Welcome to another board game review, where we pick apart games, rank them, and give you my two cents on the matter. This time we are reviewing Star Realms, a deck building Game about space travel, space ships, and spaced out bases. The main goal? To destroy your opponents life by using tactical combat and shiny new ships.
Star Realms is a game in which you can play using a lot of different tactics, depending on the route you want to take to victory. There are multiple factions to choose from, or you can just build a whole set of rainbow cards (not the greatest tactic, but I have seen it work a few times).
PLAYING THE GAME
To start, you set up the game by dealing the ten cards out to each player. You get three attack ships (which are known as they have a red target icon on them) and seven gold ships (which are known by the gold coin on the card). The first person to go will draw three cards, and from then on each player draws and uses up to five cards.
The whole point of the game is to bring your opponents life down to zero, destroying their empire in the process. You do this by mixing up your attack and gold. You use gold to buy bases (which give you bonuses, and add a measure of defense to you), and different types of ships (which can be stronger, give you more gold, or special abilities).
Once you play your hand, you will choose what to buy with the gold you have accumulated (gold does reset every turn, so use all of it if you can). Each item you buy, will go into your discard pile so that once you have played the cards in your deck, you will re-shuffle the discard, and keep going. The game keeps going until you kill off your opponent with a history of strategic buys, strategic moves, and amazingly dumb mistakes.
Once you have played your five cards, you will immediately redraw your new hand, so you can plan your next turn. Then your opponent does the same turn you just did. This just keeps going, and each time you will gain more power and more gold to keep getting bigger and better.
DESIGN – 8
It is a card game, so the art is really the only design aspect, aside from the box it is stored in. The box itself is fairly basic, which is all it needs to be for what the game is about. Also one of the main reasons the game is such a good price for what you get with it.
The card art is really nice, and it has an original touch to it. It has remnants of a Star Trek vibe, with a lot of ships reminding me of Next Generation or Deep Space type style. The dynamics in the game, with a whole slew of constant card changes, and even a lot of bonuses for playing multiple cards in the same faction on a turn, make it a really dynamic game to play. There is a lot that can go on in a single turn, and sometimes even combo quite a few cards into a single hand. The most I have seen so far is an eleven card draw, which as you can imagine can be very devastating depending on the cards you draw.
REPLAY VALUE – 9
This game has a tremendous amount of replay value, as it is a card game. That alone means that with each shuffle of the deck, you get an infinite amount of possibilities. Above that though, the game has a lot of dynamic moves, planning, and strategy, which all add together to be a game which has a lot of potential. You can change an entire game with one good hand, but the luck behind that hand adds amazing capabilities.
You can choose a completely different tactic each time you play. Do you want to go with the life giving blue cards, the draw cards or discard cards yellows, the coming at you green cards, or the balls to the wall red cards. I tend to go blue, but that is just because I am a coward who loves to hide behind my health bar. You will find amazing things by mixing and matching your tactics around. That is the biggest part of the game I love.
FUN FACTOR – 8
As far as overall games go, I love it. I love deck building games, and honestly it was an awesome recommendation from Rene (mainly because of the cheap cost, and the amazing bang for your buck). As far as deck building games go, it is fairly average, but that is because it is easy to pick up and learn, and comes with a limited amount of cards, to be easier to use. It does not try to bog you down with a million cards to add to the table.
It is awesome to play, and a fairly quick game (usually about fifteen minutes or so, longest was thirty), so you can use this one to fill the time in between other games. The only negative thing about the game is that it is only two players. You can buy more packs and play more than two, but it does not feel the same to do it that way. It is best off with only the two, but that does limit when you will be able to play it, as most times in a group you are not playing with only two people.
Overall, the game is a really good play, and a really fun game, for a low price. You can not go wrong with this one, trust me, I’m a gamer!
Stop by and talk to Remi, Rene, and the rest of the crew, and they can set you up with this game, and so many others! Tune in next time when we review another game. Do I know what game that is yet? Hells no, it depends on what I am going to buy next! See you then.