In Chimera Station, a game by Tasty Minstrel Games, you are a building supervisor at the construction of a space station. You send a group of alien creatures to work to expand the space station with useful rooms. Every alien employee can perform one action each round. At the beginning of the game, the number of actions you can carry out is fairly limited, but because every room on the space station also offers a new action option, the number of possible actions during the game increases rapidly.
There are many different actions, but the most important one is the action with which you build a new room on the space station. You pay money for this and then you can install the room. Each new room immediately yields points. In addition, you always get something extra, namely what is depicted on the board on the field you are building on. This can be anything from money, food and points to the possibility of activating an adjacent tile or being allowed to recall a previously placed alien employee. After you have built the room, you can also immediately carry out the corresponding action. There are forty different spaces that you can build, each with their own actions.
With some actions you can gather new body parts for your employees to make them work more efficiently. Tentacles help collect money, food and body parts and brains make you smarter so you score more points. Every alien can be expanded with a maximum of 2 body parts.
Of course, the alien workers do not work on an empty stomach. At the end of the round they have to be fed with a hamburger. Only alien workers which are given an extra plant-hand, do not need to be fed but just snack from themselves (and if he has two plant-hands, then two colleagues can also eat with him).
After 5 rounds, the game ends. All points you have collected during the game are counted and the player with the most points wins the game.
Conclusion: Chimera Station too simple?
I find Chimera Station a difficult game to rate. On the one hand, it is a simple game (placing a token, performing action) that also looks beautiful. At the beginning of the game everything goes smoothly. It is really nice to think that you can physically expand your workers for extra possibilities. There is also a lot of humor in the names of the rooms that you can build. So you can go to a Shady Restaurant where you can exchange a body part for food or the Think Tank for an extra set of brains.
But on the other hand the game has a lot of different actions so you will have to regularly dive into the rules to see what exactly happens. And the further you get into the game, the more rooms are built and the more actions you have to choose and remember. This really takes the speed out of the game. The more often you play, the faster it goes, but certainly the first time you can certainly add an hour to the playing time indicated on the box. Then the game actually takes just too long.