Among The Stars Card Game
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- Players draft and pass cards
- Highly-sought after for 2 years, finally available globally
- Great theme and spatial use of cards as locations
- Cool transparent plastic cubes and over 150 square cards
- Playable in about 60 minutes
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Among the Stars takes place in a war-ravaged galaxy where warring alien races have declared peace in wake of a threat with the potential to destroy them all. An alliance is established to build space stations throughout the galaxy in order to promote trade among the races, strengthen diplomatic relations and defend against this impending threat. Each player takes the role of one of those races trying to build the greatest space station. Through card drafting, the players select locations and use these to build their station, scoring victory points based on the placement. The construction lasts four years and the alien race with the more points at the end wins.
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|Item Dimensions||8.9 x 12.4 x 2.8 in||1.83 x 2.76 x 0.65 in||9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 in||1.75 x 4.5 x 6.7 in|
Top customer reviews
This game appeals to me for a number of reasons. If we put aside the fact that you can build your own space station from the ground up (which is awesome), there’s a certain synergy in the way these cards interact with one another. For example, some cards award points based on how many cards are around it when it is built, meaning you’ll have to put some thought into where you’re placing everything. Unlike “Alhambra“, there’s no way to move a card once you’ve placed it. The objectives (should you decide to include them) add to the fun as they may encourage players to work toward a specific goal…though you can ignore them if you wish. These cards are not only color-coded but may have either an immediate or delayed effect, making you sometimes wish that you could pick two or three cards out of your current hand instead of one.
Unless you’re playing in aggressive mode (which uses its own deck), player interaction is limited to what cards you’re passing off to the next player. While this seems limited or maybe even boring, it’s almost essential if you’re going to have a shot at winning the game. If one of your opponents is building their station around a particular color or room type to get extra VPs, you may decide to claim the card yourself to prevent them from having it. Or, you can take what you’re really after and hope the other players in between you and them take notice what you saw and act on it. The two player Kim variant (my preferred choice over the rulebook’s two-player variant) further enhances this by allowing players to discard a card of their choice, freeing them up to play something they’d want for themselves. Vinnie and I opted to mix up Kim’s variant a bit by playing a card first, drawing, discarding, resolving, and then passing as opposed to drawing a card at the beginning of the turn. The rulebook’s two player variant is just too messy logistically and is quite honestly a pain in the exhaust port.
I liked this game for the same reason I liked “Alhambra” and “Suburbia“…I had almost total control over my creations. The latter of those two tends to get a little chaotic toward the end as a lot of the effects build and chain over time…keeping track of your city’s effects can be downright cumbersome. “Among the Stars” doesn’t suffer that problem despite the fact that the cards each have their own abilities. Either the effect happens during placement or is delayed till the game’s end…nice and simple. “Among the Stars” offers a lot of replayability, what with the races, objectives, modes/variants, and the fact that you’re always starting your station from scratch. While there’s a slight learning curve, I found very little to complain about. I highly recommend playing without the objectives and races at first, as the immediate and delayed card effects will give you enough to think about.
What we like: The artwork and theme. Simultaneous action keeps things moving. It's fun actually building stuff. Rules are pretty easy to grasp.
What we don't like: Some race skills are poorly balanced, and some bog the game down for other players. Setup takes a while. When other players make a mistake to their own benefit, it's hard to be strict about correcting it.
What we're not sure about: It's difficult to keep track of what's going on closely enough to really stay competitive. Cards in hands, cards built in stations, interactions between all those cards, racial abilities, and special location availability... it's a lot to deal with. I suspect for a really engaged group, this would be part of the fun and challenge. You can play just by trying to build your own best station rather than worrying about other players, but that skips a lot of the fun.