The first film I ever saw at the cinema was E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, that was December 1982. It is a film about a visitor from another world that accidently gets left behind on Earth. He gets befriended by a young boy and forms a bond with him but all he really wants to do is phone home and be back with his family. I loved the film and still do today as do many other families. 41 years after witnessing E.T. phoning home and an escape on flying bicycles I have been playing the board game E.T. The Extra Terrestrial: Light Years From Home from Funko Games and Prospero Hall.
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial: Light Years From Home is a board game for 2-4 players, age 10 and upwards. It has a playing time of around 30 minutes. A co-operative role-playing strategy adventure game where players can play as their favourite characters from the movie (Elliott, Gertie, Michael or Greg). Rather than playing as individuals, all players must work together as Kids (taking turns rather than all playing at the same time) to bike through the neighbourhood, using shortcuts and ramps to avoid the local cops and the agents, trying to collect items to build a communication device so that E.T. can make that all-important phone call home and get safely to the clearing in the forest to join up with his family before his heartlight fades. If the players can safely get E.T. to meet the Mothership in the forest clearing before E.T.’s heartlight fades, then the Kids win! If not, they will be captured and lose!
In the box:
- Game board (based on Elliot’s neighbourhood)
- Kid Mats (x4)
- Kid Figures (x4)
- Mothership Figure with Base
- E.T. Figure
- E.T. Heartlight Dial
- Agent Movers with Bases (x5)
- Cop Car Movers with Bases (x3)
- Item Tiles (x21)
- E.T. Power Cards (x16)
- Candy Tokens (x6)
- Dice (x6)
- Reference Mat
Setting up the game is simple and straightforward, although it does take a few minutes with shuffling cards, placing items tiles, agents and cop cars etc. The instructions are very well laid out and informative which easily guides you through the process and there is even a very handy video on the Funko Games website (I would recommend watching this before your first time playing, it shows quite well how to set up the game and how to play).
Once you have understood the rules and how to play, there is a lot to take in, the game is actually easy to play and is lots of fun.
Interesting Gameplay Features
- Adorable kids-on-bike movers!
- E.T. mover fits in Kid’s basket!
- Plastic mothership hovers above the board
- Gameboard map featuring Elliot’s neighbourhood showcases secret trails the kids can take to avoid the government agents.
- E.T. Power Cards depict classic scenes from the film
Overall, this is a fun and enjoyable adventure game once you get used to the rules and how the game play works. It is so much better than just moving playing tokens around a game board as you can move in different ways and must collect items to construct a communication device all whilst trying to avoid law enforcement. You can combine players to work together, take shortcuts through the neighbourhood and the variety of different moves that can be made makes it an interesting, engaging and fun game to play. It is also a nice touch that E.T. fits in the basket of the bicycles so he can travel around the board with the Kids. And we loved the Mothership “hovering” around the board as we played.
The game board is superb; very detailed and made up of 25 zones, 36 spaces, roads and shortcuts. The figures are also very well crafted and detailed, matching the actors from the original film, and the cards are beautifully illustrated, depicting much-loved scenes from the film. Fantastic attention to detail.
If there are any negatives, it would be that it does take a little bit of time to grasp the rules and movements of agents and the Kids, but once you have it is an excellent game. You will need to read the rules and watch the video a few times, but it is worth it to fully enjoy playing the game.
Whether you have seen the film or not, a fan of E.T. or have maybe never even heard of this loveable alien, you will love this board game that is packed with adventure and thrills. As a co-op game it works extremely well as you take turns whilst having to work together.