Blind Playtester Feedback

Blind Playtester Feedback

With about four exceptions, the people playing Star Traders at Gencon and PAX South didn’t know me and had never seen the game before. At Gencon, we were part of the First Exposure Playtest Hall, with people being randomly assigned to play the various games scheduled.

Just over 200 people played at those two events, and we got feedback forms from nearly all of them. 96% wanted to play the game again. Below are nearly 100 of the replies to “What did you like most about the game?”


“Variety of strategies available”

“The combination of strategy and luck”

“Theme is very good; meshes well with mechanics”

“Colorful board with lots of movement, good amount of interaction with other players”

“The sense of needing to mess with players and have good strategies with stations. Definitely also the fact that it was never enraging.”

“Dealing with other players. I could mess up other people but it was friendly.”

“Action dice for turn tracking”

“Good variety of play; rules not too complex”

“Seems to be very competitive”

“The variety the Personalities provide in game style”

“The general concept was good. I liked filling out the galaxy with stations; using them as warp points is satisfying, and contracts are enjoyable to complete.”

“Ability to come back”

“Aggressive, fast, a lot of strategy involved”

“Good variability, no runaway leader”

“It definitely has some interesting strategy”

“It seemed daunting but turned out to be easier as time went on”

“The strategizing and cutthroat competitiveness”

“I enjoyed the station-building aspect, especially after I understood the strategy of where to build”

“Clever card comments”

“The Trader’s Luck cards were interesting”

“Easy to pick up and understand. Dual-purpose action/contract cards”

“Strategically placing the stations and being able to control a portion of the map easily”

“Stations were interesting; nice mechanics with lanes, pickups and deliveries”

“Double purpose cards are a great idea”

“Good mechanics that allowed the lead to shift quickly”

“The cards that allow players to mess with other players”

“Competition for contracts was exciting. Random jumps were fun.”

“The strategy with station placement early on”

“The jump mechanic is rather interesting and requires planning”

“Ever-changing objectives”

“Movement was unique and challenging. The large number of dice rolls made movement average out so that everyone had ups and downs.”

“Love the back and forth”

“Trading & no combat”

“I liked the dice-to-move mechanic. It was nice to roll the die and then decide the action.”

“The theme was cool, like a retro ’80s game. It was competitive but not overly so.”

“Station jumping is awesome.”

“The board was well designed. I liked how simple the pieces were.”

“Emergent gameplay — next play would be different. Controlled yet chaotic gameplay.”

“Overall mechanics”

“Moving around and planning jump contingencies”

“The mechanics worked very well”

“Good game mechanics; liked the nods to all of Sci-Fi”

“Building the space stations gives some cool strategic decisions later in the game”

“The different levels and variety of play. I like that you can choose to have a shorter or longer game. Also really like the idea of the Personalities to change things up a bit. The range of pickups and deliveries is nice.”

“I really like the setup. I thought at first the dice might be a little weird, but in the end I really liked the player mats. The board itself is really cool as well. Can’t wait to see how it all looks in the end!”

“Straightforward rules; cards explained themselves well; seem to be a few layers to strategy”

“Interesting mechanics; easy to pick up.”
“How balanced it was. After initial instructions, it was easy to learn.”
“Straightforward rules with emergent gameplay from the Personalities and Contracts drawn.”
“Good combination of strategy and randomness.”
“It requires a lot of strategy and is fun to compete.”
“It has many options on each action, which makes you think and develop strategy. I also liked the SciFi references.”
“I like that it’s 6-player!!! Also, the speed that contracts roll over and that it’s well laid out — I love the jumplines between and on the arms.”
“The movement options and the dice-counting actions.”
“There are progressive rules that alter the gameplay. It was very easy to learn and explain to others.”
“I liked the map movement layout, the variety of cards with action abilities, and that the action points are free to decide on. It had a great pace to the game.”
“It was very competitive, and swiping contracts was fun.”
“Cards have real-time use, so hoarding isn’t a good option.”
“Balanced gameplay and bartering.”
“Board movement was fluid, “Avoid a Calamity” cards were a lot of fun.”
“Easy to pick up. Just enough depth.”
“The premise was solid, the board was intuitive. Playing cards against each other was fun.”
“Thematically it was really excellent.”
“Resource collection! Base building!”
“Navigation complexity and negotiating with players.”
“I liked it great! I loved the missions, the SciFi references, moving from station to station, and having a good pressure to use Calamity cards. Well balanced!”
“The movement system is well done.”
“Simple but very complex, if that makes sense. Easy to learn but requires luck and skill.”
“The rules were very straightforward. It offered multiple strategies to achieve victory. It was very fun and engaging. I enjoyed all of it!”
“I liked the variety of paths to choose between.”
“It’s easy to learn, and I liked the politics.”
“I liked the strategy, and making agreements with other players.”
“The diplomacy aspect.”
“The movement mechanics were a lot of fun.”
“I liked the back and forth with station routes and contract goals.”
“Fun/casual gameplay and style.”
“Easy to learn. Hard to master.”
“Easy to learn. Quick play style.”
“Clean rules. Easy to pick up.”
“Station placement to mitigate dice luck was cool.”
“The concept of the gameplay was immersive.”
“Planning out moves. Diversity of cards. Cleverness of cards pulling double duty.”
“The core mechanics are sound.”
“Good simple but complex core mechanic.”
“Just enough rules to be enjoyable.”
“Good balance of rule complexity but easy to pick up.”
“An economy game without fighting.”
“The competitiveness related to racing deliveries, and the risks with petitions.”
“Quick to pick up and play.”
“Very strategic.”
“The jumping between planet mechanic.”
“I played Lucky Lou and really enjoyed the bonus. Other players’ Personalities felt like definite bonuses that I’d like to play in the future, too.”

“The risk management elements. It rewarded foresight with station building versus dice rolling.”
“We played with the Insider, Lucky Lou and the Engineer, and they seemed pretty well perfectly balanced. Well Done.”