Cosmic run

Game Overview:  The year is 2123 and Earth has become inhospitable to life and humans have spread throughout the universe searching for a new home.  In Cosmic Run, you are rolling dice and using their results as you move closer to exploring five different planets.  It is a race against the other players to get to these planets as meteors will randomly hit them and could destroy them before you get there, wasting valuable victory points.  To assist you in getting to the planets, you are able to recruit aliens to your side that will give you special abilities to manipulate your dice roles. 

Box Contents:  The game comes with 5 planet tracks, 30 alien cards, technology cards for each player, six dice, wooden space ship tokens, and different cardboard tokens.  Two baggies are included which can be used to hold the wooden tokens, dice, and cardboard tokens.  The box has room within it that allows the alien cards to be stored.  The Planet tracks and instructions manual fit nicely in the top area of the box to keep everything snug.

Clarity of Rules:  The 24 page colored manual does an excellent job in explaining the rules.  It provides multiple examples throughout it which helps clarify some of the questions that you may have. Until you have mastered the game play, you will find yourself referring back to the manual to understand the different abilities of aliens that you may draft along with options in your technology cards.

Game Play:  When the game is setup, you will have to alter it for the number of players.  Each setup is different from solo play up through four players or cooperative play.  When game play begins, five planets are initially available for you.  To move up towards these different planets, your dice roll can go towards them. Planet one requires a single dice roll of one and the others require a like number for each of the remaining planets (two of a kind, three of a kind, four of a kind, and five of a kind).  Each path towards the planet takes you from a negative victory point to the ultimate score for each planet.  When you first roll your six dice, you review the total of your red dice, which will determine if a meteor will hit a certain planet.  The total rolled affects you differently based on the number of players.  For example, during a four player game a meteor strike occurs when you roll a dice total of 9 or above.  If that occurs, you review the blue dice that you rolled.  That determines the planet that is hit (1 through 5).  If a six is rolled, then no planet is hit.  Each planet can take three meteor hits.  If this occurs, you score the victory points for that planet based on where everyone is at that time and then it is removed from play by flipping it upside down.  As planets go away, either from meteor hits or from players making their way to them, the red dice total that is required for another meteor hit, keeps going down.  When there is one planet left, each turn is a hit and you will have at the most two turns left and then the game ends.  As you are rolling your dice, you are required to place at least one dice somewhere within the game play area.  You can place it towards a planet or you can place your dice towards other things that can help you along the way. One of these things is being able to recruit aliens that have different abilities.  To recruit them, it requires a certain dice set based on the alien cards in play.  Some of the aliens can be used up to four times and allow you to change certain dice rolls into something that will help you.  An example is if you were going for planet four that requires four of a kind, if you roll three twos and one three and if you have an alien that allows you to reduce a single dice by one then you can convert that three to a two to meet that four of a kind and move towards the planet. You also have a technology card that you can place your dice towards.  Different options on the technology card allow you to reroll dice, subtracting or adding a single number, taking crystal tokens, changing the dice to any number, or recruiting any alien that is in play.  Each time you use your technology card, it returns to zero and you have to start over again in building it back up.  Play continues until all planets have either been destroyed by the meteors or have been reached by the players.  At that point, you add up your total victory points.  Victory points can be obtained or lost based on where you are on the planet when it was completed or destroyed, the number and type of aliens you recruit will provide victory points, along with crystal tokens that you obtained during game play.

Replay Ability:  As with any dice game and the random roll as well as the randomness of the cards that come into play, you have a lot of replay ability.  However, it should be noted that we have played multiple times and the same person has always won.

Appropriate Audience: 8+ is the suggested age level and with some assistance an eight year should be able to play along.  You might need to be just slightly older to be able to play without assistance as there is a lot going on in the game.

What We Liked/Didn't Like:  This game was a mixed bag within the family.  Dad loves the way the game allows it to be played from a solo version to the four player game as well as cooperative play. He also enjoys the ability to only have to lock in a single dice roll and the strategy of being able to manipulate the dice.  On the other hand, Coby wasn't a fan of those same dice roles and how easy it is to manipulate them at times.

Add-ons/Other Releases:  n/a

          **A review copy was provided to us.