There’s a great big gorgeous galaxy out there, just waiting to be discovered! Build starships to make your way around the systems to uncover more and more of what’s out there – from energy, to alien planets, and beyond. You’ll need to do all you can to make sustainable colonies, productive factories, and cement your presence among the stars. Let’s get started!
What Is It?
Action Planning – Each round players will take turns placing action cards in empty spots along the planning board. Actions will resolve left to right, so players need to carefully select where they play cards, so they resolve at the best time for them. The available actions ae producing resources, trading, traveling to new systems/planets, building assets, and scoring.
Trading – Players may have the opportunity to trade resources throughout the game, with other players and/or the supply.
Player Selected Order + Scoring – For some actions (such as traveling) the planner (the player who played the card that triggered the action) determines the order that other players take the action, calling on them one after another. This gives a lot of control to the players to, for example, exclude the leader, or make temporary alliances. Players also control when scoring happens, and what players score when cards are played. The vast majority of points come from the scoring action cards, so players want to make sure they stay on their toes for as many scoring possibilities as they can, and use their own cards to propel themselves ahead.
Resource Management – Players can only produce resources on planets where they have certain assets, and they can only hold 10 resources round to round. Building takes 3-4 specific resources, so players want to manage their resources effectively, and possibly use trading to get ahead.
Who Is It For?
- 1 to 5 Players (6 or 8 players can play in teams) – The solo game was decent, and I thought the 2 player game was okay – pretty wide open. I think 3 to 5 gives the best experience. I did not have the chance to play the team game, but will give some more details on that
- Ages 14 & Up / Slightly Experienced Games – Definitely some strategy in here and a lot of actions to get familiar with; I just wouldn’t use it as a “gateway game,” personally
- Fans of resource management, action planning, and a space theme
- Players who like having a lot of control over turn order and scoring
Team Play (6 or 8) – Play in teams of 2. Teammates shuffle their cards together and deal them out equally. Planning still goes around the table, and partners can not discuss/make suggestions on actions. When resolving, the same applies – partners can not give advice/suggestions.
I didn’t have the chance to try this, as I didn’t have a big enough group, but after reading the rules, I didn’t have a huge interest in it. Since partners can’t communicate much, it sounded like it would be difficult to work together. But, if you have a big enough group, try it out, let me how how it goes!
2 Players – This uses “singularity cards” which always trigger in the 4th action slot and have various effects for players. It also adjusts the trade action so both players have the chance to trade with the bank, since they likely aren’t trading much with their only opponent.
I thought this was fine overall; there was minimal extra effort (i.e. no “dummy player” that needed to take turns) so I liked that. My biggest gripe with this was the scoring cards. In any multiplayer count, if you score the most points on a scoring card you get a bonus 3 points and if you score the least you lose 2 points. I didn’t love this at any count, since it seemed silly to me to lose points when you already scored the least, but in 2 players it felt more punishing than any other count, so I wasn’t a fan.
Solo – This is a race over 13 rounds to fulfill all the goals on your mission card in order to win. I thought it was very smooth, and a nice balance of trying to score at the right times, while also trying to efficiently achieve your mission requirements. It can really come down to the wire, depending on how you use those score cards! I think it’s a good choice if you’re a solo player who likes a mid-weight game.
- Aesthetics – Great art/look, nice table presence of all the systems/planets spread out on the table
- Components – Nice cards, cardboard, and wooden pieces – no complaints
- Reference Cards – Big and super detailed!
- The action programming is neat, always trying to guess what everyone is doing so you can capitalize on the most actions
- Theme works well with the mechanisms
- I thought it was interesting that players controlled when the majority scoring happened (other than a few points from builds) and what was scored, rather than it just being “score all these things at the end of each round.” It really had you evaluating your strategy throughout the game as you tried to stay ahead on as many possible scoring opportunities as you could
- With that, I liked that you didn’t get your score cards back until you played them all, so you couldn’t just try to score the same thing every round once you were ahead on it
- 2 Player game worked well, I like that there isn’t a dummy player that needs to take full turns
- I like the variety of missions for solo play; gave nice options for trying different strategies/paths
- Scoring bonuses felt too punishing in 2 player games for me. In 3+ I thought it worked because it encourages you to use your cards and not reply on what other players might score
- Planner choosing the order of play, instead of going around the table, felt slow and a bit unnecessary
- Likewise, while the action planning was neat, it could sometimes slow things down as well if players couldn’t decide which action to place
- I wish the box had come with a better insert to store everything nicely, as is you just have to bag everything, which is a little annoying with so many cards
- I didn’t love that the solo game didn’t allow you to peek at planets multiple time and forced you to rely on memory, as I’m just not big on memory elements in games
Overall, I thought this game was pretty neat! The solo and 2-player were both decent, but I definitely thought 3-5 is where the game shined, and that’s coming from someone who rarely wants to play a game with 5 players, haha!
The game mechanisms work well, and gameplay is very smoothy. While some of it does feel a little slow at times (programming actions rather than playing them in turn, planner choosing players instead of going around the table) I think it ultimately just works for the actions you’re taking.
If you like a good space theme with plenty of variety, this is one to check out!
My Final Rating: 7/10
Designers – Bruno Faidutti, Serge Laget
Artists – Dominik Mayer, Cristian Romero
Publisher – Grand Gamers Guild
MSRP – $69.99
*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*
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