10 Great Sci-Fi Board Games

Race for the Galaxy

Cosmic tableau... Rio Grande Games

Here's another game that follows the competing, technological ascension of interstellar civilizations. However, two main differences set "Race for the Galaxy" apart from the pack: It's entirely card-based and depends more on abstraction and symbolism.

Players start the game with a home world and, across five possible game phases, build out a tableau of technological and social development cards representing their civilization's development. When any one player accumulates a tableau of 12 or more cards, gameplay ends and everyone adds up victory points.

Of course, there's a bit more to it than that, and multiple expansion packs add additional game features and cards to what is already a complex game design. Still, serious gamers can't get enough of this very serious sci-fi board game.

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.