, the frozen moon of Jupiter.” JUPITER?! i was completely wrong. It takes place on Jupiter, folks. “Decades of effort have made the air breathable and the temperatures survivable, but the real prize is the great living ocean hidden deep beneath the ice. The waters are wamrmed by volcanic action, and are burgeoning with… alien sea life!” Cool! i didn’t expect that. i thought it was Antarctica, for certain. So, we were plumbing the depths of the Seas of Jupiter! Really neat! Looks cool. Any clues as to what kind of game it is” It’s a “challenging strategy game” (good start) “where resources are scarce” (yes, we’re used to that) “and the dreaded exposure mechanism can leave you out in the cold.” Hmm! So a little bit of a survival game mechanic, possibly. “Build a colony that supports your strategy, recruit colonists with the skills to keep things running smoothly…” (so that suggests worker placement) “and deploy your dice” (dice worker placement) “in a variety of locations to get your hands on the assets you’ll need to win.” Yes. So, my educated guess: dice with worker placement… you could probably go to BoardGameGeek right now and learn a whole lot more than i’ve just told you! But as with all the games i unbox, i endeavour to bring it to the table, and conscript my poor family to play with me. They’re the only people i can play with now, because i don’t leave the house. Aww. Poor family. Ugh! Pieces everywhere. So i’ll play it, and i’ll tell you what i think of in a Find the Fun, or i may even do a How to Play video for it, to show you more about The Artemis Project. Thank you so much for enduring my blather on this fine Friday. Thanks for tuning in. and thanks for all your support! (awkward pause) Right. i gotta push the button, don’t i? Did you just watch that whole thing? Hey! To 100% this video, click the badge to subscribe, and then click the bell to get notifications when i’ve got new stuff! [Music – Board Game Boogie by Ryan Henson Creighton]

Get Your Own Copy of The Artemis Project

The secret’s out: the game takes place in spaaaaaaace! If you want to add this sci fi game to your collection, use the Amazon link below and i’ll receive a small commission!