Over the last few years, we’ve seen the rise of the deck building game as a core mechanic in many great designer board games. Dominion has achieved incredible popularity, with a whopping 8 boxed expansions released since its debut in 2008. Fantasy Flight Games has created entire game systems called Living Card Games around the principles of deck building. Now, we have a game that looks to streamline the deck building experience, and that game is Star Realms.
The premise is simple – each player has a space armada, represented by a personal deck of cards, which is developed and expanded with the goal to overthrow the opponent by political influence or brute force. Starting with just a few trade and combat cards, players will acquire allies from four unique factions – The Blob, Trade Federation, Star Empire, and Machine Cult. Making use of the ships and bases from these allies, players will wage war on each other until one has had their Authority (read: life points) depleted.
Although it doesn’t offer the same level of deck building options as larger game systems, the strength of Star Realms lies in its simplicity. The icons are easy to understand, the rules are straight-forward, and despite its short play time, the variety of strategic options are plentiful. All in all, a very satisfying experience in a very small box!
As a cafe game, it’s a dream come true. Our Board Game Bosses can explain the basics in just a few minutes, getting players into the game experience quickly, and the small footprint leaves room on the table for our tasty snacks and beverages.
Players: 2 players per set
Play Time: 15-30 minutes
Publisher: White Wizard Games
Designers: Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle
Board Room Price: $14.99 plus tax
Our Rating: 4 Board Room Mugs out of 5