I think this game, especially at 2 players, is superior to Race for the Galaxy. Further, I remain unconvinced that RftG is any deeper than San Juan -- by which I mean, has a larger actionable decision tree.
I hate Plano boxes! I initially loved the idea of having all my components in each game sorted into Plano. I moved a dozen or so games into them. Then I experienced the rage that comes with trying to get the components out of the little bins for setup. Putting games away into Plano is alright, but Plano is terrible for setup.
Nowadays, most of my games are stored in plastic baggies. I have a few games where some player specific components are in small plastic bins, but at this point I have fired all of my plano.
It's a soulless, solo-multiplayer, point salad puzzle with a completely pasted on theme. May as well sit around a table and all play Sudoku and see who can finish first.
It's big, flashy, has big detailed (somewhat pointless minis) and a fancy player board with holes in it. It's an expensive gourmet burger with all the good condiments but no meat. It's an exotic sports car with all the bells and whistles but a 4 cylinder under the hood.
Fairly certain I'm alone on this opinion... everyone I meet who played it really likes it.
Edit: ok now at 50 thumbs, I think I have to say I somewhat don't feel alone on my opinion anymore.
Edit: 130 thumbs! so much for unpopular opinion. At what point in time does this become a movement?
Playing this unleashes greater demonic evil than incanting the Naturom Demonto, no mean feat. Even just having the box around causes people to succumb to its vile oozing miasmas from beyond the dawn of time: they invariably turn into mindless zombies lusting after 'play'. The only known remedy is to invoke a rite of cleansing found on an ensemble of electronic signals which, when processed by a soulless and incorruptable entity known as a 'computer', invoke the gods of eBay and Parcel Services.
1. Games that involve apps are stupid. I play boardgames to avoid screens. I have computer games for that. The only exception should be setup assistants, like the deck selectors for Dominion. Otherwise, pure computer games do it better.
2. Just say no to Cthulhu. They're the next generation of zombie games. I almost puked when I saw Pandemic: Reign Of Cthulhu for the first time. These games are the Carrot Top or even the Yahoo Serious of board games - they bring low-budget (since now anybody can use this theme), low-quality wallpaper-themes to the table. I've taken the oath, take it with me: No more Cthulhu games, period.
Cosmic Encounter sucks. It is at least two hours of bashing the leader until everyone gets four colonies and then slogs along until no one can bash the leader anymore and someone or someones win. Yes there can be shared victory! Just roll a d6 and save yourself hours of agony.