Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Cosmic Run

The 19th most awesome game in the cosmos is: Cosmic Run!

In Cosmic Run players are interstellar astronauts racing to discover strange new worlds, 5 of them, to be exact. Each of the 5 worlds is at the end of a dice track. On your turn you roll dice and assign them to the various tracks based on dice sets. One track only requires a 2 dice set. One requires a 3 dice set, one a 4 dice set, and so on.

Like Yahtzee, you are rolling 5 dice. So, the largest set you can manage is a set of 5. (Such a set would bring you closer to the elusive 5th planet!) Each full set of the appropriate type that you assign will move you one space closer to the planet in question. Players score points based on their proximity to the planets with the biggest rewards going to the player who discovers each planet.

Each time that you roll, as long as you assign a die (or dice) to a space and still have some dice left, then you are able to roll again. You don't have to have a full set when you assign dice. You could put a pair of fives on the 3 dice-set planet for example in the hopes of rolling a third five later.

Image by AdamCarney on Board Game Geek

Unlike Yahtzee, Cosmic Run gives you some tools to mitigate your dice rolls. These tools come in the form of alien diplomats (cards) with special powers. These powers might allow you to change an even numbered die to an odd number, or add or subtract values from dice, or reroll some dice without having to place any. Things like that. You earn these helpful alien diplomats by assigning dice, just as you would to travel towards a planet, but here you are looking for specific groups of different numbers as depicted on the alien cards, rather than sets of numbers.

The aliens also provide a way to score bonus points. The more different types of aliens you have, the higher a bonus you receive. There are also precious space ores that you can mine for straight up points, and a tech track that grants various benefits depending on when you use it. There's always something you can do with your dice. So, no matter what you roll, you don't feel like you've had a wasted turn.

Oh, and did I mention the meteors careening towards each planet threatening to destroy them? Yeah, there's that. So, the pressure is on to discover the planets before they are destroyed. This adds a nice bit of tension to the game, and acts as a game clock keeping the game from running too long.

While at its heart, it's a simple dice rolling game, Cosmic Run is insanely fun. It's one of our most played games, and that makes Cosmic Run the 19th greatest game in the Cosmos!

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