Top Space-Themed Board Games

Top Space-Themed Board Games

Top Space-Themed Board Games

If you're a fan of space-themed board games, you're in for a treat. These games transport you to galaxies far, far away, where you can explore, conquer, and build your interstellar empire. Whether you're an experienced board gamer or a casual player looking to dive into the cosmos, this list has something for everyone. Here are the top 20 best board games set in space, offering a mix of complexity, different gameplay elements, and endless hours of fun.

Disclosure: This article is not a review. It is a quick overview of these games. The article includes games based on our own opinions. We have played some of the games, but not all of them. The games are not sorted in any particular order. If you want to learn more about a particular game, click on the included links!

Saw a mistake? We are just human, and some errors can happen. If you saw a mistake in the article, let us know in the comments below or send us a message.

two astronauts in their space suits playing a board game in outer space, distant planets seens in the background

Best Table Top Games Set in Space

Terraforming Mars

Gameplay Mechanics: Strategy, resourse management, eurogame.

Thematic Elements: Well... Terraforming Mars.

Player Interaction: Medium, with competition of the board elements.

Theme and Playability: In Terraforming Mars players control their megacorporation and competes in the process of terraforming Mars. The theme fits well the gameplay elements, like, raising temperature, oxygen levels, planting forests, and more.

Strong Points: Great gameplay, theme, good pace with little downtime between turns, wide variety of cards and possible actions.

Weak Points: The game's complexity can be overwhelming for newcomers; art style.

Personal Opinion: Terraforming Mars is our go-to space game at the moment. It has fun gameplay with a lot of strategic options. In our review we gave it a 4.5/5 stars, so if space themed games interest you, have a look at it. 
Read the full Terraforming Mars review here.

Evacuation

Gameplay Mechanics: Competitive, strategy, building, race.

Thematic Elements: Evacuating your nation to a new planet.

Player Interaction: Medium, competing for cards and board elements.

Theme and Playability: In Evacuation the old planet is burning and players need to transport their nation to the new planet by managing economy, juggling resources, building space ships, managing power, and more.

Strong Points: Two-world mechanics, high flexibility of actions, strategy cards.

Weak Points: Overwhelming rules, especially in the advanced mode; 

Personal Opinion: Evacuation is a new take on the space themed games, introducing novel mechanics and many possible actions to get to your goal. That alone makes it a candidate for one Edward's wish-listed board games of this year.

Twilight Imperium (4th Edition)

Gameplay Mechanics: Strategy, diplomacy, exploration, combat.

Thematic Elements: Galactic empire building and conflict.

Player Interaction: High, with alliances and conflicts

Theme and Playability: Twilight Imperium epitomizes epic space operas in board gaming. Players lead different factions vying for galaxy control through diplomacy, warfare, and trade.

Strong Points: Its vast scope and depth offer a truly immersive experience. The game encourages strategic thinking and negotiation.

Weak Points: The game's length and complexity can be overwhelming, requiring a full day to play.

Personal Opinion: Twilight Imperium's epic scale and deep strategic elements make it a must-play for serious board gamers. It's a grand saga of interstellar politics and warfare.

Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy

Gameplay Mechanics: Exploration, resource management, combat

Thematic Elements: Space exploration and empire building

Player Interaction: High, with strategic combat and alliances

Theme and Playability: Eclipse lets players explore the galaxy, build their civilizations, and engage in space battles. It combines resource management with tactical combat.

Strong Points: The game's balance between strategic planning and tactical combat is excellent, and the modular board keeps the gameplay fresh.

Weak Points: The rules can be complex, and the setup time is considerable.

Personal Opinion: Eclipse's blend of strategy and combat provides a thrilling space exploration experience. The game's replayability and depth keep me coming back.

XIA: Legends of a Drift System

Gameplay Mechanics: Sandbox, exploration, trading, combat

Thematic Elements: Open-world space adventure

Player Interaction: High, with trading, alliances, and conflicts

Theme and Playability: XIA offers a sandbox experience where players can explore, trade, and battle in a vibrant, open-world space setting. The game is highly modular and customizable.

Strong Points: The freedom to choose your path and the detailed components make the game highly immersive. The variability ensures no two games are the same.

