Hello, Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise, and we’ve started counting down my Official Top (And Bottom) Three Games of 2014. These are the standouts that I played this year for the first time. In this installment, I crack the plastic on the Top Games games of the list, with number three!
Now, I’ve been known to enjoy a deck builder from time to time. But the problem I’ve ran into with many deck builders is that they play as multiplayer solitaire. There’s just not that much player interaction. (Fun fact: I once proved this theory during a three-day Ascension tournament by communicating only by making beeping sounds at the end of my turns, until I was thrown out on day two. … Beep!)
But all that changed the first time I played Star Realms. In Star Realms, players both start with the same deck of ten starships. These starter ships earn the player money each turn, which is used to purchase better cards from the shared center row of ships and space stations. Your purchases are slowly cycled into your deck, allowing you to reap bigger rewards as you draw and play them on subsequent turns.
But, before you tell me that this sounds the same as nearly every other deck builder, and then slap me about the face and chest area in defiance, let me tell you about what made Star Realms such a difference experience for me.
While some ships are used just for shopping, others have space fiction blasters that allow them to do science laser damage directly to your opponent. In Star Realms, the object of the game isn’t to accumulate arbitrary victory points which I recently discovered cannot be redeemed at any local business for goods or services, but, instead, to blow up your opponent in direct, cosmic confrontational combat.
This engagement and interaction between the players is what makes the Star Realms deck builder number three on the list of top games that I played for the first time this year. Star Realms is a deck builder in which, every turn of the game, your opponent is engaged, and sometimes, enraged. Okay, not really “enraged”. Well, maybe, if you make beeping sounds at the end of your turns. … Beep.