Science Fiction explores the worlds that could be, pushing the boundaries of the future and alternate realities to make us question the world that we live in. In the following list, we provide a review of the some of the best science fiction board games currently available in-stores – games dripping with theme and great mechanics.
Starting off our list is Dust, an alternate reality board game where World War I never ended, and alien technology has infiltrated our lives. Now, a never ending battle rages over our planet. Often described as a streamlined, well designed Risk, Dust is geared for those looking for just a little more science fiction in their wargames.
Doom helped launch the first-person shooter video game. Now, in board format, players take on the role of the Space Marines in an attempt to escape the base. Dripping with theme from the computer game, the Marines are short on ammo and armour and will need to find the exit fast.
8. Space Alert
Space Alert is a team survival game: a type of cooperative game. Players become crew members of a small spaceship scanning dangerous sectors of galaxy. The missions last just 10 minutes (hyperspace jump, sector scan, hyperspace jump back) and the only task the players have is to protect their ship. Of course, it’s easier than it sounds as calamity after calamity hit the spacefarers. Can you work together long enough to survive?
Race for the Galaxy is somewhat light on theme, with only cards representing the various galaxies, technologies and economy the players have, but makes up for it by far with exemplary gameplay. Years in the making, Race for the Galaxy plays fast and uses the ‘role choice’ system made popular in Puert Rico. Highly strategic, Race for the Galaxy only gets better with its expansions.
Another computer game turned board game, Starcraft is a big box, galaxy spanning game where players take control of one of the races and must balance building and unit production. In addition, using an order marker system, players activate individual galaxies for conquest, production or just to bluff their opponent out!
Cosmic Encounter has been reprinted multiple times since its initial release, with various publishers editing and changing the game slightly. Yet the core, highly popular racial abilities and simple, but fun, combat system has stayed the same. A game that plays quite fast and provides players with few, but significant decisions throughout the game, its no wonder that Cosmic Encounter continues to be reprinted.
In Galactic Emperor, you are vying for control over the recently opened Galactic Throne. Using a series of role cards, players will have to balance the economic and technological development of their empire with military conquests and diplomacy. With multiple routes to victory and a highly balanced system, Galactic Emperor provides an immersive; galactic wide struggle in two to three hours.
Battlestar Galactica brings the struggles of your popular TV characters to life on this board. A (mostly) co-operative board game, players take on the roles of their favourite TV characters in an attempt to guide the Battlestar Galactica and the rest of the human race to Earth. Be warned though, anybody can be a Cylon – even you as ‘sleeper’ Cylons get activated halfway through the game!
Galaxy Trucker is a riot to play. Players must first build their space ships and then fly them through a hostile galaxy to cash in on the ship at the other end. However, there’s a time limit on building your ship and you’ll never know what tile you’ll draw, so decisions have to be made fast in how to build it. A bellyful of laughs, Galaxy Trucker is heart pounding fun and amusement for the whole family.
Twilight Imperium continues to be the board game that all other science fiction games measure up against. A Fantasy Flight, big box game, Twilight Imperium can play for a staggering 11 hours, but players will be enthralled all through the game. You’ll take control of an alien race with their own special abilities, technologies and ships and must trade, negotiate, develop and battle your way to galactic dominance.