Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts

Race for the Galaxy is an incredible game which stretches a gamer’s muscles for efficient strategy, tweaks at their imagination, and offers a quick-fire pace. The games has a number of expansions, beginning with three early add-ons, then a long gap, and a return to the well with Alien Artifacts. The expectation is that this expansion is not to be mixed with the others, however having never played the previous three, I cannot speak to any comparison. I will just be looking at this package alone.

Additions

1 New Cards – This expansion comes with about 40 new cards to add to the deck. I love this , as I love adding variety to games in which variety is a big features. Imaginatively its great to include new worlds and technologies into this universe, and as a game its great to be given more option. Some might worry about deck balance, but I think those hardcore enough to worry about that are in the minority

2 The Orb Scenario – The main crux of this expansion is a new scenario in which players play their regular game, but also contribute to an added feature where they explore a mysterious alien orb. The or map is made up of a separate deck of cards which overlap to gradually form a structure. Visually this is quite cool. The scenario does feel tacked on, but its also sort of fun, as it gives you bonuses as you score which you can use in the main game.

3 Fifth Player – This package also includes components to add a 5th player to the game, which is fine. It doesn’t affect things too much having an extra person, though 3 o 4 is still the best way to play. I think one of the earlier expansions also added a 5th player, so unless this is the only expansion you get, this feature may be redundant.

From BGG user squiz

Critique

Best Feature: For me, its having new cars to add to the deck. A lot of the new cards focus on the yellow Alien powers, which are cool, and some neat new genes cards are also in the mix. If you are not playing with the Orb scenario, not all actions on the cards will be relevant to a regular game, which might undervalue those cards a bit, but its not that big a deal, especially in a game where undesired cards can serve other purposes

When to use: As stated above, the new cards I just add to the deck for all games. The Orb scenario is a once-in-a-while expansion for when you’ve been playing the base game a lot and want to try something a little different.

Does it fit?: Yeah, there is lots of room in the base game box. With the other expansions, I’m not sure though. Probably?

What type: It’s a mix of “more of the same”, “different scenario”, and “player extension”. So I suppose it’s a modular… sort of.

Overall: The orb scenario does feel like a tacked on part of the game, just making the turns longer. Because, well, it is. But it works, and provides some cool incentives and rewards. The new cars are great to have and makes the deck more diverse and a little more interesting. I like Alien Artifacts quite a bit and I feel like it strengthens my Race for the Galaxy game a lot.
thumbsup

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