Weak Points: The game can be lengthy, and the rules are complex, which might not suit everyone.

Personal Opinion: XIA's open-ended gameplay and rich thematic elements create a unique space adventure. The freedom to carve your own path is exhilarating.

Star Realms

Gameplay Mechanics: Deck building, combat

Thematic Elements: Space battles and empire building

Player Interaction: High, with direct combat

Theme and Playability: Star Realms is a fast-paced deck-building game where players build space fleets and outmaneuver opponents in combat.

Strong Points: The game's quick setup and playtime make it accessible. The strategic depth of deck-building and combat is highly engaging.

Weak Points: The game is more suitable for head-to-head play and might not be as engaging with more players.

Personal Opinion: Star Realms' quick play and strategic depth blend make it a perfect filler game. Its portability and replayability are major pluses.

Race for the Galaxy

Gameplay Mechanics: Card drafting, tableau building, resource management

Thematic Elements: Space exploration and civilization building

Player Interaction: Low to moderate, with competition for cards

Theme and Playability: Race for the Galaxy has players building galactic civilizations through card drafting and resource management. The game is fast-paced and strategic.

Strong Points: The deep strategic choices and variety of cards ensure high replayability. The learning curve is steep but rewarding.

Weak Points: The game's iconography can initially be confusing and may take learning time.

Personal Opinion: Race for the Galaxy's strategic depth and quick play make it a staple in my collection. The variety of strategies keeps the game exciting.

Galaxy Trucker

Gameplay Mechanics: Real-time tile placement, resource management

Thematic Elements: Space trucking and ship building

Player Interaction: Moderate, with competitive ship building and race elements

Theme and Playability: Galaxy Trucker is a chaotic and fun game where players build space trucks in real time and then race them through dangerous space routes.

Strong Points: The real-time ship-building phase is frantic and fun. The game's humor and thematic elements are well-integrated.

Weak Points: The chaotic nature might not appeal to everyone, and the randomness can be frustrating.

Personal Opinion: Galaxy Trucker's blend of real-time action and strategic planning makes it a unique and entertaining game. The light-hearted theme adds to the fun.

Star Wars: Rebellion

Gameplay Mechanics: Strategy, area control, asymmetrical gameplay

Thematic Elements: Galactic conflict between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance

Player Interaction: High, with direct conflict and strategy

Theme and Playability: Star Wars: Rebellion is an epic game of cat-and-mouse set in the Star Wars universe. One player controls the Empire, while the other leads the Rebel Alliance.

Strong Points: The asymmetrical gameplay and strategic depth are impressive. The game captures the Star Wars theme perfectly.

Weak Points: The game is lengthy and complex, which might deter some players.

Personal Opinion: Star Wars: Rebellion's thematic immersion and strategic depth make it a standout game. The epic battles and covert operations are thrilling.

Cosmic Encounter

Gameplay Mechanics: Negotiation, area control, special powers

Thematic Elements: Intergalactic diplomacy and conflict

Player Interaction: High, with negotiation and alliances

Theme and Playability: Cosmic Encounter is a game of intergalactic diplomacy, alliances, and conflict. Each player controls a unique alien species with special powers.

Strong Points: The game's negotiation and alliance mechanics are highly engaging. The variety of alien powers ensures no two games are the same.

Weak Points: The game can be unpredictable and chaotic, which might not suit everyone.

Personal Opinion: Cosmic Encounter's negotiation and strategic depth blend makes it a classic. The unique alien powers add endless variety and replayability.

Sidereal Confluence

Gameplay Mechanics: Trading, negotiation, resource management

Thematic Elements: Interstellar trading and alliances

Player Interaction: High, with constant negotiation and trading

Theme and Playability: Sidereal Confluence is a game of intense trading and negotiation set in space. Players must cooperate and compete to build their empires.

Strong Points: The game's focus on trading and negotiation is unique and highly engaging. The variety of alien factions adds depth and replayability.

Weak Points: The constant negotiation can be overwhelming and might not suit everyone.

Personal Opinion: Sidereal Confluence's unique focus on trading and negotiation makes it a standout game. The dynamic interactions and strategic depth are highly rewarding.

