Ad Astra

Designers: Bruno Faidutti, Serge Laget
Manufacturers: Fantasy Flight Games, Nexus Editrice
Year: 2009
Players: 3 – 5
Time: 60 minutes
Ages: 13 and up

This is not my favorite game set in space. That would be Race for the Galaxy, but Ad Astra’s fun enough to play occasionally. Basically players explore the galaxy searching for new planets. Most planets produce a resource, allowing you to build colonies, factories and more ships. Sometimes, however you will run across an alien artifact that can give you a distinct advantage.

The turn system is unusual. Each player has a handful of cards allowing different actions like exploring, building and trading. At the beginning of the round, these action cards are placed face down on the main game board on one of fifteen slots, whatever is open at the time. The number on the slot indicates the order in which that action card will be resolved. Since all players may be able to benefit from your action cards, the timing of the cards can be critical.

It’s a cute enough game. It has a neat layout, looks very nice and has a lower learning curve than Race. It’s not one we’ll play weekly but it’s okay. Other people may like it more than I do. I can see it being a good choice for groups who like the space theme, but don’t enjoy having to wade through a bunch of rules before the game. It’s a pretty standard resource gathering/ building game with a few tweaks.

The copy we play was purchased and is owned by a friend. I am a Funagain Games affiliate.

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