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
Review
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
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.


Setup
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
Gameplay
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)

Xenofera
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.

1 Comment

  1. Unknown
    February 19, 2020 / 6:58 pm

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

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