Ranking My Sci-Fi Games
Not too long ago I ranked all of my fantasy games and there were a lot of them. A theme that I also love is Sci-Fi, but I have way less of them. You can see how many fantasy games I have here. But I still love Sci-Fi games because they, like fantasy, can tell great stories. It’s just a theme that I am getting more games in it, but haven’t played as many. Fantasy, for a long time dominated what would sell. But let’s see how I rank all the 15 Sci-Fi games on my list.
Ranking My Sci-Fi Games
16. Star Wars: Destiny
I don’t dislike Star Wars: Destiny, I just find that I have room for one collectible game in my life. And right now that is Magic: The Gathering. Destiny is fun, though, because it is cheaper to play. And I know someone who has a bunch of cards (they bought all of mine) so I can play it if I want that way. But it’s a good head to head game.
15: Firefly: The Game
This is a game that I really need to give another chance. Again, I don’t dislike this game, it’s just that I kind of played it once. Everyone was learning and nothing was going that well for us in it. And it just got longer and longer without making progress. But I see how the game works and I think there are some cool elements there. And I know there are people who really like the game. So I want to try it again and set aside the time and group to really play it.
14: Legendary Encounters: Firefly
Much like Firefly: The Game, Legendary Encounters Firefly is one that I’ve had fun with, but I want to play more. I really like the show, and I think that the Encounters version of Legendary works better than the Marvel version. And it also falls into the category of I know someone who owns the game, so I could pretty easily play it again if I wanted.
13: Cosmic Encounter
Cosmic Encounter is one that I had in my collection, I really enjoyed, and I traded away. Mainly because I don’t think I can get it to the table all that often. Cosmic Encounter is a really silly negotiation game that works when people lean into that negotiation. There is strategy to the game, but you need to lean into that negotiation to make it work. So it just limits who I can play it with, but I’d never turn down a chance to play Cosmic Encounter.
12: Cry Havoc
Cry Havoc was high on my Top 100 a few years ago, and it dropped down and I sold it. Again, a game that I really enjoy and I would play any chance I could. But it’s an asymmetric game so it is a bit harder to teach and play. With that, I prefer Root to it which is in the same family of asymmetric games. But this is a fun area control game with a cool combat mechanic that is simple but different.
11: Star Wars: Imperial Assault
More Star Wars on the list. Imperial Assault also left the collection only because it is a campaign game. Campaign games are harder to get to the table for sure and Imperial Assault is not exception. I want to get it back sometime and play it. I liked the app that you can use with it to play fully cooperatively. And I like that it feels like a Star Wars adventure.
10: Shadowrun Crossfire
I almost didn’t add this to the list, I don’t know where I want to put Cyber-Punk. But Cyber-Punk is Sci-fi. Shadowrun Crossfire is a game of deck building and defeating challenges, getting XP, and leveling up your characters slowly. That’s the big knock on the game that you don’t level up fast enough, but people house rule around that. It is one I need to dive more into the game, I think you can play it solo, even if it is multi-handed solo gaming.
Gravwell is an abstract game with a space theme put on top of it. In particular Gravwell has you getting passed through a wormhole that is closing and now you use different elements to try and escape back. But the different element either pull you towards the nearest object, push you from it, or pull them towards you. It’s a fun little puzzle that keeps it close until someone can get the right cards to make it to the end.
8: Star Wars: Rebellion
Star Wars in a box, as people like to call it. Star Wars: Rebellion has the Rebels trying to undermine the Empire and complete missions. The Empire is trying to figure out where the Rebels secret base is. All while building up troops and skirmishing as you go. It’s a massive two player game, but an amazing one. If you have the time it is worth sitting down with an getting that original trilogy Star Wars feel.
7: Under Falling Skies
Under Falling Skies is Space Invaders meets Independence Day. This is a solo game about fighting off waves of alien ships and researching the mother ship in order to beat the game. I have yet to beat the game, but it is a lot of fun. But I always feel like I’m getting close. I also really like that high numbers make some ships descend faster but are more useful to research or blow up ships. It’s a clever system and a pretty big little game.
6: Galaxy Trucker
I normally don’t like real time games but Galaxy Trucker is an exception. In Galaxy Trucker you build out your cargo ship as fast as you can. Then you sit back an watch it get blown up. Well, ideally not blown up, and ideally you pick up cargo along the way. You deal with asteroids, space pirates, and come across planets full of goods along the way. It might be too chaotic for some, but I really like it.
5: Battlestar Galactica
BSG (Battlestar Galactica) is a massive game of survival when you might have hidden traitors among you. The Cylons are aboard the ship and you might not even know you are one. This is a massive three hours deduction, survival, even a bit of social deduction game. You try and figure out who is a Cylon and if you can get them off the ship in time before they mess everything up. But that’s way easier said than done.
4: T.I.M.E Stories
TIME Stories is almost any setting. There is Ancient Egypt, a land of dragons, pirates, zombies taking over a town, an asylum, you name it. But the core conceit of the game is that you are launching out, sending your mind back in time from the future, to deal with these problems, where time is changing. The concept is amazing, and I have liked each adventure I’ve gone on. I wish it had more of a story running throughout, but the different missions all feel unique.
3: Rogue Angels: Legacy of the Burning Suns
Rogue Angels isn’t even out yet, I have only played it on TableTop Simulator (TTS) but it is amazing. You can watch my play through of it here with the designer, Emil Larson. The game just works, it is a dungeon crawl style game in space. But it isn’t a dungeon crawl game where you just go in fight the monsters and leave. You make important decisions. And you upgrade your character as you go. There is so much I like about this game. When I get a physical copy, I suspect it’ll move up higher.
2: Clank! In! Space!
Clank! In! Space! is a deck building adventure game where you are breaking into a spaceship, trying to be as quiet as possible so you don’t Clank about. But to move faster, defeat more bad guys, and generally win the game, you will need to Clank. Plus there is a push your luck element where you want to get as far in as you can to get the best treasure. But the longer you are in the ship, the more clank and damage you can accrue.
1: XenoShyft: Onslaught
XenoShyft is a tower defense deck building game with some amazing cooperative elements to it. Mainly, I can buy a card and then give you that card if you need help. You only have two troops to defend your side of the base in your hand, I can help you get more. I can even drop in a paratrooper in the middle of fighting a wave of bugs. Add in that you always get money, that’s even better. I rarely defeat the waves of bugs, but it’s so much fun to try.
I own a fair number more Sci-Fi themed games that I need to try. Middara blends Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Nemesis is basically Aliens the board game. And I just realized that I missed Not Alone on the list, probably top 6-7. But I still think there are more fantasy games out there that look interesting.
Some that I don’t own that I really should try are the different Dune games. I own the one based on the Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game system which I need to carve out a weekend chunk of time to play.
What are your favorite board games with a Sci-Fi theme?