Elder Sign and Alien Frontiers' ugly baby
Tharsis is basically a cheap, space-themed copy of Elder Sign . I’m not giving this thumbs-down because it’s difficult and sometimes you’ll lose just because of bad luck. I liked Elder Sign enough to buy each one of its overpriced expansions (on the iPad version), because although Elder Sign does a piss poor job of explaining how the game works, it’s actually FUN and gives you enough control over the chaos to be satisfying. In contrast, Tharsis feels more like the Iraqi version of Wheel of Fortune: https://youtu.be/Cz8cSpRmowM?t=1m1s
Read More: Best Space Singleplayer Games.
I love board games, I don’t hate dice, I usually like a good strategy challenge, and I think space & Mars are cool - So I can recommend this to people like me when it is on sale for at least half off. YOU SHOULD KNOW: I’d ignore reviews before August 2016 because a patch was added with a better tutorial, bug fixes, and some missions - All of which were significant additions to the game (at least for me). If you expect something more than a turn based board game, you’re gonna have a bad time. Also, I strongly encourage doing the Training missions before or after beating Easy as well as picking crew abilites that best main reasons for losing a game - Without these I could’ve rage quit before beating Normal mode. Now for a full breakdown that I haven’t seen anyone else give like this, followed by exactly what turns consist of:
Galaxy Trucker: Extended Edition
I’d recommend this game but with a few caveats. I’d encourage the developers to patch it with a couple of things:
Some of the missions are buried in the game in a way that could have just little more convenience built in to finding them. There are even dialogue boxes that say for the player, “I thought I was done with the campaign.” Kind of cute. Mostly irritating.
The more difficult missions, especially the big race, are so difficult that they are likely to be redone. Please don’t make a player click fifty times through the same flavor text every single time the mission is reset. That’s a mid-90s rookie mistake in any game design–like the long cut scene that can’t be skipped. Do it once, give us our laugh, and then let get about the business grinding away at a nearly impossible mission.
Read More: Best Space Funny Games.
Great, great conversion from the board game. This is one of those board games that was looking for the perfect digital adaption and they nailed. I only wish they didn’t TAKE SO LONG to make it playable on my OS, and that my version wasn’t still in the habit of making all my options on the home screen come up with a question “Do you want to quit?”. That is some serious glitch. Every time I come back to the home screen I’m forced to quit the game if I want to do anything because I have to restart it to use any option on the homepage. Other than that the game is free of glitches, and just excellent on every level. I want different musical options too, though I’ll probably not use any of them much. Another expansion would be good too, but the included one still has me busy :)
Rockets are Super Hard
This has been a great game to play with a group of friends. Working together to successfully launch a rocket into orbit using the highly detailed manual and communication skills not to miss any timed events or which button to correctly press. The manual may seem daunting at first, but the PDF is very well organized and put together that we have had no issues navigating through it to find the different modules for each mission. The sense of achievement is very high after each successful launch, and makes us want to keep playing once we finally do achieve mission success. Highly recommend this game for anyone that likes group puzzle games.
Read More: Best Space Science Games.
This game is already shaping up to be really special. This is helped tremendously by devs who are extremely active in the community and receptive to suggestions. They work quickly and respond in the forum. I made a list of typos and suggestions for the manual and it was a fairly long list. They did every single thing on the list in the same day that I posted it.
From a gameplay perspective, this obviously is inspired by Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, but I think this game stands up extremely well on its own. Being in the control room is significantly more fun than being the defuser in KTaNE, and the game itself feels more cohesive. The manual is also over 100 pages even though the game is in early access. The ktane manual is 23 pages. I’ve played it quite a bit already and I still feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface. The single player campaign helps to teach the game, and even puts the manual pages inside the game to make it easier to look things up, but playing multiplayer is certainly more fun.
Roll for the Galaxy
The interface and AI are good. Playing simultaneously with other players works well.
However the asynchronous play really needs an option to speed up play. As it stands on the date of this review players are required to log in and take actions that are completely mandatory. When there is zero choice to be made then the game should proceed (or have the option to proceed) to complete the action automatically continue to the next player.
It’s really frustrating to have am asynchronous game held up interminably by operations in which the player has no agency, such as the assignment of a single dice during Develop or Settle, or assignment of multiple dice when the outcome is fixed.
The AI is best feature of both Roll and Race for the Galaxy. I wish there was just a little bit more information given in the stats and maybe an award 2nd and 3rd place medal. I have tied the hard AI twice, but in both cases the AI won so I had to read the PDF manual to understand how tiebreakers work. Temple Gates does a great job with streamlined fast playing UIs and Roll for the Galaxy is no exception. Race is my go to game when I just want to play a good thinky strategy game without a lot of map scrolling/animations/voices/reading. This is my first time to play Roll and I’m finding it just as enjoyable.
The Captain is Dead
Fantastic. I’d never played the physical board game, but this was so much fun I went out and bought a copy.
Sure, I’m not a fan of the art style, and the fires on the ship are maybe a bit confusing - since they are purely aesthetic and don’t actually indicate problems, yet when you see fire you tend to assume there are problems. But these are minor points.
In The Captain is Dead, you play an intrepid crew of as many as 6 struggling to fend off ever-encroaching oblivion as your spaceship disintegrates around you. After each crew member takes their turn, another disaster strikes. Maybe the ship’s teleporter overloads, maybe an alien spacecraft attacks, or maybe a hostile raiding party beams in. If your shields go below 0%, you’re dead. If 13 invaders beam onto the ship, you’re dead. And if you spend so many resources avoiding those things that you can’t fix your ship’s jump core in time … guess what, you’re dead.
