Spotlight Staff Picks May 2021 The Future is Now

Spotlight May 2021 | The Future Is Now

In our last blog, we covered our top five storytelling games that explore our fast approaching future through narrative. As an homage to our monthly theme of Looking to the Future, we’ve compiled staff picks of our favorite Science Fiction flavored board games!


The Crew

The Crew

A cooperative trick taking game where you and your allies advance through fifty missions, The Crew the Quest for Planet Nine is a must-have, travel sized game! Each round you work together completing mission goals. Players have their own objectives but they are limited in what they can communicate with each other. Your friends will play cards in the hopes of helping you complete your tasks to get closer and closer to your destination.

If you love trick taking games like bridgehearts, or Fox in the Forest and want a fun and fast, pocket-sized game with a cooperative and science fiction twist, consider picking up The Crew!

Cosmic Encounter & Cosmic Encounter Duel

Cosmic Encounter & Cosmic Encounter Duel

Cosmic Encounter gamifies intergalactic war. In Cosmic Encounter, you will take up the mantle of leadership for an alien race, seeking to colonize the planets of other players! A game of cosmic offense and defense, each player takes on special abilities belonging to their alien race and sends their ships all over the galaxy. The 42nd Anniversary edition has updated and streamlined the rules for new players.

Cosmic Encounter Duel offers a faster, two player version that maintains all of the competitive nature of the original. Like the original game, each alien race offers asymmetrical gameplay (they each have their own unique abilities) but you will see new aliens added to the Cosmic Encounter universe! Cosmic Encounters brings a silly flair to a complex game, offering creative strategy along with fun flavor!

TIME Stories


TIME Stories

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.

-T.S. Eliot 

History cannot be left to its own devices. In T.I.M.E. Stories, you and other agents work together, travelling through time to make sure history unfolds as it should. Scenarios drive the action as you interact with the characters of the story, investigate time anomalies, and roll dice to resolve combat!

Because this is time travel, if you fail to accomplish the mission, you can restart and try again! T.I.M.E. Stories and its expansions are going out of print (instead, T.I.M.E. Stories Revolution offers standalone scenarios) so pick it up now while we still have it. The mystery of time awaits you!

Race for the Galaxy

Race for the Galaxy

The people of earth have scattered across the galaxy and formed their own colonies. As they have begun to rebuild, some of these colonies have grown, spreading beyond their territory. Now, these colonies seek to become the new super power. It is a... Race for the Galaxy!

In race for the galaxy, clever cardplay morphs into engine building, as you play cards, trade goods, and automate your expansion. Each round, choose which phase you want to engage with - whether you want to explore, develop, settle, consume, or produce - and continue your expansion of territory and your collection of points.

Race for the Galaxy offers a large scope and heavy gameplay that rewards high skill. It will take a few playthroughs to feel as though you have mastered the mechanics, but with its high replayability, you won't want to stop after your first game. (If you are a fan of Terraforming Mars, Race for the Galaxy is a must try!) 

Dune Imperium

Dune Imperium

Whoever controls the spice controls the universe…

And spice can only be found in Arrakis. 

Cut out your own corner of the spice empire ahead of the new film of the classic novel when you play Dune Imperium

In Dune Imperium, each player seeks to earn points and take control of the spice trade. There are elements of deckbuilding as you upgrade cards, worker placement as you match workers to locations to activate abilities, and clever card management as you manipulate each cards' multiple uses. Progress through factions to earn points and form alliances, and play the subgame The Conflict for an extra dimension of cosmic fun!

Dune Imperium features complex strategy, but intrigue cards and other elements mix up the mechanics to keep gameplay dynamic. Unlike other conquest games, there is no direct combat between players, just each person's desire to take control over the various resources and finally lock down the spice trade once and for all.

Twilight Imperium + Expansion

Twilight Imperium

One of the most complex games on our shelves, Twilight Imperium is a heavy hitter in the science fiction tabletop game genre. A great empire once ruled the empire, but it's been many years since that empire collapsed in on itself, plunging the universe into a dark age. You are a rising power, working to expand your power and take over as the galaxy's next great empire!

You and the other players play as one seventeen unique civilizations, endeavoring to expand your territory, increase technology, and deepen your influence - but no matter how large your empire grows, victory belongs to the person with the most victory points. There's no one way to win - each faction has its own unique abilities, and strategy cards chosen at the beginning of the game guide your path to triumph.

Twilight Imperium is a long, complex game with a massive scope. Game groups could easily spend an entire day diving deep into its mechanics and lore. Prophecy of Kings is the newest expansion adds a host of new content and expands player count to eight fearsome civilizations!

Written by Johnni Medina

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