Roll for the Galaxy

Gameplay Mechanics: Dice rolling, tableau building, resource management

Thematic Elements: Space exploration and colonization

Player Interaction: Low to moderate, with competition for resources

Theme and Playability: Roll for the Galaxy is a dice game where players build space empires by managing resources and exploring new worlds. The game is fast-paced and strategic.

Strong Points: The dice rolling and tableau building mechanics are well-integrated. The game's speed and strategic depth are impressive.

Weak Points: The luck factor in dice rolling might not appeal to everyone.

Personal Opinion: Roll for the Galaxy's blend of strategy and luck makes it a fun and engaging game. The variety of strategies and quick playtime are major pluses.

Star Trek: Ascendancy

Gameplay Mechanics: Exploration, resource management, diplomacy

Thematic Elements: Star Trek universe and galactic exploration

Player Interaction: High, with diplomacy and conflicts

Theme and Playability: Star Trek: Ascendancy lets players control major factions from the Star Trek universe, exploring and expanding their empires through diplomacy and warfare.

Strong Points: The game's thematic immersion and strategic depth are excellent. The diplomacy and exploration mechanics are highly engaging.

Weak Points: The game's length and complexity might be daunting for some players.

Personal Opinion: Star Trek: Ascendancy's blend of exploration and diplomacy makes it a must-play for Star Trek fans. The strategic depth and thematic richness are highly rewarding.

Star Wars: Imperial Assault

Gameplay Mechanics: Strategy, combat, campaign-based

Thematic Elements: Star Wars universe and tactical missions

Player Interaction: High, with direct combat and cooperative elements

Theme and Playability: Imperial Assault is a tactical combat game set in the Star Wars universe. Players embark on missions, battling enemies and completing objectives.

Strong Points: The campaign mode and tactical combat are highly engaging. The game's thematic immersion is excellent.

Weak Points: The game can be complex and lengthy, requiring significant time investment.

Personal Opinion: Imperial Assault's tactical depth and thematic immersion make it a standout game. The campaign mode offers a rich and rewarding experience.

On Mars

Gameplay Mechanics: Worker placement, resource management, strategy

Thematic Elements: Colonizing and terraforming Mars

Player Interaction: Moderate, with competition for resources and goals

Theme and Playability: On Mars is a complex strategy game where players work to colonize and terraform Mars. The game involves careful planning and resource management.

Strong Points: The game's strategic depth and thematic integration are impressive. The variety of strategies and goals adds replayability.

Weak Points: The game's complexity and length might be overwhelming for new players.

Personal Opinion: On Mars' blend of strategic depth and thematic immersion makes it a favorite in my collection. The challenge of colonizing Mars is highly rewarding.

Space Alert

Gameplay Mechanics: Real-time, cooperative, programming

Thematic Elements: Space survival and teamwork

Player Interaction: High, with cooperative gameplay

Theme and Playability: Space Alert is a real-time cooperative game where players must work together to survive in space. The game involves programming actions and reacting to threats.

Strong Points: The real-time aspect and cooperative gameplay are thrilling. The game's intensity and teamwork elements are highly engaging.

Weak Points: The game's real-time nature might be stressful for some players.

Personal Opinion: Space Alert's blend of real-time action and cooperative gameplay makes it a unique and exciting experience. The teamwork and strategic planning are highly rewarding.

Among the Stars

Gameplay Mechanics: Card drafting, tableau building, resource management

Thematic Elements: Space station construction

Player Interaction: Moderate, with competition for cards and resources

Theme and Playability: Among the Stars is a card drafting game where players build space stations. The game involves managing resources and placing cards strategically.

Strong Points: The card drafting and tableau building mechanics are well-integrated. The game's speed and strategic depth are impressive.

Weak Points: The game might feel repetitive after several plays.

Personal Opinion: Among the Stars' card drafting and strategic planning blend makes it a fun and engaging game. The variety of strategies and quick playtime are major pluses.

Beyond the Sun

Gameplay Mechanics: Tech tree development, worker placement, resource management

Thematic Elements: Space exploration and technological advancement

Player Interaction: Moderate, with competition for tech and resources

Theme and Playability: Beyond the Sun is a game of space exploration and technological advancement. Players develop technologies and manage resources to expand their influence.

