Cosmic Encounter

 
4.1 (4)
 
3.7 (7)
866   2
Cosmic Encounter

Game Information

Designer
Year Published
Fantasy Flight Games

The classic game of colonization, negotiation, conciliation and misrepresentation. Players are aliens on a mission to colonize the galaxy. Through force, guile and card play, be the first to spread out beyond your home system. Molded plastic ships, excellent graphics and 20 alien races allow countless player combinations.


Editor reviews

4 reviews

Rating 
 
4.1
Rating 
 
4.0
Most of the fun of a big multi-player civ-building game stripped down to its bare essence and crammed into an hour or so play time. The different powers keep the strategy interesting and add spice to the negotiation element and there's just enough screwage potential to make things fun without being overly nasty. Constant need to gain new allies each turn means every player is involved in every encounter so downtime is virtually nil. 
MT
On Wonk
Rating 
 
5.0
If wonk has a center, it is here, in Cosmic Encounter. Infuriating to players who like machine-builders, maths, multi-turn strategies. In other words: control-dissolving. A game of "giving in", like flying, like death. Hilarious, if viewed from the right location. If I fall into a sewer, some Roman said, that's tragedy. If I see someone else fall into that sewer, that's comedy. Cosmic Encounter is that glorious sewer, depending.
J
Complete Magic with the right group
Rating 
 
4.5
Rating 
 
3.0
A divisive game. This is a game that consistently bombed on the times I have introduced it locally. The asymmetry stands on its own but I think the game falls into some traps (e.g. overinvitation) with inexperienced players that make initial games boring. And boring initial games do not lead to subsequent plays, and how could you blame people?

It also is fragile to player count, as 3 player and even 4 player games can be too few players.

User reviews

7 reviews

 
(3)
 
(2)
3 stars
 
(0)
 
(1)
 
(1)
Rating 
 
3.7
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Rating 
 
1.0
Here I digress with the rest of TWBG. I would rather chew thumbtacks than endure another game of this while one dude desperately tries to wring fun out of it.
L
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The Greatest Game Ever Made
Rating 
 
5.0
Cosmic Encounter is the greatest game ever made. So much variety, and a rules framework that knows when to get out of the way and encourage above the table treachery. It's also one of those "the more, the merrier" games. I don't even want to play this game with less than 4 people.

If you like a heavy dose of negotiation, backstabbing, unique player powers, and card play, you can't do better. There's a reason that this game is still in the conversation after literal decades.
H
Top 50 Reviewer 4 reviews
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The Poison Needle on the Third Hug
Rating 
 
5.0
Bluffing, gambling, negotiation, backstabbing, outrageous reversals—this game has it all. And a thick, gooey science fiction theme to boot! The rules are simple, almost laughably so, but that's not where the game is. The game is in finding the most clever way in which to use those rules to your advantage, no matter how bleak the situation. Taken at face value, it's pretty lame, and I can see why some people hate it so. Add in a bunch of raucous, cunning friends and the game surprises and delights every time. I'm constantly surprised at some of the subtle ways "I'm screwed" moments can turn into a big win.

Negotiated (or even forced) multi-wins are great since they keep the playing time more than tolerable (read: occasionally too short—but what the hell, let's play again!).
H
1 reviews
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How good is it?
Rating 
 
4.5
It's so good, you don't have to be told how good, to know why this game is good on an instinctual level. It's that good.
C
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Rating 
 
4.0
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