Learning while playing with friends

Top 7 Sci-Fi Board Games in 2023

The future of board gaming is looking pretty sci-fi! Check out our list of the top seven sci-fi games that will take the game night by storm!

For those who love science fiction and tabletop gaming, there’s no better way to spend an evening than by playing the newest sci-fi board game on the market. Combining beloved characters, exciting storylines, and challenges that will test your strategy and resourcefulness, the best sci fi board-fi games are the perfect way to get together with your friend group and explore new worlds.

The 5 best science fiction tabletop games - Polygon

Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or just looking for something new to share with family and friends, these games provide hours of entertainment.

We will be exploring the world of sci-fi board games. We will look at popular titles and delve into their world, review some of our favorites, and even offer tips for getting started. So sit around the table, and let’s start our interstellar adventure!

Here is the top picks for the best board games for your game night:

Terraforming Mars

Amazon.com: Indie Boards and Cards Terraforming Mars Board Game, Multicolor (6005SG) : Toys & Games

Players: 2-5 | Age: 12+ | Game Time:

A few great games on the market today combine science fiction elements with a strategic board game world like Terraforming Mars. At first glimpse, Terraforming Mars looks like an ordinary board game. It includes several hexagonal pieces featuring different ecosystems from Earth’s surface, including deserts, oceans, forests, and swamps. The game’s goal is to terraform these landscapes of the red planet into habitable environments by building cities and collecting resources to generate a breathable atmosphere for humanity to inhabit.

What sets this game apart from other strategy games is its focus on interplanetary exploration and research. During the game, players can explore the planet’s surface or send probes out into deep space in search of life-sustaining materials such as oxygen and hydrogen. Successful missions gain victory points, while failure results in losing resources and making strategic decisions crucial to success.

How to Play:

  • Each player must build their infrastructure and make strategic decisions to develop colonies on Mars.
  • The game is played over several rounds. Every round starts with each player taking turns playing cards from their hand before passing the turn.
  • During your turn, you can use resources such as heat, minerals, or money to buy or build projects to help your colonists thrive on Mars.
  • Between turns, a new project card is revealed for players to claim or purchase later.
  • At the end of each round, points are awarded for successful projects and accomplishments made during the round.
  • After 8 rounds, the player with the most points wins the game.

Terraforming Mars (EN), Board games 30035 | SAS EuroBonus Shop

Learning how to play Terraforming Mars may seem daunting for some. Still, thankfully there are several tutorials available online that summon up all the vital elements of rule play quickly and easily, so even beginners can get started right away! There is also an online version of the game, which provides interested players with an extra level of immersion and realism, perfect for those looking for something more than a classic board game experience.

Terraforming Mars is an exciting sci-fi-themed board game that provides hours upon hours of entertainment, perfect for those who love spaceships and research activities. Exploration-style gameplay – making it one of the best strategy-based games on offer today!

Cosmic Encounter

Fantasy Flight Games Cosmic Encounter : Eberle, Bill, Kittredge, Jack, Olotka, Peter, Norton, Bill, Fantasy Flight Games: Amazon.ca: Toys & Games

Players: 3-5 | Age: 14+ | Game Time: 60-120 minutes

Cosmic Encounter is an innovative and creative board game based in the sci-fi universe. The game aims to have one player from each race conquer five planets outside their home system. Players must use their wits and strategy to conquer planets by allying with other players, bluffing, bargaining, and making deals. Each game takes about an hour or two, depending on how many players are playing.

How to Play:

  • Set up the game by shuffling the spacious deck and dividing it among players evenly.
  • Each player chooses an alien power with unique abilities.
  • Players start the game with a set amount of ships. The goal is to get all your ships to your opponents’ planets.
  • Players can send out their ships to attack other players’ planets or launch diplomatic missions on friendly planets to gain allies and tokens that can be used for extra abilities during conflicts.
  • The player who first brings 5 of their ships to opposing planets wins the game!

Cosmic Encounter | Dad's Gaming Addiction

The unique aspect of Cosmic Encounter is that no two games play the same way. Each game has a variety of alien races that control different powers within the universe, such as the Zephrins, who can draw additional cards when they run out during a challenge, or the Mecatolians, who can modify existing rules during each turn. This variability in both available powers and which players use them means that all games play differently.