Strong Points: The tech tree development and strategic depth are impressive. The game's variability and replayability are excellent.

Weak Points: Some players might find the game's complexity and length daunting.

Personal Opinion: Beyond the Sun's blend of tech tree development and strategic planning makes it a standout game. The variety of strategies and thematic depth are highly rewarding.

Ad Astra

Gameplay Mechanics: Resource management, exploration, strategy

Thematic Elements: Interstellar exploration and colonization

Player Interaction: Moderate, with competition for resources and exploration

Theme and Playability: Ad Astra is a game of interstellar exploration and colonization. Players manage resources and explore new planets to expand their influence.

Strong Points: The game's strategic depth and thematic integration are excellent. The variety of strategies and replayability are impressive.

Weak Points: The game might feel repetitive after several plays.

Personal Opinion: Ad Astra's blend of exploration and resource management makes it a fun and engaging game. The strategic depth and thematic richness are major pluses.

Space Empires 4X

Gameplay Mechanics: Exploration, expansion, exploitation, extermination (4X)

Thematic Elements: Galactic empire building and conquest

Player Interaction: High, with direct conflict and strategic planning

Theme and Playability: Space Empires 4X is a game of galactic empire building and conquest. Players explore the galaxy, expand their empires, and engage in strategic battles.

Strong Points: The game's 4X mechanics and strategic depth are highly engaging. The variability and replayability are excellent.

Weak Points: The game's length and complexity might be daunting for some players.

Personal Opinion: Space Empires 4X's blend of exploration and strategic planning makes it a standout game. The variety of strategies and thematic depth are highly rewarding.

Nemesis

Gameplay Mechanics: Semi-cooperative, survival horror, hidden roles

Thematic Elements: Survival on a spaceship infested with aliens

Player Interaction: High, with both cooperative and competitive elements

Theme and Playability: Nemesis is a thrilling game of survival where players must work together to complete objectives while contending with hidden traitors and deadly aliens. The game's intense atmosphere and rich narrative make it highly immersive.

Strong Points: The game's thematic depth and tension are unparalleled. Combining cooperative gameplay with hidden roles adds layers of strategy and suspense.

Weak Points: The game can be long and complex, with rules that may be challenging for new players.

Personal Opinion: Nemesis offers one of the most intense and immersive gaming experiences. The blend of cooperation and betrayal keeps every game suspenseful and exciting.

Alien Frontiers

Gameplay Mechanics: Dice rolling, worker placement, area control

Thematic Elements: Space colonization and resource management

Player Interaction: Moderate to high, with competition for resources and territory

Theme and Playability: Alien Frontiers combines dice rolling with worker placement, where players colonize a newly discovered planet. The game involves managing resources and building colonies.

Strong Points: The dice rolling mechanic adds a layer of unpredictability and excitement. The strategic depth and resource management are well-balanced.

Weak Points: The game can be luck-driven due to dice rolling, which might not appeal to everyone.

Personal Opinion: Alien Frontiers' blend of dice rolling and strategic planning makes it a fun and engaging game. The thematic elements and resource management add to the overall enjoyment.

Conclusion

If you're a fan of space-themed board games, you're in for a treat. These games transport you to galaxies far, far away, where you can explore, conquer, and build your interstellar empire. From the grand scale of Twilight Imperium and the tactical combat of Imperial Assault to the strategic depth of Gaia Project and the immersive horror of Nemesis, this list offers a diverse range of experiences for every type of board gamer. Whether you prefer intense strategy, cooperative survival, or the thrill of exploration, there's a space-themed game here to captivate your imagination and provide endless fun.

Each game brings its own unique mechanics, thematic elements, and player interactions, ensuring that your journey through the cosmos is always engaging and varied.

Ready to embark on your next interstellar adventure? Visit our website for more board game recommendations and in-depth reviews. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates on board games, exclusive content, and special offers.

We'd love to hear from you! Share your favorite space-themed board games and your experiences in the comments below. Which game from this list are you most excited to try?

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