Review: Far Space Foundry

 

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I saw a demo of Far Space Foundry at BGG Con in 2014 and was really taken by the look of it. When it was Kickstarted and we reached the metal credits stretch goal I was excited and anticipated the release.

Players take on the role of a freighter pilot and spend half the game taking turns loading raw materials (ore) into their warehouse and then into their waiting freighters. Players get the chance to take extra actions depending on which bay they dock with at Alpha Station. On your turn you play a card from your hand and you make a choice between loading the warehouse or unloading the warehouse into your freighter. For loading you have to find an open bay to land your shuttle full of ore from the two neighboring planets. Your card determines your starting bay but if there is a shuttle already docked you count clockwise until you find an empty bay. They number you reach before finding a free bay represents the number of items you can load. Likewise, when unloading, you must find a docked shuttle and if your card starts your search at an empty bay, you count clockwise until you find a docked shuttle. The number you reach represents the number of items the shuttle can transport to your freighter. How this counting mechanic aligns with the theme is unknown and frankly, a bit confusing.

Each bay also gives the player the option of taking a special action to convert ore to credits, add alien pilots to the deck, add a freighter for the alien pilot, upgrade/process ore, etc. but that’s basically the game for the first half. Play a card, count, load/unload goods, and get your freighters as full as possible.

Once everyone has played all of their cards, you flip many of the board pieces to represent Beta Station where everyone plays the game again with some slight theme changes. You’re now trying to unload your freighters, convert raw materials to goods, charge goods, upgrade freighters, and then reload your freighters as efficiently as possible. The station’s docking bays have different additional actions but in general, you’re just playing the same mechanic on every turn just like you did during the first half of the game.

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I really wanted to like FSF. It looks fantastic and those metal credits are really cool and add a nice touch but the game is just simply not my cup of tea. I’ve played it a couple of times and we just couldn’t find the fun in the box.

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