Welcome, fellow game enthusiasts, to Pojo’s Board Game of the Day!  Today, we’re strapping on our goggles and leather helmets to soar into the skies with First in Flight, a deck-building game that lets you experience the thrilling (and sometimes disastrous) world of early aviation! 

What’s in the box?

What’s in the box?

First impressions are crucial, and “First in Flight” doesn’t disappoint. From the moment you open the box, you’re greeted with vibrant artwork depicting iconic aircraft, inviting you to embark on a voyage through time. The attention to detail is evident, with each component meticulously crafted to immerse players in the world of aviation.

  • 1 Game Board
  • 1 Year Tracker (wooden painted clock)
  • 40 Coins – cardboard punch-outs
  • 4 Player Mats
  • 4 Flight Trackers (wooden painted planes)
  • 4 Pilot Trackers (wooden painted meeples)
  • 10 Pilot cards
  • 75 Glide cards
  • 10 Experience cards
  • 32 Upgrade cards
  • 28 Design Flaw cards
  • 30 Basic Flight cards
  • 5 Descend cards
  • 10 Friend cards
  • 14 Technology cards
  • 18 Skill cards
  • 1 Rulebook

The Gimmick:

First in Flight isn’t your standard race game. Here, you become a pioneer like the Wright Brothers or Samuel Langley, building your “flyer” one card at a time. Your deck is filled with components like wings, engines, and even the occasional spot of bad luck.

Flight cards

The Play’s the Thing:

Each turn is a tense dance between ambition and caution. You can gather resources, improve your aircraft, or – the real nail-biter – attempt a test flight! But be warned, the skies are fickle. Drawing the wrong card during flight can send your rickety contraption plummeting back to earth.

Everyone starts with a similar 9 card deck.  Players are not allowed to look at their decks.  Your decks contain design flaws that are not revealed until you fly your plane.  You use your deck to fly.  When you fly, you reveal one card at a time to advance your flight.  Every card will advance you some distance, but some cards will show your Design Flaws that start to send your plane sputtering towards the ground. When you reach a total of 4 Flight Problems, you crash to the ground.  But you can try to play it safe, and “try” to Descend your plane safely before you crash. 

Each flight will usually reveal some of your plane’s Design Flaws.  These may be different from your opponents design flaws.  Once Design Flaws are revealed, you can put these cards in your hangar and try to repair them before your next flight.  Repairs will remove the design flaw, and reward you with a bonus card that will allow you to fly further in the future.  

Development cards

Your deck can also be assisted by Development cards, like: Friend cards, Technology cards, Skill cards, Experience cards, Glide cards, and Upgrade cards.  You will most likely keep soaring further and further as the game goes on.  

The board itself works uses the “ratchet system” mechanic for movement.  The person in last place always moves next.  And they can move into any space that is forward and unoccupied.  Games like “Parks” also use this system.  

One trip around the board is a year.  The game lasts a maximum of 4 years, or when someone makes a flight that flies 40 segments.

The Pull of the Punchline:

The heart of First in Flight lies in that push-your-luck element. Will you try for a record-breaking flight, knowing a single “Power Failure” card could end your dreams of glory?

Exodia the Forbidden Deck?

Deck-building is a big draw here. You’ll constantly refine your flying machine, adding new tech and purging weaknesses. It’s incredibly satisfying to see your initial ramshackle glider transform into a soaring beast of innovation.

One aspect that truly sets “First in Flight” apart is its educational value. As you navigate through the game, you’ll encounter fascinating tidbits of aviation history, seamlessly woven into the fabric of gameplay.  The Rulebook has over 20 biographies of all the aviators and friend cards that actually contributed to early aviation successes in the real life.

Pojo’s Gameplay

Pojo’s Final Verdict:

First in Flight is a fantastic game for those who enjoy a bit of deck-building tension with a historical twist. It’s equal parts educational (you’ll learn a surprising amount about early flight!) and exhilarating. Just remember, the key to success is calculated risk-taking and a healthy dose of aviator’s spirit!

Pojo Notes:

  • This game has a Quacks of Quedlinburg type feel if you have played Quacks.  It’s a great push your luck type game.  You are tremendously rewarded if you succeed pushing your luck, but you are punished if you fail.
  • The rulebook is colorful and well written.  The game is pretty simple to learn.  Your first game will probably take a little longer until all players have a grasp of it, but turns can be snappy once people know how to play. 
  • The components are top notch.  The cards, the tokens, the boards and the storage trays are fantastic.  
  • Click here to check the current price on Amazon.com.