Thanks to Ben Harkins of Floodgate Games for giving us a demo of Cosmic Colonies, Sagrada: Life, and Holi: Festival of Colors.
Despite the influx of polyomino games in the past few years, Cosmic Colonies has a few key aspects that set it apart from most other polyomino games we’ve played. Designed by Scott Almes, this orbit-drafting game of building a home in the stars has certainly caught our attention.
Players start the game with a hand of four worker cards. Each round, players will choose a card and place it face-down. Then, everyone will simultaneously reveal their chosen workers, and actions will be taken by players based on the initiative values on the cards, from lowest (earliest) to highest (latest).
This happens twice; first as the day phase, and then as the night phase. The first worker must take the day action, on the top half of the action space on the card, while the second worker of the round must use the night action, on the bottom of the card. So you play two workers each round, and you’ll activate the top of ability of one during the day, then the bottom ability of the other during the night. The game comes with 20 standard workers and 20 advanced workers.
Once players have activated their abilities, which consist of either gathering resources or constructing buildings, their workers will orbit to the player on their left, meaning each player will lose the two workers they played and gain the two workers the player on their right just played. This forces you to think twice about playing a specific worker when you might either want to save them for a future round, or you just don’t want your opponent to have access to them yet.
To gather resources, you’ll simply take them from these spots on the common board. But they’re limited, so you’ll need to grab the ones you need before someone else does.
As you construct buildings, you’ll fill up your personal board. Of course, you want to do this in the most efficient way possible. As you can see on the chart at the top of the board, the fewer revealed spaces you have of each terrain type at the end of the game, the more points you’ll score for each type.
At the start of the game, players also get one private objective each at random that will remain secret until the end of the game. This sets players on different paths right from the start and encourages you to specialize in a different direction each game.
You can expect to see this in stores either by the end of this month or in August! We’ll have a How to Play video along with a written and video review once we get our hands on it.
What do you think of Cosmic Colonies? Let us know in the comments below!
And check back later this week for our previews of Sagrada: Life and Holi: Festival of Colors.
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I’m a sucker for space themed games, I’m in!
Id love to see a quick video on BoardGame Jargon, I’m not familiar with polyomino and I’m sure there are other terms. Game diversity and classifications are growing like crazy these past few years! Thanks guys!
Not a bad idea, Jacob! Thanks for the feedback. Polyominoes are those Tetris-like shaped pieces, and you’re right, there are more classifications being used all the time and it’s not easy to know exactly what everything means.