29 May 2018
Truly a game that knows where its towel is
Time is an illusion. (Lunchtime doubly so.) Which is exactly why we find ourselves in 2018 marking not the 10th, not the 20th, not the 30th or even the 40th anniversary of Cosmic Encounter, but the sci-fi diplomacy game’s 42nd anniversary.
We really hope we don’t have to explain why that number is more than just a random age to celebrate – and the heavy nod to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was reinforced by the new edition’s reveal on Towel Day, the annual tribute to author Douglas Adams and his galactic wit.
Cosmic Encounter: 42nd Anniversary Edition will replace the standard version of the game, and will continue to be compatible with all of its various expansions, so you won’t need to buy the whole lot again.
The new version won’t make any major changes to Cosmic Encounter’s foundations: you’ll still be the leader of a unique alien race trying to settle its ships outside of its home galaxy, asking neighbouring factions for their assistance to land on planets or fend off approaching rivals.
What will be different is the revised rulebook, accompanied by a quickstart guide with a comic-book-style intro to the game. The game’s components have been updated too, with newly translucent ship miniatures – which might clash a little with the expansions’ opaque pieces, but do look very nice.
The box will pack in an extra alien species to command, with the Demon faction previously only available at Cosmic Encounter celebration Cosmic Con. The race gives its player the power to possess, taking control of an opponent’s hand of cards and using cards from them as if they were their own.
42nd Anniversary Edition additionally adds ‘Cosmic Combo’ cards, which include pre-set menus of aliens to use for a themed match – such as ‘Brains vs. Brawn’, ‘The Ol’ Switcharoo’ and ‘I’m So Smart’.
Cosmic Encounter: 42nd Anniversary Edition will be out in Q3 2018, and we’re sure playing it will still feel like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.