I had an opportunity to play a full game of Sky Team with another GamingTrend editor on the last day of the convention. I was really interested in trying it ever since finding out about it only a few days earlier. It is a two player only cooperative game about attempting to land a commercial airliner at your destination airport without causing any of the numerous possible disasters.
Turns consist of a discussion phase where the players talk about strategies and their immediate goals. Afterwards, both players roll their four dice in secret, after which they may no longer communicate with each other. One at a time, the two players alternate placing their dice. Most dice locations can only be used by a specific player, blue spaces for the pilot and orange spaces for the co-pilot. There are two locations that must always be occupied every turn, the axis and the engines. The axis locations will take the difference between the two player’s dice and tilt the plane in the direction of the higher valued die. If the plane tilts too far in one direction, then the players lose as the plane rolls over. The plane also needs to be perfectly level when landing on the final turn.
The engine locations total the player’s dice and compare it to an interesting meter with three sections. If the total is in the first section of the meter, then the plane isn’t moving fast enough to get closer to the destination. The second section moves it one space, while the third section moves it two spaces. You can control the size of each section by adjusting the flaps and lowering the landing gear. Both sections must be fully completed before landing the plane. Since the round tracker is the altitude, and it is always moving towards zero, it is important to manage your distance so that you arrive at the airport right on time.
Other things the players will need to accomplish before successfully landing at their destination include calling the radio tower in order to clear other airplanes out of the way and applying the brakes for landing. If you have any free dice, you can also order coffee, which will allow you to adjust the value of future dice. Also there to help you out is an occasional reroll token that lets both players reroll any number of dice, but there are very few of these tokens so they need to be used sparingly. All of this is just the core game!
There are dozens of scenarios that use additional modules to mix up gameplay and add additional challenges. All of these features allow Sky Team to have a lot of variety for a fairly simple design. I look forward to trying everything it has to offer!