Brought to you by creator David Ladyman, Star Traders is a redesign and upgrade of his original game published by Steve Jackson Games in the late ’80s. In it you are a heroic starship captain navigating the galaxy’s trade lanes in search of fortune and glory. You must make deals, deliver cargoes and traverse risky jumps, all while competing against your fellow captains in a SciFi-themed universe filled with iconic tropes. Coming to Kickstarter in early 2016.
This animated SciFi space trading game includes:
- A boxed boardgame for 2-6 players
- Actually five games in one, with versions for young families to the most intense competitors
- The emphasis is on fun, with plenty of unpredictability. Strategizing helps, but you must always be prepared to adjust your strategy as each turn rolls around.
- Each player is a Star Trader, picking up and delivering cargo throughout the galaxy, for payoffs and prestige.
- You also get Trader’s Luck cards, that allow you to help yourself or hinder other Traders.
- The 36 worlds are named after Asimov, Bradbury, Willis and David’s other favorite science fiction authors, and the cargo that each world exports relates to that author’s stories.
- Most of the Trader’s Luck cards are inspired by science fiction movies and television series. For example:
- It’s Bigger on the Inside ! (which gives you extra actions in a turn)
- Pigs in Space ! (which allows you to steal a cargo)
- Stargate ! (which lets you jump to any world in the galaxy)
- There are 5 levels of play, in ascending order of difficulty:
- Super Nova. For young players — the Super Novas — who can identify numbers and a few key words (like “To” and “From”), and their family and friends. The Super Nova game doesn’t use the Trader’s Luck cards. (Ages 7+) Time: about 30-60 minutes (longer, if explanations need to be repeated)
- Nova. For young players — the Novas — who read and who can handle simpler player interaction, and their family and friends. The Nova game only uses the simplest and least antagonistic Trader’s Luck cards. (Ages 10+) Time: up to an hour
- Family. This is the intermediate version. The Family game has more interaction and Trader’s Luck cards, but without the most cutthroat cards of the Imperial game. (Ages 13+) Time: about an hour or two
- Imperial. This is the most competitive version. The Imperial game uses the full deck of cards and adds a final delivery mission as the climax of the game. Time: up to two hours
- Black Hole. This is the Imperial game on steroids. Instead of one final climax, the Black Hole game requires repeated success. Time: 2 to 3 hours (“Black Hole” because it takes so long, everyone else will think you’ve disappeared!)
By Charles Duncan
Notes on the Authors who Inspired the Worlds and Cargoes of Star Traders
- Shelley Verne Wells
- De Camp Bradbury Heinlein
- Asimov Pohl Schmitz
- Clarke Anderson Harrison
- May Herbert SIlverberg
- Biggle Laumer Niven
- Foster Cherryh Clayton
- Card Hogan Willis
- D. Adams Longyear Brin
- McDevitt GIbson Zahn
- Endor Scott Moon
- Bujold ??? ???