16 December 2015
Who will be the first to conquer the galaxy?
Rio Grande Games | Card game | £27.99 | 2-4 players | 30-60 minutes | www.riograndegames.com
Despite being a card game, Race for the Galaxy plays more like a city building game like Carcassonne… just with aliens rather than medieval knights. The game sees you trying to take over the galaxy – what is it with aliens and their obsession with invading – by building new settlements, building new developments and consuming resources.
The game comes with 80 cards, four player decks of seven cards and tokens to keep track of your victory points. Race for the Galaxy has an interesting mechanic when it comes to playing your cards because the cost for building a settlement or development is actually the cards from your hand. As a result you’ve got to really balance your choices between keeping a card you may require for later on in the game, whilst not restricting yourself from building developments or settlements.
As well as using cards as cash, you can always turn them into resources for your planets, which will add to your victory points – again though, the question is what cards should you keep and what should you get rid of? Another interesting mechanic is that after choosing your action in secret, you all play your action cards at the same time. The actions are: explore, develop, settle, consume and produce. If one of your opponents plays the same type of action card you both get a bonus, e.g. if you both lay down an explore card you’ll get an extra card from the draw pile. Getting these bonuses is potentially key to winning the game, so the ability to read your opponent is important.
Unfortunately Race for the Galaxy suffers from a slight stumbling block in that the rulebook isn’t always clear, which may provide a barrier to some – however, get past that and you’ll be in for a great experience of space exploration.
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