In Cosmic Run the players are all trying to take control of five planets, before time runs out and they blow up!
The planets are placed centrally: each one has a track leading up to it and the players start at the bottom. The central plank of the game is rolling dice to try and move up these tracks, as the closer you get the more points you’ll score when either the planet blows up, or someone reaches it – in either case it is scored, and then flipped over for the rest of the game. Different planets want different dice assigned to them: planet 1 only needs a one for you to move your ship up one space on the track, but planet 2 needs a pair of matching numbers, planet three a set of three and so on up to planet 5, which needs five of a kind!
On your turn you roll the dice as many times as you like, with the caveat that after each roll you must assign at least one die to either a planet, an alien card or the technology track. The alien cards have two uses: they give you an in-game power such as dice re-rolls, number-adjustments or picking up crystals (points) – but the cards themselves score you points at the end of the game. The tech track is usually just a place to put a die you have no use for – it shuffles your technology marker up the track, and at any time on your turn you can cash your tech in (a re-roll, or points) and reset it to zero.
However – these relatively simple sounding game comes with a catch that time is running out, because the planets are being hit by meteorites! Two of the dice are red and one is blue, and on your first roll, if the red dice add up to a certain number (what the number is depends on how many players there are) then the planet denoted by the blue die takes a meteor hit. Each planet can only sustain two of these – on the third hit, it blows up!
Play continues until all planets have been either destroyed or reached by a player OR the alien cards run out, OR the crystals chits run out. Players total their points and the most is the winner.
Great game for all ages, I think. There’s enough luck to seam the game with palpable tension, but you can also strategise. A favourite in our house.
I’ve played once, but I would expect to enjoy this a lot on repeated plays – I love dice-rolling and push-your-luck games. And space!
There's no fighting, but tender souls could conceivably be frustrated by fate - or dice rolls, as they are often known.
Low. It's a fast-moving game.
Low - you're kinda beholden to the dice, although Cosmic Run allows you to feel some control over your destiny as well.
Dice ensure randomness, and you can play the game with different strategies - grab those alien cards, or race as fast as you can up the planet tracks...?