Space Games

I was so hoping to give a mini review of Battleship today, but I haven’t seen it yet 😦 Next time, maybe!  I’m on pseudo-vacation right now.  Pseudo, because I came home to visit sick parents, but I’ve still had the opportunity to hang out with friends and engage in one of my favourite activities – playing board games.  These aren’t your basic Monopoly or Clue, they’re much more involved, some of them taking two or three hours to play.  We’ve got a number of space-themed board games, a couple of which we’ve had a chance to play this week.

  1. Cosmic Encounter: You play an alien race, trying to build colonies on

    Cosmic Encounter

    planets owned by other alien races.  Each race has a special ability that gives you an advantage in certain situations.  When you choose a planet to colonize, you can either attack or negotiate, based on the cards in your hand.  Other players can choose to aid the colonization efforts or the defense.  The rule book is a little intimidating, but once you start playing, it’s easy to figure out.  Needs a minimum of three players, and took us about an hour to play.

  2. Race for the Galaxy: This one’s also based on planet colonization… and we’re all surprised by that, right?!?  Race is primarily a card game.  The interesting thing about this game is that although you’re engaged in a race (hence the name) to get a certain number of victory points, you aren’t fighting other players to get there.  Each round has 5 phases, and you choose in which phase you wish to take your actions, and if other players choose to play in the same phase, you all take your actions at the same time. It’s not a cooperative game, but neither is it antagonistic.  Two player minimum, and takes about 45 minutes to play.
  3. Pandemic: Okay, so it’s not space based.  But in it, you play various


    scientists working to control a global outbreak of disease.  I’m including it here, because if you fail (and more often than not, we do) you’ve got a great set up for one of those dystopian post-apocalyptic worlds we love writing about.  This one is a purely cooperative game.  All players are  cooperating to defeat the disease.  The locations and severity of outbreaks is defined by which cards come up, and it’s different each time.  This is a great game, needs a minimum of 2 players and about an hour.  Love the petri dishes that come in the expansion!

The pictures aren’t great, but on vacation all I have is a cell phone and Paint.

When I’m not writing, reading or watching TV/movies, I love playing games.  And if you’re a fan of Wil Wheaton, he does a ½ hour show on YouTube called Table Top (Geek and Sundry channel).  He’s got several friends (many of whom you’d recognize from various shows) who play different board games with him, giving an overview of the games as well as a few tips for play.  So, what are you waiting for?  Start a game night now!

KC Burn



  1. robertappleton · · Reply

    Yes! I love board games, especially space-themed ones, but no one else I know has even the slightest interest. My dad and I used to play a simple one called Luno, and then there was The Game of Knowledge, where you had to navigate the solar system by answering trivia. But if I could get hold of Zathura (the one from the film of the same name), I’d be in cosmic geek heaven!

    Btw, I saw Battleship the other week and enjoyed it. Absolutely ridiculous in every way, but no less fun for that. Loved the final third in particular.

    1. Oooh, Zathura – I’d love to lay hands on that one, too! And I will have a review of Battleship for my next blog… I know we’re all waiting with bated breath 😉

  2. We love to play board games. I hadn’t heard of Cosmic Encounter. I need to check that out. … and Robert, my kids are always asking me for Zathura. I’d love to have that one, too!

    I keep meaning to check out Tabletop. Need to do that. I’ve seen a few snippets and it looks fun.

    funny thing is, I almost did a post on games included in SF stories. Maybe I’ll put that together for next time.

    1. Hey Ella – Cosmic Encounter was a lot more fun than I was expecting, and relatively simple. Looking forward to *your* post on games! 🙂

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