Cosmic Encounters – Fantasy Flight Games – Review

Cosmic Encounters - Fantasy Flight Games - Review 1
Cosmic Encounters - Fantasy Flight Games - Review 2
Ben Parker
Ben Parker

Theme&What is it?

Out Of This World

The time has come. Total galactic domination is at stake. As the leader of your people you must make sure that your people come out on top of all of this. You will battle other alien races throughout the galaxy and form alliances to try and gain control of new star systems and planets. The end goal is to create an empire that spans the entire galaxy. This is the only way that your people will not only survive, but thrive.
Cosmic Encounters is a handmanagment/auction game for 3-5 players.

The updated edition of Cosmic Encounters had a quick start guide that was very helpful. It made it easy to learn and teach to a group. It was missing a few things, like how Artifact cards work, but I hopped into the full rulebook and found those. 

The updated edition of Cosmic Encounters had a quick start guide that was very helpful. It made it easy to learn and teach to a group. It was missing a few things, like how Artifact cards work, but I hopped into the full rulebook and found those. 

Our first game moved along at a good pace.It took about two full rounds for everyone to feel comfortable with the game. It took another round or two for people to start seeing what they needed to do to win battles and how to make alliances work based on the unique alien abilities that were in play.

Overall, it was a good afternoon playing Cosmic Encounters. There were some rules that need to be clarified, but we did not run into many issues with our first play through.



Each player selects an alien race that has a unique ability. After that, players take their planet boards and spaceship pieces and set up their homewords. On a player’s turn they are on offense. 

When on offense a player will draw a Destiny card which tells them which other player they are to attack. They then take the Hyperspace Gate and point it towards one of the planets of the player they are attacking. The players on offense and defense select how many ships they want to bring to the battle by placing them on the Hyperspace Gate (offense) and the planet being attacked (defense). At this point, the offensive and defensive player can seek allies to join the battle. They can also play encounter cards and other cards or even use their alien abilities to try to create the most influence in the battle. All ships and encounter cards are added up for both sides and a winner is declared.

If the offense wins, they get to place ships on the planet they just attacked. Their allies for the fight do the same. The losers of the battle (either on offense or defense) have their ships thrown into the Warp which makes these ships unusable until they can be retrieved.

The player to establish five colonies on other player’s planets is the winner and has gained enough power to be crowned king of the galaxy.

As It Should Be

I was happy to see that all of the components in the game were of a nice quality. Sometimes when games are reissued or revised they can lose some quality. I haven’t ever seen other editions of this game, but this edition is well done. The cards and cardboard are all industry standard or higher quality. The little spaceships are really fun. They are my favorite. They are hard plastic and are built to stack on top of each other. I liked everything I saw.



But How Does It Look?

The artwork stays well within the sci-fi genre. It is very classic in its portrayal of the alien races. That is where most of the art is found in Cosmic Encounters, the alien cards. There are over 50 and they look really good. Besides that there is a little on the planet pieces and Warp and Gate pieces. The box looks great and seems to get plenty of attention on my shelf.

Hose Others…Always Fun

What makes Cosmic Encounters so fun is the auctioning aspect of each encounter. This process can totally take a 180 when the encounter cards and other special cards and even the alien abilities all factor in. Allies can make some difference but the ally phase happens before many of the other factors come into play. All of this maneuvering and posturing make for a very enjoyable experience. Plus, you should brush up on your alien trash talk to really put this over the top. 



Great For 10 And Up

The recommended age for Cosmic Encounters is 12+. I played a game with my 8 and 11 year old and they both picked it right up. My 11 year old ended up winning. My 8 year old had a tough time with auctioning. He was all over the place, which in a way made him unpredictable but I do not think it was on purpose. He still beat me. After seeing both of them do ok with it I would say that 12+ might be high. It depends on how many games the child has been exposed to.
This is not a heavy game. It should work well with those people who are new to board games and also hold the interest of long time gamers. Just because it is on the lighter side does not mean there is some good substance here.

And On To The Conclusion!

Cosmic Encounters has been around for over 40 years. This was my first time with it and I really enjoyed it. Many older games feel dated. I felt like Cosmic Encounters help up well for its age. The gameplay felt fresh and it allowed for stellar player interaction. The art, quality and experience were all top notch. If you are like me and maybe missed this game (because it came out before you were born) now is as good of a time as any to check out Cosmic Encounters.



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