Cosmic Encounter remains as popular today as ever among gamers looking for something new and challenging. It offers an ever-changing dynamic due to its random yet customizable elements. Due to these unpredictable variables, it keeps a high replay value season after season. Even if you’ve played dozens of games, each brings special surprises and thrills!

Twilight Imperium

Amazon.com: Fantasy Flight Games Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition : Fantasy Flight Games, Fantasy Flight Games: Toys & Games

Players: 3-6 | Age: 14+ | Game Time: 4-8 hours

Twilight Imperium is a popular sci-fi game set in outer space. It is set in a faraway galaxy with 3–6 players engaging in a strategy-based domination game. Players select one of seventeen different races, each with its bonuses and strategies, and battle to expand their empires by colonizing and conquering planets, building powerful fleets, trading resources with other players, researching new technologies, and wielding influence among the political factions of the interstellar government.

The gameplay mechanics are relatively simple to learn. Still, the game offers enough depth and complexity to remain enjoyable for experienced players. Each game session typically lasts four to six hours but can easily stretch into an all-night affair if everyone’s having fun! The components themselves include an over-sized map board, hundreds of plastic miniatures representing your spaceships, fleets cards (showing detailed combat information), action cards (for managing resources), tech cards (used to research new technology), and political decision cards roll dice (for influencing the galactic senate).

How to Play:

  • Each player takes a turn choosing a faction and associated starting pieces.
  • Each round is divided into phases; Action, Status, and Strategy.
  • Players decide on the order of action during the status phase.
  • The action phase allows players to produce resources, colonize planets and build units/structures like ships/space stations.
  • During the strategy phase, players can play cards to modify the actions taken during the action phase or gain some other benefit in their turn.
  • Players gain victory points for controlling various sectors of space and by completing objectives assigned at the beginning of the game.
  • The player with the most victory points at the game’s end wins.

Twilight Imperium v4 review: All-day sci-fi gaming just got better | Ars Technica

Another great thing about Twilight Imperium is that it’s completely scalable; you can play with as few or as many players as you want. In addition to individual battles between two opponents, there are three or four-player alliances, making it possible to face off against multiple opponents simultaneously. This adds even more layers of strategy as you must balance your preplanned tactics against those of your allies to guarantee victory.

Every race has distinct advantages, so experimentation is vital when finding the right combination of races for success. One may favor aggressive expansion, while another relies on defensive posturing; whatever style suits your particular group best will engage you in thrilling matches every time you play. With such complex gameplay and beautiful artwork throughout, Twilight Imperium truly lives up to its reputation as one of the best board games ever made!

Welcome to the Moon

Amazon.com: Welcome to... The Moon Board Game | Sci-Fi Strategy Game | Narrative Adventure Game | Ages 10+ | 1-6 Players | Average Playtime 25 Minutes | Made by Blue Cocker Games, Various, (WTMOON01) : Toys & Games

Players: 1-6 | Age: 10+ | Game Time: 25 minutes

Welcome to the Moon is a board game with a science-fiction twist. The game is set on an alien planet where the goal is to collect and combine robust materials, build advanced technologies, and launch rocket ships into outer space. Players must contend with enemy forces, explore mysterious areas of the planet, and work together to achieve their objectives. With its thrilling premise and engaging mechanics, Welcome to the Moon offers plenty of exciting opportunities for strategic play.

The game’s unique setting gives new version of it a distinct feel compared to other sci-fi-themed board games. Rather than sending players out on heroic quests or fighting intergalactic battles, they are tasked with constructing their stellar empire within an unknown world. They can discover ancient relics, trade valuable resources with aliens, or even attempt mind control experiments to pursue a shared objective.

How to Play:

  • Each player takes turns drawing and playing a single card from their hand, then discarding one to the “Moon deck.”
  • The game’s objective is to be the first player to collect 15 points in their hand or discard pile (no splitting points between hand and discard).
  • The player may draw cards from their discard pile or the “Moon deck” on each turn.
  • If a player has 7 or more cards in hand for their turn, they must discard any extra cards until they are back down to 6.
  • Cards will score 1 point each unless otherwise specified on the card.
  • Some special cards have unique effects which can change the rules of play; these effects must be followed when played.

Welcome to the Moon

The game features many aspects which add to its replayability and make it enjoyable no matter how many times you’ve played it before. Players can choose from different characters each time they play, giving them access to special abilities that drastically affect their strategies and outcomes. The planets are procedurally generated every time, meaning that although there may be common goals between games, no two sessions will be identical.

