Space Alert is a cooperative team survival game designed by Vlaada Chvátil. Players become crew members of a small spaceship scanning dangerous sectors of galaxy. The missions last just 10 real-time minutes (hyperspace jump, sector scan, hyperspace jump back) and the only task the players have is to protect their ship.
On 2 CDs (or Scenario cards if you don't have a CD player available) are ten minute long soundtracks that represent central computer announcements about the presence of various threats. These vary from space battleships and interceptors to different interstellar monsters and abominations, asteroids or even intruders and malfunctions on the spaceship. Players have to agree who will take care of which task and coordinate their actions (moving around the ship, firing weapons, distributing energy, using battlebots to deal with intruders, launching guided missiles, etc.) in real time to defend the ship. Only a well-working team can survive 10 minutes and make the jump back to safety.
The game offers several difficulty levels, huge variability and a unique experience for one to five player teams. One mission lasts only about 30 minutes, including setup and evaluation.