We’ve been talking about puzzles a lot lately. Between the jigsaw puzzle tournament I attended and the EXIT game series, I kind of have puzzles on the brain. As we outlined in our puzzle gift guide over the holidays, puzzles come in all shapes, sizes and types. There are jigsaw puzzles, 3D puzzles, puzzles inspired by Rubik’s cubes, cylinder puzzles, single-player puzzle games, deduction games and multi-player puzzle games. That’s just to name a few off the top of my head.
Usually I’m able to excel at these types of activities, but that doesn’t mean I have a corner on the market. Cosmic Factory from Gigamic is a tile drafting game with the goal of assembling a galaxy filled with meticulously placed tiles in order to score the most points. It screams, “I’m a puzzle.” At least to this puzzle-fanatic, it has a puzzle-like feel to it.
Setup for Cosmic Factory is a snap. Give each player a scoreboard along with one token of each color. Shuffle the Kaos cards then randomly draw 5 to use for this game. Place them face down in a row in the center of the table. The remaining 15 cards are placed back in the box as they won’t be used this game. Throw all the tiles into a bag and place the timer in the center of the play area. Done.
Reveal the first of the five Kaos cards. This gives you some clues as to the type of galaxy you’ll want to work on assembling. The Kaos cards are what make Cosmic Factory interesting. Some cards change the scoring rules while others change the way you construct your galaxy.
Each player randomly draws 9 tiles from the bag. Everyone selects three to keep face down then gives the remainder to the person on their left (or right, depending on the round). This process continues without you re-examining the tiles you’ve selected. After all have been passed, you’re ready to play.
The timer is flipped and all players simultaneously proceed to assemble their 3×3 grid of tiles with four things in mind. (1) The number of planets in each unbroken grouping, (2) Different color types score differently, (3) The longest continuous row of asteroids scores and (4) The Kaos card may change the rules for the round!
When the timer runs out, everyone scores their current galaxy. The tiles are returned to the bag and a new round begins. At the end of the fifth round, the final scores are calculated. Players combine the total of their star token (asteroid belt) to their lowest zone score. The player with the highest score wins.
Between the diversity of the Kaos cards drawn for the game and the randomness of the tiles you draft, no two games are the same. You can build your own galaxies by picking up a copy of Cosmic Factory on Amazon. If you want to see what else is developing in the Gigamic universe or could use a puzzle break, follow them on Facebook and Twitter!
What would your ideal galaxy look like?