First of all, let me just say that I own the original board game copies of the TCID and its second episode (Lockdown), so you could say that I’m already a fan of the franchise. This is also the very first review I’ve written outside of an educational capacity, so I hope that you all find it helpful.
The Captain is Dead pits you (and a team of your buddies if you so choose) against an unknown alien enemy that attacks your ship for reasons unknown. Unfortunately for you, your captain, who could probably get you out of this situation with little to no trouble at all, has died (hence the title). You could escape by making a jump into light speed, but your jump core (or hyper drive) is on the fritz, and you don’t have R2-D2 to help you reactivate it. Therefore, it is now up to you to utilize the talents of the remaining crew to make all necessary repairs to the jump core, while mitigating disaster by fending off alien intruders and preventing the destruction of your oh-so-delicate ship.
Race for the Galaxy
The best card game there is, especially for two players. A beautiful design that squeezes an enormous amount of tough decisions into a fifteen minute time frame. There’s no need to build decks, collect new cards, or grind for booster packs - Everything you need is included. You’ll easily get hundreds of plays from just the base deck of 114 cards, and still feel like you haven’t explored all the possibilities and can improve further.
In Race, people will not beat you because they’ve spent more money on the game than you - They’ll beat you because they know the game better than you. And then, in single player mode, the truly excellent AI will pummel you some more. This is to be expected, since some people have been playing this game for ten years already. However, the Steam implementation is a great way to start getting ready to face the folks who only agree to play the fabled “GS/RvI/BoW Arc”.
Great, addictive card game from 2007 that thankfully made the jump to online.
Build an empire of planets, technologies, and social developments to outscore your opponents, using a variety of means both military and economic. Specialize in one type of resource, diversify, absorb all the little worlds you can or conserve your forces to risk it all on a single valuable target. Will you hold firm to your initial plan, or roll with the punches as new strategies suggest themselves?
You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking the above all sounds pretty standard for a game of this type. So what sets Race apart? The fact that every turn, every player influences the opportunities presented to their rivals. If one player chooses to place a world as their action, every player may place a world, if they have the resources to do so. Does your opponent have economically focused holdings? Let them spend their action to produce goods, and your empire can also produce goods! Meanwhile, you can spend your action to draw more cards, or build a new development, effectively earning two turns' worth of benefits at once. But beware - if your enemies can predict your moves, they can take advantage of you in the same way.
This game had a few bugs to play around but it wasn’t awful. As of the Nov update you can now barely finish a game there are some many new bugs. If you are thinking of purchasing this i would recommend you not. Save your money till its fixed, if it ever is. It is 3 years after the release and still has very poor stability or chance to complete a game without bugs.
Too many bugs. Too many cards that dont work as intended. And too dumb an AI. And the recent patch just broke it. It was bearable before - mainly just an inept AI. But at least it worked. Now it doesnt even do that.
Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy
TL,DR: It is rough around the edges, but it is a worthy implementation of the board game and does scratch the itch for playing it, when you can’t get a real game going. It takes some getting used to.
So, I have been waiting for a way to play this game ever since I first came across the boardgame. I have so far only tried the single player version.
It is a mostly faithful adaption of the board game’s base game version
AI is competent enough to make for some interesting games, especially if you are still on the low or middle part of the learning curve
While the game is mostly implemented correctly I can’t recommend the video game version of this over the boardgame exception as a single player training tool to learn how the different alien races play. I’ve played multiple games online in real time while voice chatting with my friends and we’ve lost count of the number of times the game will locally desync. This leaves the players on the line unsure if their friend is just thinking critically about his next move, or unaware that it’s even their move. The usual fix is that you can just close and reopen the game to rejoin the game session. However, twice now the game has kicked a player out after round 7 and they’ve been unable to see the private game listed in the game lobby. Obviously, whether a game can be completed or not is a huge turn off from even thinking about starting an online game.
Empires of the Void II
Conquer the galaxy - or befriend it! Empires of the Void II is a beloved board game with deep strategy and a compelling story that you write yourself. This is a digital recreation of that board game, allowing you to play with friends (or strangers) in the same room, or across the world. Choose a race and befriend the native species, or crush them under your merciless heel. The power card deck contains dozens of missions that connect to the deep story underpinning the galactic fringe. Save innocent lives from a gigantic rampaging beast, kidnap the leader of your enemies, or gamble with space pirates. Every playthrough feels unique and interesting. Minimalistic graphics and atmospheric music set the tone without getting in the way. Create your own adventure at the fringe of the galaxy!
Under Domain - Alien Invasion Simulator
This game feels like the creator made a unique and interesting system to play this game but then refuses to teach anyone how to use it. The tutorial even states it’s a LIMITED tutorial and you will learn the more advanced parts of the game with play… except the game play is totally static with no learning curve, so the advanced functions and parts of the game are impossible to reach. At first I figured I was playing the game wrong or just not getting something, but after going to find some kind of guide online (there are none at the time of writing this), or looking at the game’s web page for more information (the game’s page is only a landing page with screen shots, logos, and PR/Sales Hype), and then finally the game reviews/comments that all have the same problem with the game play and then some… I am now pretty sure this game isn’t finished and there are commands and graphics missing to advance the game play. Glad I got this on sale for like $2 since even $6 for this game is over priced as the game currently stands.
The game is really good-looking, definitely an interesting idea. The art, graphics, sound - top notch! And there are a lot of possibilities for further update, which, judging from Antarctica screenshot from “About this game”-section, might be coming (
! I didn’t see a way to build Earth, Moon or ocean bases ).
Basically you play as an alien race that, for a good reason (from their perspective), wants to invade the Earth. And with maximum of 12 decades (from year 1900) and 10 turns per decade you can invade the Earth by 2020 (yep)!