Call me old fashioned, but I would say that board games are still the best way to spend time with friends and family. You really get to know each other when someone is badly losing. Being the loser, however, is something I have always hated. I still get pouty like a five-year-old.
You throw sci-fi into the mix with board games, and you are immediately transported to a technologically advanced world, outer space, or a parallel universe. These games will take up a lot of your imagination, so do not be afraid to channel your inner geek.
Below is a list of our top picks for sci-fi board games, so gear up, get armed, and ready your battleships.
- 1 Best Sci-Fi Board Games
- 1.1 Gale Force Nine Firefly: The Game
- 1.2 Space Base
- 1.3 GreenBrier Games Grimslingers 3rd Edition Board Games
- 1.4 Greater Than Games Lazer Ryderz Board Game
- 1.5 Greater Than Games Exoplanets Board Game
- 1.6 Star Trek: Five Year Mission Board Game
- 1.7 XCOM: The Board Game, Standard Packaging
- 1.8 The Expanse Board Game
- 1.9 Pearl Lands Board Game
- 1.10 Privateer Press Level 7 Omega Protocol Board Game
- 2 Best Sci-fi Board Games Buying Guide
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
Best Sci-Fi Board Games
Gale Force Nine Firefly: The Game
Fans of the T.V. series Firefly by Joss Whedon, this game is for you. I bet watching that show you wanted to command a ship of your own, well, here is your chance.
This is a full strategy game to play on a board with cards to assist you in your journey. You even have small spaceship figures for which you can pick your favorite color. Completing the whole game with 5-6 people should take about 2 hours.
To give a short overview of the game, each player is the captain of their ship. Your ship comes along with a crew that consists of mechanics, fighters, and travelers.
While you navigate the Verse, you will have to pick any paying jobs to keep the ship running. Not only will you be dealing with Reavers, you will also have to manage manipulative employers and Alliance patrols.
Space Base is a dice game played by 2-5 commodores. The game’s primary purpose is to become the Admiral at the end, who will command the whole fleet. Out of all the commodores, there can only be one Admiral. You also need to make sure that you score enough points to gain victory. The whole game takes an hour to play.
Being a commodore, you will need to draft more ships into your fleet to help you secure the 12 sectors under your command. It would help if you increased your rewards at every turn when you throw the dice.
According to the numbers you roll, those are the sectors from where you can harvest the rewards. Once you have enough points, you can buy a card to deploy that will earn you points no matter whose turn it is.
GreenBrier Games Grimslingers 3rd Edition Board Games
This game will transport you to the wild west, but instead of cowboys just shooting guns, you will have access to a range of spells and abilities mixed with wizards and witches. You will have fantastic artwork and graphics in the cards while you play the two modes: co-op or versus.
With this game, you also have the option to play by yourself in the co-op mode. Each chapter will take you 60-90 minutes to finish. Even as a single player, you will not be bored even after multiple plays. You will go on adventures, trade items, and face off with enemies.
There a total of 6 enemies and each enemy has several modifiers. This means that each time you face the bad guy, he will be different from the last time. The monsters included in the cover are also a part of the story in co-op mode.
Second is the versus mode played against other magic users. It is a duel of sorts where spells are flung against each other. It might take you a while to get the hang of the game, but playing it frequently will make you an expert.
Greater Than Games Lazer Ryderz Board Game
You probably would not have thought that a racing game would be a board game and would require well-thought-out strategies. This is no ordinary race. Your track will be endless, and 2-4 racers can play at a time. On average, one game will take around 45 minutes to finish.
The game’s objective is for the Ryderz to enter into a race to collect the three prisms. These prisms are necessary to use the portal, which only lets one player pass and then shifts its location to another part of the galaxy.
While speed is of the essence, you need to ensure you can still turn without crashing into another player’s lazer. You will also need to avoid the lazer shark out on the hunt.
Greater Than Games Exoplanets Board Game
If you think there are problems with how our current solar system was created, you can give it a shot yourself in this board game by constructing your own planetary system. On average, this game takes around 50 minutes and can be played by 2-4 players.
In this universe, you and the other players are creating the planets in the same system. Your goal is to disrupt the worlds of other players through space effects and gain the maximum points. Points can further be earned by finishing tasks.
The tiles in the game will either have a planet or a moon. Moons either act as a protector for a planet, or aid in producing life. Each world also has its own living conditions: light, water, and atmosphere. With favorable conditions, life can be created.
Star Trek: Five Year Mission Board Game
Star Trek is another famous franchise in the sci-fi world. This game can be played with family as it includes 3-7 players, and each individual can choose either an original character or one from the next generation. Since this is a strategy game with cards and dice, it will take around 40 minutes to finish.
