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Kosmium Review

Quick Look:

Designer: Florin Bărăscu
Publisher: Kosmium Studio
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 2-6
Ages: 14+
Playing Time: 30-120 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
WARNING: This is a preview of Kosmium. I was sent a prototype version of the game. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.

In Kosmium, players are pilots tasked with connecting celestial bodies with cosmic highways. Through careful strategy and bluffing, pilots must race to complete their highways before their opponents!

Inside this simple box lies the mysteries of the universe...


Rules and Setup:
Over the course of each turn, players can draw cards, build highways, collect energy, and use abilities. Exactly what options the players have depend on their locations on the board. Players can attempt to bluff, but they suffer penalties if caught in the act. Ultimately, the goal is to connect the celestial bodies listed on their Pilot ID using both common and individual highway pieces. Once a player completes their highway, everyone else gets one last round before points are tallied up and a winner is declared!

A decent amount of components, a gorgeous game board - but what'll it look like put together?

To set up the game, each player is randomly given a Pilot ID card. They then receive their pilot's same-colored ship and highway pieces, some starting money (Minerals), and a Shield Token. The Ability Tokens are randomized and placed around the boards alongside the Station Tokens, the energy cubes are laced on the celestial bodies, and the ships are placed on the appropriate corners. The player with the lowest ID number (listed on the Pilot's ID) goes first, and play continues in a clockwise fashion.

A six-person, wormhole-hopping, road-building journey to the stars!

Theme and Mechanics:
Quite obviously, Kosmium is a space-themed board game. The artwork and the wording do well to get players into a science-fiction mindset. And while the "cosmic highway" idea might seem a bit farfetched, it fits with the space theme, and the mechanics for road-building are as fluid as any other game.

The board can get pretty filled with highways over time.

Aside from the road-building, this game has a number of mechanics that all work fairly well together and don't feel cluttered. The bluffing aspect can help you earn extra Minerals, gain more from others who try to bust you when you're being honest, or lose Minerals when you're caught red-handed. While moving around the board, you gain cards that allow you special abilities and bonuses. However, to build the highways themselves, you have to be in a space station (the white areas on the board), and each space station also has unique benefits you can take advantage of. Strategy is also crucial, as adept players can potentially win the game by barely completing half of their highway and stockpiling materials.

Wormholes (the corners of the map) allow you to travel across the board with ease.

Artwork and Components:
As stated before, the board to this game is beautiful. The celestial bodies are beautifully done, and all the small design elements are aesthetically pleasing and informative. The other components, like the spaceship character tokens and the artwork on the Minerals cards, also stick with the space theme.

The large variety of components may seem complex, but they all work well together.

The components also do well to convey information without becoming cluttered. Each card lists a player's movement, the unique power they gain from the card, and the amount of Minerals (if any) that can be gained from the card. The other tokens and Pilot IDs also do well to provide important information while keeping things tidy and appealing.

The cards and tokens also keep with the board's hexagonal design.

The Good:
Kosmium takes a well-known board game mechanic (road-building) and adds some fun and unique twists to it. The bluffing mechanic makes for interesting moments in the game, and the variety of ability tokens and card powers keep the game from getting stale. 

The Bad:
Because the main goal of the game is building your highway, a lot of time is spent sitting in the space station areas as opposed to moving around the map. At times, the only real reason to leave a space station is to grab a useful ability token across the map, making it a slow race to the finish.

Final Thoughts:
The combination of special abilities, road-building, resource-gathering, and bluffing makes this a unique and enjoyable game.

Players Who Like:
Those with a love for road-building games like Catan and Ticket to Ride or bluffing games like Coup will find Kosmium to be a great addition to their gaming collection.

I am giving Kosmium 7 out of 10 super meeples.

7 10

Check out Kosmium on:


Kosmium is on Kickstarter between now and May 12, 2017.

About the Author:
David Jensen has tried his hand at everything from warehouse work and washing dishes to delivering pizza. Now, he's writing reviews and working as an editor for a start-up literary magazine. When he's not busy procrastinating, he's playing tabletop games with friends and writing fiction.
Kosmium Review Kosmium Review Reviewed by David J. on April 13, 2017 Rating: 5

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