Friday, October 02, 2020

Board Game Review - Cosmic Factory

As a family, we don't always enjoy "real time" games as they tend to stress out some of our players. But we do generally enjoy tile placement games such as Carcassonne as well as drafting games like Sushi Go or 7 Wonders. So we decided to give this a try.

In Cosmic Factory, you are drafting tiles which you will then try to place in such a ways as to create clusters of different types of planets grouped between strings of asteroids and blank spaces.
You will score each color group depending on the number of planets (and the length of your asteroid path) and then at the end of the game your final score is based on the combined total of the score for your asteroids and the LOWEST scoring color.

The drafting phase is pretty standard but has some interesting strategic decisions to be made as with any drafting game. When drafting, you do not immediately place/reveal the tiles you selected but rather hold them face down. This makes it more difficult to "hate draft" in order to stymie the strategy of opponents. 

Once drafting is complete, everyone flips reveals their tiles and tries to arrange them into a 3 x 3 grid while a timer counts down. The length of the timer was sufficient to provide good tension while not producing undue stress in the players who don't usually like real-time or time-based games.

Each round also has a special card that changes scoring or some other rule slightly. These rule changes keep each round interesting and let the game feel fresh.

The components and artwork are nice quality. The tiles are chunky and feel good when passing and arranging. The art on the tiles is crisp and vibrant. The card art is fun and whimsical and is based tongue-in-cheek on various sci-fi films and stories.

Overall we were pleasantly surprised with this game and found it a welcome addition to our collection. It's a quick to learn, friendly family style game. The scoring process is probably the biggest complexity but once players get a feel for it, they should be fine. I would like to see more card options for even more variety but the included cards are a lot of fun. 

3.5 out of 5 stars


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