The game is a cooperative one where each member has a unique ability. Crewmembers need to help out each other using these abilities. There are three decks of cards, which are red, blue, or yellow. When you pick a card, you have to roll the dice of the corresponding color.
Cards have missions that need to be completed through a correct combination of dice. Some tasks are timed, others add to the overall score, while some require more cards to figure out the mission. Your strategy should not allow you to fail. If more than five missions are failed, you will lose.
XCOM: The Board Game, Standard Packaging
This board game is based on the iconic videogame XCOM: enemy unknown. While you can play this alone, it is recommended to have four players to get the full experience of battling an alien invasion. Within the package, there are also soldiers, U.F.O.s, and interceptors included.
For the leading four players, the first is the Commander, who is in charge of the finances and deploying the fighter ships to battle aliens. The second is the Central Officer, who, as the name suggests, is the middleman. He controls satellites, asks for research, and plays a hand in picking missions.
The third is the Chief Scientist that needs to research whatever is assigned to him. Finally, there is the Squad Leader who goes forward with missions and has to defend the base.
The Expanse Board Game
Watchers of The Expanse, the T.V. series, this board game is calling out to you. The game consists of politics and influence, where fleets move to spread its base in the solar system.
You can choose characters from the show and be placed in similar events. 2-4 players should strategize, and it takes about an hour to play.
There are four main parties, and you need to discover your own party’s abilities to gain action points. These action points come in handy when you have to place fleets and gain influence.
The parties include U.N. forces from the Earth, O.P.A rebels, Protogen Inc, and Mars’ military. If additional aid is required, you can call upon Rocinante and her team.
Pearl Lands Board Game
Some board games are similar to real life conditions where resources are exchanged, and betrayal is at your heel when you think about it. With games like Pearl Lands, the concept is similar, but the stakes are higher because rules in outer space are different.
The rules of this game are easy to learn and should be played by 2-4 individuals. Games can end as quickly as half an hour or go up to 90 minutes.
The goal of this game is to become a conqueror in the galaxy. You will achieve this by collecting resources. Resources can be obtained in two ways: attack and loot enemy ships or do a fair trade.
At the same time, you need to protect your planet from others trying to steal your possessions.
Privateer Press Level 7 Omega Protocol Board Game
This board game encapsulates everything you expect when you hear sci-fi. There is an elite team with advanced weaponry. There are aliens and other mutated creatures.
You need to fight those monsters and take back an underground facility. The game is played cooperatively with 2-6 players, and on average, can take more than an hour to play.
The best part is that there are 37 action figures inside the package, ranging from the commandos to the aliens that need to be eradicated. The plot-twist is that the alien creatures were part of a government conspiracy, and your team has been sent to cover it up. However, alien overlords are also at play that will hinder your mission.
Best Sci-fi Board Games Buying Guide
While board games are a great way to spend time with people close to you, they can also lead to misunderstandings and fights if someone decides to be selfish and cheat. But that is the risk we have to take when choosing to play with them.
The games mentioned here are mainly strategic dice and card games, where different assignments have to be completed. Be sure to play with people willing to fulfill their duties, otherwise, the game will feel incomplete. Below are factors you should keep in mind before purchasing a sci-fi board game:
Time – This is the most essential aspect for both you and other players. On average, for most games, you will need to set aside forty minutes to an hour to finish the campaign. Leaving the game in the middle will result in feeling dissatisfaction.
Age – Since most of the games mentioned above are a little complicated, it would be best to choose players that can fully comprehend the rules. Generally, most games are for ages 12 and above. It would be tough for children at times to formulate strategies; hence, do not force them to play.
Clean-up – This factor also includes the set-up time and effort. If many pieces need to tracked and stored, it is not worth the effort. Card and board games can easily be gathered and stored inside their boxes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Play Board Games Alone?
Some games that have an extensive storyline and is a co-op can be played alone. The minimum and the maximum number of players are mentioned in the instructions.
However, the primary purpose of board games is to enjoy them with other people. It is highly recommended that you play with at least 3-4 players to get the game’s full experience. Some games also cannot be managed alone as tasks need to be performed simultaneously.
Should You Make Up Your Own Rules for a Game?
Each game is played distinctly and has its own set of rules. It will take you a while to understand the already present strategies and outcomes.
However, if you feel like you have mastered the game and need an outcome that has not been obtained yet, you can switch up the game as you see fit to make it more interesting.
Do make sure that you do not constantly keep changing the rules, as it will be hard to keep track of which rules to follow. Players also might get frustrated at times with made-up rules as they tend to benefit the creator.