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Subject: Expand Your Game Review: The Stars Align rss

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Michael Lindh
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The aim is to align the night sky and create 5 shooting stars in your own colour. This is achieved by completing a full row or column with stars of your colour only.

How to Play:

Use the back of the bag as the play board. The first player draws the top card of the deck and creates this pattern anywhere on the board in stars of their own colour. The pattern can be rotated in any direction (except diagonal), even mirror imaged to help with the decision of where to place.

This will continue for two phases: the dusk phase and the night phase. The dusk phase is the beginning phase and does not allow the placement to overlap with any previously played stars. However, if a card cannot be legally played without overlapping, then the night phase will occur for the rest of the game.

The night phase allows you to place stars in a way that overlap previously played stars. You are only able to overlap three of your opponents stars, but any amount of your own stars. When playing over a previously placed star, the star will flip over to the opposite side and therefore change which team it is on. This game will result in you flipping over your own stars, so be careful and make sure your stars align correctly.

Whenever the placement results in a row or column being completed in all the same colour, those stars are removed and that player receives a shooting star. This can occur for multiple rows or columns on a single turn, resulting in multiple shooting stars, so plan ahead.

Final Thoughts:

- Portable, with the bag is also the board, so you can play under the stars.
- Fun back and forth abstract.
- With careful planning multiple stars can be achieved on one turn.

- The board can be hard to play on as it is the bag laid out.

'The Stars Align' is a great abstract of back and forth board manipulation. The dusk phase is used as a setup of the board, with careful planning you can score in this phase, although it is mainly used to gain strategic placements for later on. The premise of drawing a card and playing it may seem like there is not much room left for decision making, but certain aspects such as position manipulation and only overlapping on three opposing stars allows for a depth of strategic planning. If you’re looking for a portable abstract game with a layers of depth in a small time frame then the stars have spoken and your interest may have just aligned with this fantastic game.

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