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LOST GALAXY from Rudy Games could well be the best £20.00 - £25.00 you will spend on a game this year (2022). That is, as long as you have a device capable of downloading and operating an App - even I have devices that can do this, and I am an old dinosaur when it comes to electronic devices. This App is absolutely brilliant. It is easy to use and does everything necessary without taking control of the game. For example, it offers various scenarios that can be played. A few of these are free but others have a download cost - the main expansion being around £8.50. You must have a device and you must download the basic App (it's free) as there are no rules in the game; that is, there is no Rules Sheet or Booklet, everything is down to the App.

There are 3 sets of cards. One is a large deck that contains 80 Planet cards in the four player colours and 20 separate Rockets. One set of fours cards for the Players Race & Colour: Broods (Green) Cyborgs (Red) Mechs (Yellow) and Sirians (Blue).

Each faction has its own unique ability. On our first game we chose our favourite colours (from those available) but soon realised that, depending on how the game is playing out, there are advantages to certain colours.

Broods: At the end of your turn you can draw a random card from another player and discard it.
Cyborgs: Evacuate from Level 3 instead of 4
Mechs: At the end of your turn you can remove and discard a Planet card from the play area.
Sirians: Refill to 7 cards instead of 6

There is also a deck of 16 'special' cards, four of each type, that are specifically left out of the Base game and then introduced to create an Advanced game - though to be fair, the inclusion of these cards tends to make the Advanced game slightly easier to play, though a little more chaotic.

When the 'special' cards are in play the cards that will be counted at the end will have been reduced through the number that have been forcibly discarded. In the Base game only cards from player's hands are discarded when the player/s cannot make a legal play - players must play a card or discard their entire hand and refill as their turn. 

The 'special' cards are:
-X = Planet destroyer. Place this on any Planet and put all cards in the stack, including the X into the discard pile.
[Shield]: Negates Planet Destroyer and Combat Squadron specials.
[Circle with diagonal line). Tractor beam. Play on another player and they Miss their next turn.
-1 = Combat Squadron. Remove the top card and discard it along with the -1 card.

The mechanic is beautifully simple. It is the player's decisions that keep the game flowing. There is the luck of the (card) draw but otherwise it's all player driven. 

Once you have downloaded the App and started it you get to select your colour/race. Then hit [Next] and place the device on the table - it is the centre of the Galaxy. Leaving space around the device for 8 Planet cards, take one of each colour Planet card valued at 1 [one] and place them at the four corners of the device, then shuffle the Planet deck, including the 20 Spaceship (aka Rocket) cards.

The object of the game is to score the most points in your colour by the evacuation of the Planets. To evacuate a Planet cards have to be placed onto the cards (or spaces) around the Core (device). Value '1' cards can be placed on empty spaces otherwise the Planet cards played must be one value higher or one value lower than the Planet stack they are placed on.

A player's turn consists of playing a card or cards from their hand to one or more planet stacks, but may only play one Rocket card in their turn. The discard stack is reshuffled if the draw pile exhausts. 

When a stack has a '4' on top it is open to be evacuated by a player (still in turn order) who places a Rocket card on it - that player takes the complete stack and all cards in it will score for the respective owner of the colours within it - the player of the Rocket card gets 5 additional points. 

 

At the final scoring each player separates the cards they have won into colour piles and then give the correct coloured cards to the players of those colours - keeping all Rockets and their own colour cards for themselves. Then total up the value of each colour according to the card value (1,2,3, or 4) adding 5pts for each Rocket. The player with the highest total is the winner. As not all cards come into play it is possible but unlikely to be a tie.

Games play in about 15 minutes, are varied each mission, and are always fun (fast & furious as folk like to say). No game designer or artist are credited on the box.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2021