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Petersen Games have a habit of taking strategically rich gameplay and condensing it into fast and simple rulesets. Planet Apocalypse is no different, and after the first game, you’ll probably have digested most of the details.

Miniatures is always an odd word to use when discussing these huge offerings from Petersen. The plastic terrors you get are impressively large, richly designed and definitely worth the price of admission.

The concepts for the figures and the demon/hell-scape illustrations on the accompanying literature and stat boards are highly original. They’re not clean, polished pieces in the classic style. They’re energetic, rough and disturbing. They look like they’ve been frantically sketched by a maniacal surgeon, obsessed with fusing the creature from The Thing (1982) with offcuts from a butcher’s shop.

At times, the odds you’re facing feel overwhelming, but the simplicity of the system and the energetic gameplay makes each run-through an interesting rollercoaster ride. After all, beating back the forces of hell shouldn’t really be a breeze. If you accept that you’re going to lose most of your brave heroes to darkness, you may just have a chance of saving the earth.