Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Star Realms Review

A few weeks ago, I picked up a deck game called Star Realms.  I am impressed with the game and have several games so far.  This is a non-collectible deck building game for 2-6 players that can be played in about 20 minutes with 2 players.

The box costs $14.95 and comes with rules for 2-6 player games, but there are only enough cards for 2 players.  If you want to have more players, you need to buy more boxes.  That seemed a little odd at first, but I like it.  If you only want to play 2 players then you only have to pay the minimum.  If you want to upgrade to more players you are dropping $45 which isn't all that bad for a good 6 player game.  There is also at least one expansion pack with a solo play and cooperative play variants as well as new ship cards and a variety of bonus cards.

There are several rule variants.  You can play head to head or cooperatively with the expansion pack.  When you add in more players, you have different options for the games you play as well.

Most of my games have been 2 player head to head battles.  The idea is that you are competing with your opponent for control of an area of space.  Both players start with identical starting decks and use that to purchase additional ships and bases to expand their deck, while using their attacks to reduce the enemy's authority (health) to zero before they are defeated themselves.  Cards can offer bonuses to other cards, so getting a good combination of cards can be devastating as the game progresses.

The art work is nice and the quality of the cards is pretty good as well.

Setting up for a cooperative game at my local game store; Gauntlet Games.

Overall, I think this game plays very well and is a great game to have if you only have time for a quick game.  If you have more time, you can play several games or add in more players and try some of the variant rules.

The company has also released an app (and web) version of the game.  The free version is not all that bright, but the full version is only $4.99 and has a harder AI, more campaign modes, and on-line play.  I have not purchased the full version yet, but likely will in the very near future.

Have you played Star Realms?  What about other non-collectible card games?

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