Race for the Galaxy - Board Game Box Shot

Race for the Galaxy

| Published: 2007

In Race for the Galaxy, players build galactic civilizations by game cards that represent worlds or technical and social developments.

Each round consists of one or more of five possible phases. In each round, each player secretly and simultaneously chooses one of seven different action cards and then reveals it. Only the selected phases occur. For these phases, every player performs the phase’s action, while the selecting player(s) also get a bonus for that phase.

For example, if at least one player chooses the Develop action, then the Develop phase will occur; otherwise it is skipped. In it, each player may simultaneously select a development from his hand of cards to build. After revealing the cards, each player adds his development to his tableau of cards on the table and then discards cards from his hand equal to its cost. Each player who chose Develop discards one card fewer as his bonus.

Explore allows a player to draw cards and select which of them to add to his hand. Settle allows a player to place a world in his tableau. Some worlds produce goods, represented by face down cards, when Produce is selected. These goods can be discarded for victory points or sold to add cards to the player’s hand by selecting Consume. With cards, players can settle new worlds and build more developments, gaining both victory points and card powers that provide advantages in certain phases.

The player who best manages his cards, phase and bonus selections, and card powers to build the greatest space empire, wins.

The winner is the player with the most victory points.

User Reviews (49)

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7
Advanced Reviewer
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I'm a Real Person
I'm Completely Obsessed
8
24 of 41 gamers found this helpful
“Tough to learn, TOUGH to master”

I love playing this game. However, even as an avid gamer, it took me at least two playthroughs to figure out what all the cards meant and how to play the game. After that, it was at least ten more games before I could say “these are the coherent strategies.”

Given that you have gotten your mind around how the game functions, Race is one of my favorite games to play, ESPECIALLY the two-player variant, which adds a little more strategy and a little less chance to the mix.

One downside: I never remember the name of this game. If I tell my friends I want to play Race for the Future, they just have to shake their heads and be ready to take over the galaxy.

 
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1
9
40 of 70 gamers found this helpful
“Satisfying, but not demanding”

I have taught this game to about a bunch of different people with different gaming backgrounds and it was a hit with all of them. The basic mechanic of discarding playable cards is absolutely brilliant and really lets this game shine. It is hard chucking that yellow alien card to get a decent 6 cost development out, but sacrifice is a major part of the appeal. The only wall I have hit teaching people is the nature of goods and the nature of windfalls. Otherwise the game goes through flawlessly. While I have not tried any of the expansions, the core game is still extraordinary. Games are quick, and starting the next round takes less than a minute. The lack of direct confrontation (which I found changes with one or two of the expansions) is also a bonus, as the strong players are apparent, but the weaker players are also not crushed under the boots of a collective effort. The pieces are basic, the cards are decent quality and the icon system for the most part simplifies gameplay (but the number of times a friend has not read the little description box at the bottom of some cards drives me crazy). With a very reasonable price, it is a great addition to your collection.

 
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4
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Amateur Advisor
9
42 of 82 gamers found this helpful
“One of my all time favorites”

At first Race for the Galaxy doesn’t seem like much, but I find myself playing this game over and over again. Whenever the question is “which game do we play?” Race for the Galaxy seems to be the best and most agreed upon answer.

The rhythm of the different strategies in the game is what really gets in my bones. Military explores for new cards and settles. Alien and genes strategies produce and consume trade, with brief forays to settle or develop. Development strategies explore and develop.

On top of this, the strategy can be really deep, the interaction is limited in a good way, and the special bonus yellow chips make varied strategies viable. I love this game.

That said, the attempted symbolic communication of individual card mechanics is inscrutable for new players. They really should have just stuck with words.

 
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1
Gamer - Level 1
6
30 of 65 gamers found this helpful
“Like learning a language (difficult but rewarding)”

The iconography used in Race for the Galaxy probably seemed like a way to make things more elegant. Printing a paragraph of text on the card seems like cheating. Unfortunately, I kinda wish these cards did just have some text explaining their effects. The problem is that there are so many different possible effects a card may have, the resulting iconography requires the constant presence of a Rosetta Stone in the form of the reference card to decipher.

The game succeeds despite this by offering a number of strategic possibilities. You’ll try to find the cards which most quickly and efficiently spit out victory points. I haven’t scratched the surface in the three games I’ve played, but I can see the possibilities starting to show through in my next few plays.

Although the implementation lacks elegance, the mechanics make up for it.

 
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3
Rated 25 Games
10
19 of 46 gamers found this helpful
“One of the Ultimate Card Games”

Race for the Galaxy is one of my favorite games. The learning curve for the iconology is very steep. Fortunately, this is a deeply rewarding game once you get over that hump. Find a few other people who enjoy it, and you can play it over and over. The card variability provides almost infinite replayability.

 
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2
Gamer - Level 2
9
16 of 40 gamers found this helpful
“Steep learning curve, but worth it”

Race for the Galaxy is tough to learn. REALLY tough. In fact, it typically takes about two or three full games before someone catches on. But once the light comes on, this game is a blast, and there are lots of options and paths to victory. It’s a great game, but you have to stick with it. The learning curve is worth it.

 
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4
Noble
Amateur Reviewer
Amateur Advisor
6
17 of 43 gamers found this helpful
“Too unpredictable in my point of view”

I played about 10 games of Race for the Galaxy and after that I don’t think I will play it soon again. I am missing player interaction and creating a plan on what to concentrate is almost futile.
My issue with this game is that you have no idea what cards you will get. Do go down the alien artifact road or something else?
To me the game felt like I am not really in control.

 
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1
Gamer - Level 1
10
15 of 38 gamers found this helpful
“Great game, confusing at first”

This is a really great game with lots of replay value. It has kind of a steep learning curve at first though. My friends and I used the online version to practice and get the hang of it. http://www.keldon.net/rftg/
Probably not the best game to play late at night when people are tired. It requires a lot of your attention.

 
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2
Noble
6
18 of 48 gamers found this helpful
“Great Idea!”

This is a great idea for a game. It is nice to see all your plans come together in front of you. The play is simple to follow and once you get the hang of the symbols it can be easy to decipher something new.

Although the bad is that there is almost no player interaction other then the choosing of action cards and hoping you choose properly for the best results.

 
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2
My First Wish!
 
13 of 35 gamers found this helpful
“Slow at first but plays fast later on”

This is game that takes time to learn, but if you don’t give up you will master a game that is truly great.

The sudden moment you see a strategy emerge you get this wonderful feeling of “Yes, now I got it!”. And you can get this several times with this game.

But don’t forget to look at the nice card art. When you try to learn the game you are so focused on all the icons, symbols and numbers that you miss the art. Later on you want to play fast and you miss looking at them again. Slow down a bit and see what’s really going on in your part of the universe.

 
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2
Gamer - Level 2
8
13 of 36 gamers found this helpful
“Fantastic Card Game”

This is a fantastic card game by the creator of San Juan, only better (by his words). The learning curve is steep, but once all the icons are memorized it’s a great game for quick matches and doesn’t take nearly as long as Dominion to set up. This is a favorite with our weekly gaming group (and my wife)!

 
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4
Sophomore
Advanced Grader
Advocate
9
15 of 44 gamers found this helpful
“Fantastic strategy game!”

The first time I played Race for the Galaxy I didn’t understand what all the hype was about. But the second time I played I had to teach someone else and it was then that I understood the strategies involved with this game…and I was hooked! This game is great with three or more players but does have a fairly steep learning curve. The cards are good, not great, quality so I recommend getting protective sleeves. The iconography takes a couple of games to get used to but there are cheat sheets to help until you are used to it. I highly recommend this game!

 

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