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Xenofera: Galactic Market Kickstarter Preview

Quick Look: Xenofera: Galactic Market

Designer: Liz Gattra, Jeff Porter
Publisher: Puff Duck Games
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 2–6
Ages: 14+
Playing Time: 30 minutes
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

Every 10 years, there is the Great Galactic Hunt for xenofera. During the grand event, huntsmen from across the galaxy come together to show their collection of alien creatures. The collections are scored to see who the greatest huntsman is. But hunting these creatures is dangerous, and you’ve come up with an alternative—shopping at the Galactic Market.
The Galactic Market sells everything. At the auction house there will be a number of xenofera sold to the highest bidder. What a nice way to gain a collection of the exotic creatures without having to trudge through the woods and the mud.
You arrive to find a minor problem to your plan, other huntsmen are there to do the same thing. Now, instead of battling the animals in the wild, it is a competition of wits and strategy.
Xenofera: Galactic Market continues along the same setting of Xenofera (2017). In this rendition of the setting, players are bidding against each other to create their collections.
We sat down around the auction hall to battle wits and test our strategies. Galactic Market was quick to learn and with the system of bidding, the action was fast. We had a lot of cross-table chatter as players encouraged, dissuaded, and misguided the other players about the bids. We enjoyed the game and the ease of play.
The object is to create the highest scoring collection of xenofera by buying them.

There is a little more to do to set up Galactic Market. There are several “decks” used, but they are all part of the same deck because they can all be used in the silent bidding process. Let’s break it down into several steps.
Starting cards
Separate the Starting cards, Xenofera cards, Special Action cards, and Resource cards.
Starting cards: Each player starts with a deck of 6 cards they have a value of 1–5 and a “No Bid.”
Xenofera cards: These need to be shuffled and then 5 cards are removed and not used during the game; this leaves 25 of the exotic critters to bid on. This deck is placed in the center of the table. There is also a play mat to help organize the common area of the table and this deck is placed at one end.
Special Action Cards: There are 9 different types of Special Action cards. Before play begins, 2 types are removed and not used during the game. Each set has 4 cards so make sure you get all 8 cards. There is an optional rule to deal 1 Special Action card to each player. We didn’t do this in our initial game, but it feels like this rule would help get the game going a little quicker by giving players more options.
Resource cards: These are additional resources players collect to be able to bid more as the game progresses. After removing the 2 types of Special Action cards, shuffle the Resource and Special Action cards together to create a draw pile and place it on the other end of the play mat, or on the center of the table.
Everyone now has a starting hand and the decks are ready. Decide who the starting player is and give them the Bid Winner token. The token marks who turns over the Xenofera card and where to start when resolving the Special Action cards.
Special Action cards
The round starts by turning over the top Xenofera card and placing it in the auction area.
Everyone chooses a silent bid and places it face down in front of them. This bid can be any value of a single or multiple cards from the player’s hand, with certain restrictions.
Every card has a red or green block in the upper left corner. The red mark is when you are choosing to make no bid. Green marks designate the cards that are used as a resource to bid. Your bid must be cards with all the same color, no mixing.
When bidding green marked cards, you are making a bid and using the card(s) with their designated resource value. This is the number in the green block. Add up the values and that is your bid amount.
Once everyone has a silent bid laid out in front of them, everyone turns them over at the same time. At this point you have an order of actions to resolve the bidding.
First, resolve any Special Action cards that take place before bidding.
Special Action Cards
Second, total the value of the bids and award the Xenofera card to the top bidder along with the Bid Winner token. The Xenofera card is now part of the players hand and can be used later as a resource.
Third, resolve all Special Action cards that take place after bidding.
Fourth, discard all Resources played (except the No Bid card, players always keeps their No Bid card).
Fifth, draw any cards needed. A player always has to be able to start a round with 3 cards. If they have fewer than 3, they draw up to 3. Also, the No Bid card has an after bid action of drawing 2 Resource cards.
You are now ready to start the next round.

Theme and Mechanics
You are dealing with alien monsters in an alien market, bidding on items of value. You are doing this by making silent bids. The auction house strategy with silent bidding provides a feeling of gambling as you work to decide what others are doing. Your play is a determination of what to bid, or to pull back and collect more resources.
The Special Action cards allow for the bidding process to be altered, and change up player’s hands after the fact. Some are designed to be more protective while others are more aggressive. You can alter the style and feel of the game when you choose which cards to remove for the game you’re starting.
Resource cards
Artwork and Components
The artwork of the animals, xenofera, is the best part of the art. These are creatures of science fiction design but there are a number of them that are variations of what we know from our own world, myth, and lore. I’m sure people will find their favorites.

The Good
  • Easy to learn
  • Fast pace
  • Filler game
  • Cabin game (easy to transport and can be played on any flat surface)

Final Thoughts
Xenofera: Galactic Market was fun to play for strategy game that has a light feel. The strategy in the base game is all about how you manage your hand and how you bid. There are advanced rules that add additional levels of strategy like set building, which adds another level of scoring. This leads to some interesting bidding as players work to boost their score by bidding a higher valued xenafera for a lesser value, but the bonus makes it better.
Players Who Like
  • Science fiction themes
  • Bidding
  • Socializing while playing (especially when players are trying to use the talk to cover their bid)

Check out Xenofera: Galactic Market on


Daniel Yocom - Reviewer

Daniel Yocom does geeky things by night because his day job won’t let him. This dates back to the 1960s through games, books, movies, and stranger things better shared in small groups. He’s written hundreds of articles about these topics for his own blog, other websites, and magazines along with stories, after extensive research. His research includes attending conventions, sharing on panels and presentations, and road-tripping with his wife. Join in the geeky fun at guildmastergaming@blogspot.com.

See Daniel's reviews HERE.
Xenofera: Galactic Market Kickstarter Preview Xenofera: Galactic Market Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by Guild Master Gaming on January 29, 2020 Rating: 5

1 comment

  1. If you'd like to find out when Xenofera:Galactic Market launches on Kickstarter sign up at Xenofera.com