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How To Play

space hoppers card game

Game Basics

Download a PDF of the rules!

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Quick Start Guide

Okay, okay, if you don’t like to read all the instructions, here’s how you can jump right in!

Deal 4 Crew Cards face up to each player.

Deal 1 Hop Card face up in the middle of the table; this card applies to ALL players.

Deal 2 Monkey Wrench Cards face down to each player; look at your own cards in secret; they can be played during other player’s Encounters.

Deal 1 Souvenir Card face up to each player.

• Put remaining card piles face down in the middle of the play area.

• The first player left of the dealer picks an Encounter Card, reads it out loud, and follows the instructions.

• Play continues clockwise to the next player, who picks an Encounter Card and follows instructions. Repeat.

• The game ends when a player has 5 Souvenirs stacked on their shelf!

Have Fun!

Download a PDF of the rules!

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01. Set The Play Area

Divide the cards into 5 piles:
HopCrew, SouvenirEncounter, and Monkey Wrench. Shuffle each stack separately and place the card piles face down in the middle of the play area.

02. Get A Crew

Deal 4 Crew Cards to each player, face-up. Each player arranges their Crew Cards in a row in front of them.

Put the remaining Crew Cards back in the play area. This is now the spaceport pile, where extra crew lives.

03. Get A Hop

A Hop Card is played once per game and establishes the rules for everyone’s crew which could be good…or bad.

The dealer picks 1 Hop Card off the top of the pile and places it face-up in the play area. Read the hop description out loud to all the players. The face-up Hop Card applies to all the players in this round of play. Place the remaining Hop Cards off to the side.

Modified cards - space hoppers card gameIf the Hop modifies your Souvenir or Skills, place a Modifier Token on the modified card for easy

04. Monkey Wrenches

Deal 2 Monkey Wrench Cards face down to each player. Each player reads their cards but doesn’t tell anyone else what they say. Monkey Wrenches put you in control!

Rule Update!!

While we love the chaos of the published rules, a Monkey Wrench can be played by any player in any order. We’ve found that some players appreciate a bit more structure.  So the newest guidance is:


The player with an active encounter can’t play a Monkey Wrench unless it is specified on the Monkey Wrench or the Encounter. After the current Encounter is played, up to two players can play their Monkey Wrenches in the order of play. If the play direction changes, so does the order of the Monkey Wrench play.

After playing a Monkey Wrench, discard it to the bottom of the pile and pick a new card. You should always have 2 Monkey Wrench Cards in your hand.

On a player’s turn, before they pick an Encounter Card, they can exchange 1 (only 1!) of their Monkey Wrench Cards and can play it right away.

05. Souvenirs

Deal 1 Souvenir Card face up to each player and return the rest of the pile face down in the play area.

You’re now on your way to filling that souvenir shelf!  As you collect Souvenir Cards during play, these should be arranged in a line in front of you, so all the other players can see them clearly.

You need 5 souvenirs to win the game or 4 if you are playing with 6 players.


Now you’re ready!

A player’s starting hand will now look like this:

Now Let's Play The Game!

06. Gameplay

To start the game, the first player clockwise from the dealer picks an Encounter Card, reads it out loud, and follows its instructions. If any players want to play a Monkey Wrench during this Encounter, now is the time to do it. If not, this Encounter ends, the player discards their Encounter Card, and the turn moves to the next player.

Monkey Wrenches take precedence over Encounters. But if Monkey Wrenches don’t change the Encounter Card drawn by the player, the Encounter must still be followed.

The last Monkey Wrench played takes precedence over the others. If no other players choose to play a Monkey Wrench Card, that turn ends and moves on to the next player, who picks from the Encounter pile.

If a player has picked up a Souvenir Card during play, they place it face up in front of them so all the players can see it.

If the action description on an Encounter Card doesn’t apply to you or your crew, your turn is simply over – unless you can play a Monkey Wrench!

At the end of the turn, any Encounter Card or Monkey Wrench cards that were played are discarded to the bottom of their respective pile. Any player who used a Monkey Wrench card picks a new card from the top of the pile, beginning clockwise from the dealer. All players must have 2 Monkey Wrench cards in their hand during the game.

If any player loses all of their Crew cards, they are out of the game. But if a player is down to 1 crew card only, no other players can steal that crew member. However, they can swap if an Encounter or Monkey Wrench calls for it.

07. Winning The Game

A player wins the game when they have collected 5 Souvenir Cards (or 4 if you’re playing with 6 players) and no other player has a Monkey Wrench Card to play that would allow them to take away 1 of those Souvenirs.

If you have a Souvenir Card that is worth double, that counts toward your total souvenir count. Example: if you have 4 Souvenir Cards, and one has been doubled, you now win with 5 Souvenirs. If one of your Souvenir Cards is worth half, and you have 5 cards showing, you still need one more.

Straight Win


Doubled Win


Halved Win

08. Ground Rules

If an Encounter or Monkey Wrench card says “swap crew” or “swap souvenir,” the player with the current Encounter or the player who plays the Monkey Wrench leads this swap by picking from another player.

When an Encounter says you HAVE to play your monkey wrench, you have to. The only reason you wouldn’t be able to play is if the Monkey Wrench Card describes a situation or specific cards that are not currently in play, so it doesn’t apply to ANY of the players or crews on the table.

If your Encounter or Monkey Wrench calls for picking a new Crew Card and there are no more left, that’s too bad; you won’t be able to.

New Monkey Wrench Rules: Only two players following the person whose turn it is can play Monkey Wrenches in order of play, but each player can only play 1 monkey wrench per turn.

More Ways To Play!

Build A Crew

After you’re familiar with the Crew Cards, you’ll probably have favorite characters. We know we do! So try the BUILD A CREW mode.

In Build A Crew you place all the Crew Cards face-up in a grid in the middle of the table. We suggest 3 rows of 10 cards – but set it up whichever way rocks your world!

Next, going clockwise from the dealer, each player picks 1 Crew Card until each player has 4 Crew Cards total. This is your crew!! Nice work.

Shuffle the remaining Crew Cards and put them in a pile face down in the center of the play area. This is now the spaceport pile.

Boosted Crew

Make the last Crew Card picked by each player a BOOSTED CREW. Place a Modifier Token on the card to signify +1 to all their skills. The boosted crew member only keeps their skills boosted with the player who picked them. A boosted crew member swapped or taken by a player reverts back to the normal skill level.


In “Multi-Hop” Mode instead of one shared Hop Card, deal 1 Hop Card face up to each of the players. These individual Hop Cards only apply to the player who holds them.

Ready For more ideas?

  • Don’t deal a Souvenir to start the game. Every player starts their Space Hop without any souvenirs on their shelf.
  • When someone wins, keep your crew, return all Souvenirs and Monkey Wrenches to their piles, and start right back into another full game with your existing crew.
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