Customer Review

41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Race for the Galaxy: big learning curve at first--quick playing game later, October 9, 2009
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Race For The Galaxy (Toy)
Race for the Galaxy is Rio Grande's card game where players eke out a space civilization by exploring, conquering, settling and developing technologies.

Players simultaneously select a role card. The roles are respectively: Explore, Develop, Settle, Consume and Produce. The role cards are revealed and resolved in role card order. If you play a role card, you get the bonus for playing it. If you didn't play a role card (i.e. your opponent played it), you get to use the role's general effect. For example: if you play "Explore", you draw 3 cards and may keep 2; otherwise you draw 2 cards and may keep 1.

Players play planet cards during the Settle phase and technologies during the Develop phase. Once a player has played 12 cards (called a tableux) the game will end. Players score points for their planets, developments and for consuming goods. The player with the highest score wins.

With experienced players, this game can play quickly (around 30 minutes or less). However, the iconography of the cards is counterintuitve and thus the learning curve is surprisingly steep. This is a minor consideration if you are a hardcore gamer. But it should be noted: Race for the Galaxy makes a poor gateway game for your non-gaming friends and family.

My biggest gripe with Race for the Galaxy is that there is virtually no player interaction. There is no conflict. No auctions, no bidding mechanics, no way to screw over your opponents who have a lead. This is effectively a four player solitaire game with interstellar chrome.

Race for the Galaxy hits our gaming table with some regularity. It's a quick game and thus is a decent filler. But if you want an interstellar game with player interaction you will need to look elsewhere.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 18, 2010 9:17:50 PM PST
I agree the game isn't a good gateway game, and I see many others disliking the icons, but I found them quite intuitive and very useful for quick recognition, myself.

My biggest disagreement with your assessment is in the idea that there is no player interaction. Understanding what each player needs and has is critical in maximizing your phase selections. In 4-5 player games (with expansion) a good percentage of the cards start turning up and awareness of what players are looking for and what has been played is key to strategy and success. In other words, you CAN play it like solitaire, but you'll lose most of the time.

My wife and I play this game almost every other day against each other or AI via the program and also play with friends. It does take some initial commitment to understand, but the reasonable length of the games and the variety in the game progression makes it a game we keep coming back to.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2011 4:23:21 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Dec 12, 2011 8:46:53 PM PST
"In 4-5 player games (with expansion) a good percentage of the cards start turning up and awareness of what players are looking for and what has been played is key to strategy and success. In other words, you CAN play it like solitaire, but you'll lose most of the time."

But... that's with an expansion. Which is not what his review covered. He didn't say the rules were similar to Solitaire, just the level of interaction with others. And nothing in your comments disputes that. I haven't played this game (though it sounds fun) but paying attention to other people's hands isn't much of an interaction.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2011 2:31:39 PM PDT
B. Palmer says:
Sullivans post was relevant and he has experience playing the game. M Macpherson your post is irrelevant and based on nothing since you openly state you have not played this game.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2011 8:56:00 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2011 2:29:15 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 12:07:09 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 14, 2012 12:07:39 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2014 1:32:24 AM PDT
Craig Volpe says:
I think Aaron Sullivan's points apply even to the base game. I haven't tried the expansions, but this is probably my girlfriend and my favorite game to play against each other. I think it's strange to say there isn't player interaction because a significant amount of strategy to the game is trying to guess which phase other players will play, gauging their tempo, and screwing with them by playing the trade phase when it will hurt them. Like Aaron said, you could play this game like solitaire, but you'll lose most of the time (and you'll be missing out on a large part of what makes it fun)!

On an unrelated point, it's strange and bordering on spam how this reviewer posts virtually identical reviews for games and their expansions. This review is almost word for word the same as the ones for Race for the Galaxy's expansions, and he's done that with tons of other games as well.
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