The Manufacturer's Board Game Review of The Starfarers of Catan:
A brilliant foray into space, sometime near the year 2700A.D. Compete for the prestigious post of Ambassador to the Galactic Council. To attain this lofty position, players must leave Terra and the known planets to explore and colonize the galaxy, while working to establish trade with alien cultures, encounter aliens and defeat pirates. Glory and victory to the brave and astute explorer who luck smiles upon.
The known worlds lie at one end of the game board where each of the 3 or 4 players begin from known solar systems, each with 3 planets producing raw materials needed for the travels into deep space. Each player begins with 2 Colonies and a Space Port (all components are made from plastic). The Space Port makes starships to transport your new colonies and trade posts to distant lands. Throughout the game all the colonies and spaceports enable the production of resources when the dice match the numbers of adjacent planets. Resources are traded for colony ships, trade ships, and fleet upgrades of freight rings, booster rockets, and cannon. Beware as you explore, some planets are covered in ice, and some conceal dangerous pirates.
This game contains a myriad of components. Each player has a 13 cm tall Mother-ship upon which your star ship fleet enhancements are placed. This mother-ship contains the traits for all of a players starships, as well as being the random generator of encounters and movement points. There are more than 200 other plastic components - colonies, trading posts, and space port rings for all four players, booster rockets (to speed your ships on their way), cannons (to defeat pirates), freight rings (to assist in placement of trading posts & colonizing ice planets, and glory rings (which give represent fame from acts of bravery). There are 4 Alien races and a assortment of Alien Friendship cards flavored to the individual races, 5 types of commodities cards, the wonderful Encounter cards deck, 4 player reference cards, 4 victory point markers, 4 alien tokens, 2 dice, 1 quick start rules sheet, a basic rules book, a detailed almanac, and last but not least those wonderful Spaceships.
Rainy Day Game's Board Game Review of The Starfarers of Catan:
The Catan Universe in the 28th Century! It's a lot of Settlers players' dream come true. We at Rainy Day Games are huge fans of The Settlers Catan, but there are those in our group that grew up reading fantasy novels, and others that grew up reading science fiction novels. The Sci-Fi crew finally gets the Catan game they want to play. Klaus Tueber has taken his multi-award winning board game the next logical step and given us The Starfarers of Catan board game.
The Starfarers of Catan starts with great production. The board, the pieces, and of course those amazing Spaceships which you read so much about. On top of the first-class construction, Starfarers adds a huge board game of planets to explore and multiple alien races to interact with.
The game play has many similarities to the original Settlers. Player's planets produce materials, which can be traded with other players or the Galactic bank at a 3:1 ratio. These materials are used to build the components of an interstellar trade empire. The player to acquire the winning number of points first is the winner.
While it shares many game mechanics with the original, The Starfarers of Catan board game stands alone as one of the very best space-themed games we've come across. If you love The Settlers of Catan, but also sci-fi/space games, this game is for you. Likewise, if you've stayed away from the original but love space games, The Starfarers of Catan board game here to convert you!
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Kevin's Board Game Review of The Starfarers of Catan:
I dunno, maybe I'm missing the point, but I seem to be one of the only guys not to go crazy about those giant rockets in the Starfarers board game. On of the things I love about Settlers of Catan, and a hallmark of the German board game genre, is that it had a kind of minimalist simplicity to game parts, game design, and game play.
While Settlers taught me to appreciate the stripped down strategy game, Starfarers brings back all the cartoonish bells and whistles. Reminds me of The Game of Life.
Anyway, now that I've gotten that off my chest, I'll say that I DO enjoy playing Starfarers. I think the space theme is well done and the resource production and trading translates excellently to the future. The most debated part of the game mechanic seems to be the Events. I think they give Starfarers a nice touch of "story line" and help create the theme.
I'm glad I have this game, and I think it lives comfortably beside my Settlers boxes without competing. I'd recommend the Starfarers board game to anyone who enjoys space games. This is a good one.
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