Best Cosmology Board Games of 2024: Top 9 Reviewed

If you love cosmology, these 9 board games will take you on an epic journey through the universe and beyond.
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Cosmic Encounter coverEclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy coverRace for the Galaxy cover

Exploring the universe is no easy task, but we’ve found the best cosmology board games to make it a blast! When picking these gems, we looked for engaging gameplay, rich themes, and how often we avoided flipping the table out of frustration. Whether you’re building an interstellar empire or racing to colonize a new planet, these games deliver epic adventures. So, gather your crew, prepare for warp speed, and check out our top picks to enjoy some cosmology-themed fun.

On this list:

9 Cosmic Encounter

Cosmic Encounter cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 3-5
  • Play Time: 60-120 minutes

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Cosmic Encounter is a classic that has been around since the 70s. It’s got aliens, diplomacy, and lots of backstabbing. Each player becomes a leader of an alien race, each with unique abilities. The game changes every time you play because of the different combinations of races and powers. Plus, who doesn’t love space politics?

8 Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy

Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 2-6
  • Play Time: 60-200 minutes

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Eclipse combines exploration, resource management, and epic space battles. You get to build and customize ships, explore new systems, and engage in diplomacy or combat. The game has beautiful components and deep strategy. We loved the balance between different play styles and strategies.

7 Race for the Galaxy

Race for the Galaxy cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 30-60 minutes

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Race for the Galaxy is a card game with a strong theme of galactic conquest. Players develop their civilizations by playing cards that represent worlds and technical developments. The game has a lot of depth and replayability because of the different card combinations.

6 Star Realms

Star Realms cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 2
  • Play Time: 20 minutes

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Star Realms is a deck-building game that is fast-paced and easy to learn. Players purchase ships and bases to strengthen their deck and combat their opponents. The game has a lot of strategic depth and is very replayable. Plus, it’s portable and makes for a great travel game.

5 Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition)

Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition) cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 3-6
  • Play Time: 4-8 hours

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Twilight Imperium offers an epic space opera experience. The game is huge, both in scale and in playtime. Players control mighty factions vying for supremacy through war, trade, and alliances. It’s a marathon, but if you love deep and immersive games, it’s totally worth it.

4 Gaia Project

Gaia Project cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 1-4
  • Play Time: 60-150 minutes

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Gaia Project is the spiritual successor to Terra Mystica but with a space theme. Players terraform planets, build structures, and advance in six different technologies. The game is complex and offers a lot of depth. It’s a great choice for those who love heavy strategy games.

3 Space Alert

Space Alert cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 1-5
  • Play Time: 30 minutes

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Space Alert is a real-time cooperative game where players are crew members on a spaceship defending against external threats. The game is intense and requires good teamwork. Each game session is short, making it great for playing multiple rounds in one sitting.

2 Star Wars: Rebellion

Star Wars: Rebellion cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 180-240 minutes

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Star Wars: Rebellion lets players reenact the epic conflict between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance. It’s asymmetrical, so each side plays differently. One player controls the vast Empire while the other leads the scrappy Rebellion. The game is dripping with theme and is a must for Star Wars fans.

1 Terraforming Mars

Terraforming Mars cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 1-5
  • Play Time: 120-150 minutes

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Terraforming Mars takes the top spot because of its unique blend of strategy and theme. Players work as corporations to make Mars habitable. The game is rich in detail and mechanisms; you manage resources, build projects, and transform the planet. Every game feels different, and the level of strategic planning keeps you hooked. Plus, it’s educational!

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.