Women in Science
Women in Science is a card game celebrating women in science, naturally. We theorized that this game would be fun. But does Women in Science + The Family Gamers = FUN?
The game is made up of cards representing 44 female scientists in 5 different disciplines, plus special cards that allow you to clone scientists, steal them from other players, or pick up desirable scientists from the discard pile.
Each player starts with a hand of 6 cards. Your goal is to collect 4 scientists in the same field (represented by background color), forming a “lab”. The first player to have 3 labs wins the game. This is not quite as easy as it sounds – each turn you may only draw one card, and with a hand limit of 6 you are repeatedly forced to choose which promising scientist to discard.
In addition, other players can play the “prestige” card to steal 2 scientists from an already-completed lab! Unfortunately, this means the other leftover scientists are returned to the hand of the lab owner who may then be forced to discard down to the 6 card hand limit on their next turn.
Some scientists are inter-disciplinary, indicated by a split two-color background, which may make lab completion easier, especially if you also use the “clone” card to make an extra copy of them in your lab.
The Women in Space expansion added an extra dynamic. Not only does it add a new discipline (astronaut), but it also adds the “Discovery” special card, which you can play on a completed lab to protect it from being broken up by someone else’s Prestige card. This definitely changes the strategy of building out labs.
Women in Science was well balanced. The art was compelling and helped the otherwise loose theme. This rummy-like game could just as easily have been “bug colonies” as “women in science”, but the illustrations and short bios kept us interested and rooting for some scientists over others. We recommend playing with the Women in Space expansion, which increases necessary strategy through the additional color scheme and special protection card.
One of our favorite things about Women in Science was the multi-age appeal. Even though our five-year-old couldn’t appreciate the flavor text of the scientists, he could very easily do all of the color matching needed to actually play, and with only a few special cards, it didn’t take long for him to memorize the pictures. What’s more, the artwork actually compelled him to ask us to read the text to him, thereby teaching him a little bit about, well, women in science.
In fact, much like we have said in the past about games like Worlds Fair 1893, the text adds richness to the game that isn’t critical for the dynamic of play, but it makes the game feel a lot more fulfilling than a classic game of rummy with a standard 52 card deck
You can buy Women in Science and the Women in Space expansion from Luana Games, or print your own version from their free PDF. You can also find biographies for every woman in the game on the Luana Games website.
The Family Gamers received a complimentary copy of Women in Science and the Women in Space expansion for review.
Women in Science / Women in Space
Play Time: 10-20 minutes
Age Range: 7+