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Love this game and all the expansions for it. Wish the rulebook was tighter for all the weird errata needed and edge cases with the aliens. Cosmodex is a must to play this game
The game that inadvertently introduced me to "modern" gaming. I mean, as modern as a game released in 1977 can be. Incredibly group dependent, so the game can be a 5 or a 10 based on who you are playing with. The highs are real high, hence my rating as that reflects many of the groups I've played with. A great blend of social engineering, mechanics, and controlled chaos.
I tried this game twice. The first time, it was with only three people and the guy explaining the rules did a poor job. Also, it was an older, worse version of the game. It was boring. The second time was also with only three people and the guy who owned it was a super fan (we played his original Eon copy). We also played with multiple alien powers that changed every turn. It was terrible. After a lot of reflection, I realized that it wasn't Cosmic Encounter that was the problem. I got this as a gift, and I'm excited to try it with four or more people who aren't going to spread on a thick layer of unconscionable house-rules. Update - Recent play of this game has proved my suspicion correct: it is a lot of fun with the proper approach. The game can still sometimes be frustrating and a little too complex, but the negotiation and deal-making is great.
I don't think I have ever had more fun in a game before. It has such great variability, that I highly doubt this will ever change. This game is not for everyone, but it definitely excels with the right group. 1/3/18: I decided to bump it down from my initial 10 since I know this game is limited by the group, therefore the experience is variable. Also some alien powers extend the game and make it less enjoyable for everyone. I still love this game.
Cosmic Encounter has stood the test of time and for good reason. The game is littered with deduction and mind games, and not as negotiation heavy as I had imagined. Additionally, where most game's strive for balance, Cosmic Encounter is proudly the opposite. The various races, and flare card, vary wildly in strength, but this power imbalance fosters early targets. While 'The Void' may well be the most powerful race, you'd best believe everyone else knows that and will target that player until they are on equal footing. Granted this purposeful imbalance can produce some king-making scenarios, it never goes so far as to be self-destructive.
A classic that never gets old, even after hundreds of play. Caveat to "always want to play"--with the right group. While this is true for most games, this is one of the most finicky. Players who strongly prefer low-lucky high-strategy games will be put off by the random draws and power imbalances among aliens. Players who can't stand take-that mechanics, which I'm not a huge fan of myself, might be put off by it. Personally, it works because the take-that isn't too strong, most of the luck you can mitigate with smart hand management and by being a smooth negotiator. I suggest throwing small amounts of money ($1-5 per player) each game, with the winner(s) splitting the pot to maximize end-game shenanigans if you think your group can handle that without bad blood. The game is quite good without that addition, but in my experience lends itself toward shared victories.
Easily the most light-hearted game in the collection. It's broken player powers keep us from taking the game so seriously. When we want a night of screwing around, this is it. Beers encouraged.
Currently, Cosmic Enounter is one ofmy favorite group games. This is a very unbalanced game, and you know that going in. For that reason, it creates some of the best interactions, and chaos you can see in a game today. The goal is simple: You are an alien race who is trying to colonize on 5 planets that are not yours. Every alien also has a powerful abillity which will aid them on there adventure. With crazy cards, powers, alliances, betrayal you are sure to have a unique game everytime.