Star Realms Review: Two Player Narnia

 Game: Star Realms  Players: 2, however 1 with internet help
 Publisher: White Wizard Games  Age: 12+
 Time: 20- 60 minutes  Replayability: 9.5/10

star realms reviewStar Realms Review

I’ll admit it, this will be a semi-bias review. So, If you want something more neutral, maybe take this review with a grain of salt. Star realms is my favorite card game as of right now. I have played it an unbelievable amount of times in the past year, whether it would be through the app or the hard copy. I am not stopping anytime soon. In Star Realms, you are in space combat between you and an opponent. You will be using a starting deck of trade points to buy cards and combat points to attack with. Each turn, you will draw and deal five cards from your starting deck to make your first hand. With the starting hand, These cards will give you buying power or attack power. When you use your trade points to buy cards, you will have six advanced cards laid out in front of you and your opponent. these cards will give you advanced types of combat points or trade points. These advanced cards will be faction coordinated and can combo in order with same factions to provide you devastating attack power or wealthy amounts of coin. The first player to decrease their opponent’s life to zero wins!

My Experience

Where do I begin with this Star Realms Review? Since this will be a review of the hard copy I’ll express my gaming experience revolving around my most recent play. I played this will a friend of mine who also owns the app. So we were both very excited to be holding the real hard copy cards in our hands. Going from an app on my phone to the real deal is so rewarding. I could spend paragraphs typing about how I felt about this experience but I’ll save you the time. My opponent went first, dealing out her first three cards being all trade points. She purchased an explorer and ended her turn. I began my hand with four trade points and one attack point. So I did what most players might do, I purchased two explorers (+2 trade points) and sent one damage to my opponent. Speed up to mid game and I have laid out a couple of my favorite bases such as Recycling Station and Mech World, both offering a draw two discard two and an alliance with every faction type, respectively. I dealt out a couple Dreadnaughts (which give me a draw one more card action) and ended up buying some more bases in order to really secure my health points (because you need to defeat bases before you defeat a players life).

My opponent always had a favor with green and blue factions. These factions are heavy hitters and healers respectively. So I had to deal with whopping blows taking down two of my four bases at a time. My focus was always the base priority. I’ll always end up grabbing as many as I can having always been able to push out at least one a round. With her green combos, she was dealing around 15- 25 damage a turn really hurting my forces. My focus is typically yellow red, so I have a lot of discards and extra draws; while being able to destroy any fluff left in my deck in order to push out the quality cards needed for late game. In the end, I was destroyed by her combo’s when she began adding a few yellow ‘extra draw’ cards to her deck. This was extremely vital for her being she was able to pull out more green cards racking up to over 25+ points of damage. It was definitely a phenomenal experience.

Final Thoughts

This is a fantastic two player deck builder that sufficiently requires medium strategy and long-term planning. You will find this game does feel like it’s directly interactive with your opponent even though most of your game experience will involve buying cards–damaging your opponent is when you get up close and personal. I love the artwork for the cards and the combination of factions is flawless. My only gripe with the game is how the life cards work. I find it a bit difficult (because math and I don’t get along) subtracting my number 5 life cards from my number 20 life card and getting my number 1 life cards. I would say if you’re a fan of Dominion or Flip City, you will like this.

You will like this game if you want a nice take on deck building and enjoy space battles.

You will not like this game if you’re looking for something a bit heavier in style and gameplay. You may not be looking for a card game and may not be into deck building.

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Joseph Nicholas

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Indietabletop. Communication major. Favorite mechanics include: Bluffing and Deduction, modular boards, and action point allowance. Favorite video game genres are Rpgs, Puzzles games, and Sim/Tycoons.

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