Today we have a special guest reviewer Bobby Jones who is here to bring you the very first in many reviews of tabletop games.
Star Realms - Deckbuilding game Review
- Suggested Age – Manufacturer: 12 and up; My opinion: 7 and up
- Play Time – 20 minutes
- Publisher – White Wizard Games
- Number of Players – 2 (3 – 4 with Additional Decks)
- Game Type – Sci-Fi themed head to head Deck Building card game
- Retail Price - $14.99
Components - Star Realms is a deck building card game that uses 100 cards that represent space ships and bases and 18 additional cards to keep track of Authority (health). The art is really great and shows many of the space vehicles in battle. One of the things Mason likes about the art is that a ship or base may show up in the background of another card. It’s a nice little touch that adds some flavor to the cards.
Gameplay – Ultimately, your goal is to knock out your opponent by reducing their Authority to 0. But in order to do so you will need the best and strongest ships. Players face off with a starting deck of old clunkers and must build their fleet into a force to be reckoned with. This is a quick, fun and sometimes tense game that is super easy to learn but quickly proves to be rich with many subtle strategies and tactics.
Replay-ability - You will want to keep coming back for more. There is always a new strategy to test and tweak. Also, it’s just plain fun.
Time Commitment - This game plays in about 15 – 25 minutes and setup is simple. You can easily play a few rounds before dinner or while you wait for laundry to finish.
Value - This game retails for $14.99 but is listed at $12.34 on Amazon right now. It’s a complete game with no money evaporating boosters like Magic the Gathering. Mason and I have played this game more times that I can count and many more games with Dean and Chris. So yeah, this is a good value.
Favorite Element - The four factions each have their own distinct abilities and can be used with other cards of the same faction to create some devastating combos. Pulling off a big combo to win the game can be as satisfying as blowing up both Death Stars at the same time.
If you’re not familiar with deck building, it’s simply a mechanic where you start with a low value deck and use the resources from those cards to buy better cards, in turn allowing you to buy even better, stronger cards. The cards are purchase from a shared trade row that both players have access to. This means you often have some tough decisions. Do you purchase the card that best fits the deck you are building? Or do you steal the card you know your opponent wants in order to keep them from purchasing it and using it on you later? This is one of those games that, if it clicks, will very quickly endear it’s self to you and will be the only thing you think about for, like a week. The simplicity of it is deceptive, there is a lot of depth and once you start playing around with different tactics and testing combos it will be tough to stop.