You are the Commander of one of the six surviving factions from the Star Union. You’ve set out to explore the seven planets so you can continue rebuilding civilization for the better. You will encounter fights and diplomatic relations, seize landmarks, rediscover lost technologies, and search for valuable resources along the way. Will you succeed in creating a new (and improved) world?

Open Drafting – Each round, in turn order, players will move their ship to a card they want to draft from the available planet cards (or claim an operations slot to gain points, experience, and/or strength). Where they draft from will determine both the cost of the card and their turn order for the next round.

Set Collection – Certain cards encourage set collection. Blue landmarks get bonus points when in pairs, some purple technology cards (on planets 5 to 7) can give players bonus scoring opportunities based on cards they collected. Some goal sheets will also have players score additional points for certain cards with have collected/have the most of.

End Game Bonuses – Each game has a goal sheet with potential end game points for players to earn.

Variable Player Powers – Each player board has a unique ability to help players with their strategy. They have a simpler “A” side and then a more complex “B” side, with slightly more detailed abilities.

  • 2 to 6 Players – It’s definitely more open at lower player counts, and you’re going to care about turn order much more with more players, but I thought it worked pretty well regardless of count. Though it was a little more engaging with 4 or more
  • Ages 12 & Up / Intro+ Weight Gamers – There’s definitely some strategy in what you draft, or where you might try to position yourself in turn order, but I think the flow of the game is really smooth, so it would also make for a decent welcoming game
  • Fans of drafting, variable players powers, and lots of opportunities for scoring
  • Players who like a sci-fi theme

  • Aesthetics – Great art / color scheme on cards, and nice graphic design
  • Components – Nice quality cards/boards/pieces (I would have liked a set of red player pieces though! haha)
  • Variability – With the player powers, goal sheets, and cwhat cards come out and where, the game is never quite the same each time
  • Rules – Very streamlined good to learn from, nice examples
  • I like the different variable player powers; they help you change your strategy depending on your role
  • I like how turn order changes based on the positions of the cards being picked, it can definitely affect how you go about choosing cards/operations
  • Decisions feel meaningful, and even with a full 6 player game, there were not turns where players felt they had no real choice, there were usually a few cards to choose from, or choosing between cards and operations, which can have a big impact
  • I love the limit on gaining points from operations so players who might get bonus Operation points from player powers or card abilities can’t just get tons of points every round
  • Game flow is great, turns are usually pretty snappy
  • I wish there was a small base income (1 or 2 energy maybe)
  • Even without a base income, I thought the pickup/sector cards felt the weakest by far, especially later in the game, and often got left behind
  • Not a lot of tension with lower player counts, never as concerned with turn order

While I wouldn’t say that most turns are super exciting, I did really like the game! The changing turn order is interesting and keeps you invested on your options, especially if you don’t want to risk going too late in the next exploration phase. Turns are also super snappy between picking your cards/operations and then actually taking/executing them, which I like because it keeps the game moving.

The strategy isn’t super heavy by any means, but depending on your player power and maybe the goal scoring available, you will change what you do every game, which helps to keep things fresh.

It is recommended at 4+ players, and while I do think it shines there because of the game being a bit tighter, I still enjoyed lower player count games too because it gave you more opportunity to try different cards because your options remain so open throughout the game.

I don’t know anything about the video game, so I can’t really speak to if the theming is strong or not, but as someone who doesn’t know the game, I didn’t feel like that was a barrier at all, it was still a cool sci-fi game that worked really well.

Additional Information:
My Final Rating – 7.5/10

Designer – Stepan Opalev
Artists – Illarion Balitsky, Uildrim
Publishers – Arcane Wonders, Hobby World
MSRP – $44.99