This week we look at Cosmic Colonies, a lighter complexity space exploration board game with polyominoes (think Tetris-style blocks), drafting resources, and cards that overall contribute to a nice puzzle. It scores in the mid 7's on Board Game geek and is fun for both solo and multiplayer. As this is our solo spotlight, how does it play?
First of all, the solo mode for Cosmic Colonies is not tacked on and is a wonderful built-in feature of the game. It has a specific solo mode with its own board and cards. Interestingly the deck works for both you as the solo player, and your AI opponent. To win the game you must score more points than the AI, which adds some nice variety to the game. Set-up and tear down are decent, mostly sorting the polyominoes and such take up some time, and the playtime is very short and concise as there are only 8 rounds and only 2 actions per round. It's quite possible to get in a few sessions in an hour. The rulebook is excellent, and the solo rules are covered in their own rulebook. There are more decisions required because you're not just playing solo, you have to build your choices around what the AI is doing. On the negative side, the space theme is okay, but know that the game feels more like an abstract strategy than a heavily thematic space game. Components are good and the art is fine, nothing too distracting or amazing. Conversely, the single deck used for the solo game is an exceptional concept and plays out so well, it's probably one of the most clever ways to play solo against an AI that we've seen. In the end, this is a quite fun, quick, and satisfying solo game that you just might want to check out.
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