The Manhattan Project was a research and development project where the
USA Canada and the UK worked together to produce the first nuclear
weapons during World War II. There have been films, TV shows and even
comics (J. Hickman) about the project so its only reasonable to expect
that a board game would show up eventually. That Boardgame was The
Manhattan Project from Minion Games but today we are not reviewing that
title we are looking at it’s baby brother. The Manhattan Project:
Chain Reaction. Does this card game go of with a bang or a whimper?
Read on to find out.
So once again the world is threatened by War, and it would seem that a
very small box card game is the only way to save us. You will each be
playing as War Ministers trying to win the race to have the most
nuclear weapons also known as the most victory points. You will be
using the worlds greatest Scientists, Engineers and Labourers but they
will need the right resources in order to complete their tasks. Will
you be efficient enough to win the arms race?
Setup for this game is pretty straight forward, there are 4 landmark
cards that you put at the top that all players have access to use.
Resource cards Yellow Cake Side up seperated by number. Bomb and Bomb
loaded Cards which will have the Victory points on them if you get the
correct resources and then a deck of resource cards.
On your turn you will draw 5 cards and play them either on their side
as the resource or vertically as it’s building.
You are meant to “chain” cards together in order to get the resources
you need. You keep playing cards to get workers and resources until the
eventual output is what the player wants, be it yellow cake, uranium,
scientists or engineers.
This all happens in just one turn so the following turn you draw 5 more
cards and do it all again.
What’s the point of getting all these resources? I hear you ask, well
you need to have a certain number of Scientists, Engineers and Uranium
to score the bomb cards and gain precious, precious victory points.
The fist to 10 victory points ends the game when everyone has had an
equal number of turns you see who has the most points and they win the
My favourite part of a deck builder is when you get that hand that lets
you play such an awesome combo your rivals look at you with a mix of
envy and wonder. With Chain Reaction it feels like that on every turn.
This is because the card give you so many options there is always
something you can do. Even if you don’t have the right combination in
your hand you can use the landmark cards to get the resources you need.
That’s not to say that some rounds aren’t better than others as the
stars align in just the right way, but I just love the fact that you
always feel productive.
The art is great and suits the theme really well. As a female engineer
I was glad to see that the people you use are genderless, it’s not a
big deal but is one that I noticed and I’m glad they decided to do
The Icongraphy isn’t massively complex after a round you are pretty
familar with all the cards and what they mean. we only had to consult
the rule book once during play.
Overall a great little card game that you can take with you anywhere.
Short play time and can play 1-5 players what more can you ask for?