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šŸš€Uncharted Starsā­ Kickstarter Review

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Quick Look: šŸš€Uncharted Starsā­


Designer: Scott Almes
Artists: Tristam RossinĀ 
Publisher: Bright Light GamesĀ 
Year Published: 2023 (Currently Live on Kickstarter – Link at the bottom)Ā 

No. of Players: 1-99
Ages: 8+
Playing Time: 25-100 minutes.
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Find more info onĀ BoardGameGeek.comĀ Ā 
Foreword:
I saw that this had a 25-100 minutes playtime on BGG and, well, I was skeptical. Playing a roll and write solo I thought, “I can definitely crush this in 5-10 minutes”. Summary of that attempt: I was wrong. This is more than meets the eye and I was pleased with the playtime and experience. I played it back-to-back and made a nice afternoon of it. I’ve been following the art for this title online as I am on a few of the same groups as Tristam. I was actually present when he first announced his involvement in the project and I’ve been around for the journey ever since – providing a bit of feedback here and there when he shared some work with the group(s). In any event, let’s jump into this pnp roll n’ write by Scott Almes, a well-known name in the industry, likely best known for the Tiny Epics series (which I absolutely love – I covered Dungeons before and it still remains one of my favorite solo games).
From the Publisher:
Uncharted Stars is a print-and-play roll-and-write game that is playable for 1 to an infinite amount of players. The game is played over 18 rounds, with each round called a Star Calendar Day. Each player takes on the role of a captain of a small spaceship, and has 18 Star Calendar Days to explore as much of the galaxy as they can. Throughout the game, players will hire crew, visit planets, defeat enemy ships, fly through asteroid fields, and upgrade their ship.

The winner is the player who has most successfully explored the galaxy and hired the best crew.

 

Disclaimer: The publisher provided the digital prototype files ofĀ  šŸš€Uncharted Starsā­.Ā The opinions expressed in the review are completely my own.
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Review:


Initial Impression/Components:

I was drawn in by the parties involved in this project and I was interested in what they’d put out. I liked the simple, space themed art and was happy that everything had its own space on the card. I was also happy with the color vs low ink versions. I love to look at the color versions of PNP’s but I always print the low ink versions to try. After which, if I love the game, I’ll print it, laminate it and add it to my collection of awesome dry-erase roll and write games.

 

Favorite:
This was a no contest. I absolutely loved rolling 3 dice to then either use all 3 for movement or split them into two for movement and one for ship actions. This use of the third dice to completely open up your options as a player but also give you the ability to jump farther into space (further right on your card) was a brilliant move. Just when you think there isn’t much more you can do with some D6’s and a piece of paper – Bam! Uncharted Stars.

 

Least Favorite:
My first game I did not have a solid strategy and ended up investing some dice in ways I wouldn’t in follow up plays. My second play I remedied those choices and had a better overall score. Basically, what happened was that I was left with no good uses of lower dice and ended up just having a few wasted. It would be neat if you could shove a wasted dice into a “space pod” or something and add it to one dice next turn. Maybe even make that a requirement of another officer.
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Mechanics:
– Dice Rolling
– Paper / Pencil
– Once-per-game abilities
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Rules:
As the actual product is a print and play, I’m not going to list or link the full rules. However, I will say on each turn you roll 3 dice. 2 have to be used as coordinates on your space chart, while the third can be used to alter one of those coordinates or do an additional ship action (improve ship, hire crew, make a robot, etc.). I encourage you to follow the link at the bottom of the page to learn more about this game from the Kickstarter page.

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Areas they did well:
ā€¢ Excellent use of dice and making them have multi-uses
ā€¢ Full art vs low ink versions
ā€¢ Nice depth to a solo or group roll and write game
ā€¢ Challenging to get a high score
ā€¢ Was fun even on repeated plays
ā€¢ Well thought out/laid out design
ā€¢ Fun theme
ā€¢ Multiple strategies to try
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Areas they could have improved:
ā€¢ Additional uses for dice on ship actions for later game
ā€¢ Ability to all in on ship parts instead of sharing them out
ā€¢ It was a little unclear if you could chain certain things in the rules so I always erred on the side of caution and assumed you couldn’t. For example, a “red shirt” could be used to get another turn, if you had multiple, could you use them consecutively?

Overall:

I had a lot of fun with this one and I played it 3 times already. I will be printing the color version and adding it to my collection. I’d like to see how the experience changes for multiplayer.

I found there was a bit of a learning curve at the start as you digest your choices and get a feel for what you should be focusing on. Halfway through the first game you’ll likely be lining up what you’ll do differently the second time around. Or maybe that’s just me!

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Final Thoughts:
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There are no surprises here, Scott Almes has delivered another game you’d be happy to check out. To add to the excitement, he teamed up with Tristam Rossin, a well-known artist in the industry to produce a game that’s also visually appealing and functions well on the paper. I’ll be happy to check out future titles by either of them. Happy gaming!

I’ll see you next time, back here at The Game Table,
Brad Hiscock, aka Zerility

Here’s a link to their website:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tristam-rossin/uncharted-stars

After reading Brad’s review, if this sounds like a game for you at the time of this posting šŸš€Uncharted Starsā­ will be live on KICKSTARTER until Sun, June 11 2023 7:59 AM PDT, and has surpassed its funding goal of $3,744. Check it out and back it HERE.
Find out more at BGG.Ā 
Did you back it based on our review? Please comment below letting us know!
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Check out šŸš€Uncharted Starsā­ and Bright Light GamesĀ on:

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Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”, is a construction project manager and electrician by trade who was the owner of a 6-time award winning electrical company. His passion for board games has led him from playing hundreds of original titles to creating a design and publishing company of his own, Convivial Games. As an up and coming collaborator on many projects, he is always eager to try new games and meet new people.

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All ofĀ Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”ā€˜s reviews can be found HERE.

 

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