Nemesis is the most cinematic, immersive game I’ve ever played on my table top. Like a cardboard reincarnation of the sci-fi horror classic Aliens, you and up to 4 other Sigourney Weavers are jolted awake from cryosleep on a starship, and quickly discover that, oh god, something horrible is happening. As you move from room to room, rediscovering the sections of your ship in a haze of delirium, you start to realize... there are creatures aboard. Then they attack.
Much like Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, in Nemesis, all players are seemingly working together. You need the help of your companions to flee, fight, hide, and survive. But everyone also has a secret objective. Most are harmless, like beaming out a message home in the communications room, or getting to the control room to make sure the ship is headed to Earth. But some objectives are delightfully nefarious, like making sure that one specific player dies before the game ends. Nemesis’s tension is that without teamwork you are sure to lose the game in a hopeless melee of graphic gore, but who can you really trust?
Prospective players should be aware that Nemesis is both very complicated, and brutally difficult to win. There are countless built-in elements of chance that pepper the game, and you’re never quite sure where and when the next alien will attack. Nevertheless I found Nemesis to be incredibly immersive. You have so many options and choices each turn, and an aching, unrelenting mistrust and fear (heightened by my group’s decision to play the Alien Isolation soundtrack on repeat) follows you from start to finish.