Muddy blobs with talons, Yodas wearing glasses, or impeccably dressed yellow lobsters.
Fix the atmosphere of different-colored planets so we can build space pyramids all over the galaxy.
"Hard to learn but fun to play. See ‘Adult 2’s’ review.”
Adult 1 Says:
"This is a science fiction version of Terra Mystica, and most of the rules are the same. You have a race with unique abilities, and you are trying to leverage those abilities to terraform and settle nearby planets."
"But oh, there are so so many pieces. Little plastic pieces, cardboard tiles cut at unexpected angles, hexes, and folding boards. I applaud them for trying to make game elements that evoke celestial travel and technologically advanced alien races, but the incongruity of the materials and unusual tile and board shapes are somewhat jarring."
"The iconography is also overwhelming. This is not uncommon when learning a new game, but my brain does better with concrete symbols, like sheep and swords. I have a harder time distinguishing ambiguous fluorescent-colored science fiction symbols."
"All of this is to say, this game was unusually intimidating, but once you get it, it is achingly good. It is rife with those satisfying moments that we board gamers live for. Those moments where you put together a string of carefully orchestrated moves, culminating in a triumphant Smörgåsbord of points just as the final round draws to a close. And when that happens, and you see all the joy and love drain from your wife’s face, you will know that you have found the perfect game. And you will be sleeping in the guest room tonight."
Adult 2 Says:
"This game brought us closer to divorce than just about anything ever has. For those gaming couples out there--you chummy, lovey-dovey types who relish a long, blissful evening of strategic thinking with your main squeeze involving loads of meeples--don’t say I didn’t warn you."
"Let’s say, for example, that one of you is REALLY REALLY excited about complex strategy games, and likes to suck the marrow out of just about every game that enters the household. Let’s say that person spends hours cajoling and coaxing you into playing what looks like a pretty complicated game that takes over an hour to explain. Let’s then say that, once the game finally gets going and the turns start to plod along, Overzealous Partner begins to evince an air of (feigned?) helplessness, repeatedly congratulating and adulating you, with phrases like, 'Oh, babe, you’re beating me to a pulp! There’s NO POSSIBLE WAY I can ever recover from this! You’ve totally out-thought me; I’m dead in the water. I have NO POSSIBLE CHANCE,' and so on. Let’s further say that such utterances have their intended effect, ingratiating you to Overzealous Partner, and--just perhaps--encouraging rather conservative game play as the game continues."
"Now let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that two grueling hours later, as the game reaches its final round, Overzealous Partner spends what feels like 30 minutes thinking and rethinking, working and reworking his last move, while you wait. And wait. And wait. For what-- you have been assured out loud--is a CERTAIN VICTORY. And then at last, almost playfully, in a STONE COLD COUP D’ETAT, Overzealous Partner pulls out the most complicated, out-of-nowhere, cataclysmic, complicated, multi-part, winning move, you could possibly have imagined. A move, in fact, you couldn’t have imagined, in part because OVERZEALOUS PARTNER ASSURED YOU IT COULD NEVER HAPPEN."
"Now, I’m not saying any of this is the game’s fault. And I’m not saying Overzealous Partner should have thrown the game to keep the marital peace (though perhaps we should install a chess clock to keep his plotting in check). All I’m saying is that this game provides way too many strategic avenues for Overzealous Partner to show himself to be the nefarious, scheming wolf he truly is."
"So did I throw a tantrum when I lost? Hell. Yeah. On the plus side, this game brought me closer to both my children, as I watched Overzealous Partner do THE EXACT SAME THING to each of them in turn, and stand triumphant over our bloodied (tantrum-throwing) carcasses. This style of game play brings out our basest instincts. I think it’s time we put it away forever."