The components of this card game are top-notch, from its detailed map pieces to the intricately designed cards and figures representing its various inhabitants. Its clear instructions allow for quick setup and understanding for new players so that everyone can enjoy the experience immediately without reading too much lengthy rulebook lingo first.

In conclusion, Welcome to the Moon stands out amongst its peers due to its clever design choices and wealth of replay value suitable for multiple playthroughs over long periods. Whether you’re looking for an ultimate solo challenge or want a new science fiction game for your next co-op session alongside friends, this is worth trying!

Air, Land and Sea

Amazon.com: Arcane Wonders Air, Land, & Sea - Revised Edition : Toys & Games

Players: 2 | Age: 14+ | Game Time: 20 minutes

Air, Land, and Sea is an exciting new sci-fi-themed board game with players exploring a mysterious world to discover hidden planets and civilizations. With hundreds of components, including cards, tokens, and dice, this game offers hours of fun for any board game enthusiast.

The story unfolds as players explore new worlds by rolling dice to determine their next adventure. Players must plan carefully to complete missions, as they will be running on limited time and resources. As they traverse the treacherous terrain, they must avoid obstacles while solving puzzles to reach their destination. Each campaign lasts no more than 90 minutes; however, combining strategy, luck, and exploration creates a unique experience that can be replayed repeatedly.

Based on how many players play simultaneously, every player takes on a unique role in Air, Land, and Sea, from pilot to missionary or engineer. The goal? To explore mysteries that lie beyond our planet before anyone else does! This fast-paced game requires problem-solving skills and the ability to think quickly on your feet; the better you strategize your time to gather resources efficiently, the better chance you have of completing your mission in record time.

How to Play:

  • Each player chooses a team of three pieces – one piece for ‘Air,’ one for ‘Land,’ and one for ‘Sea.’
  • Place all the pieces on the board simultaneously.
  • Take turns rolling the die.
  • The player with the highest roll begins their turn.
  • Move a single piece, using the number rolled on the die: Air pieces can move over any other piece; Land pieces can only move over Sea pieces; Sea pieces can move through any other space that is diagonally adjacent.
  • If there is an enemy piece in a space to which your piece moves, you capture that enemy piece and remove it from the board.
  • The game ends when either all of one team’s pieces are captured or when someone cannot make a valid move in their turn.

Arcane Wonders Air, Land, & Sea - Revised Edition

With its captivating art style dice mechanics, storylines, and optimum level of challenge Air Land & Sea offer gamers a refreshingly unique take on the classic board game genre for science fiction fans everywhere! Are you ready for an adventure unlike any other? Then join us in discovering the hidden galaxies waiting inside Air Land & Sea today!


Pandemic (English version) A board game by Z-MAN Games | 2 to 4 Players |

Players: 2-4 | Age: 8+ | Game Time: 45 minutes

Pandemic is a board game set in a dystopian future where humanity faces ever-increasing disease, famine, and war threats. Players take on the role of a team of scientists, engineers, and medics tasked with finding a cure for the deadly diseases plaguing the world.

The game is simple yet challenging, offering an engaging experience that rewards strategic thinking and creative collaboration. It’s balanced so that everyone has a chance to win and encourages teamwork rather than individual play.

How to Play:

• The goal is for the players to work together to stop four diseases from spreading and wiping out humanity.

• Each player has a specific role, such as Dispatcher, Scientist, Researcher, or Medic.

• Each turn consists of 1) drawing and carrying two dice rolling and out initial actions; 2) moving the character around the map; 3) treating disease, building research stations and trading cards; 4) drawing two cards; 5) carrying out additional actions (if any); 6) pass the dice to the next player.

• A game of Pandemic is won when all four diseases are eradicated or if any one disease is cured by discovering its cure before 8 outbreaks have occurred.

Pandemic Board Game (Base Game) | Family Board Game | Board Game for Adults and Family | Cooperative Board Game | Ages 8+ | 2 to 4 players | Average Playtime 45 minutes | Made by Z-Man Games

During the Action phase, players can use their character’s unique ability or take up to 4 actions, such as: moving whatever player controls their pawn around the map, building research labs in cities they pass through, or trading cards with other players. During this phase, they also have access to event cards that can perform powerful special abilities such as airlift (move another player anywhere) or Government Grant (build a research lab anywhere).

Next comes the Special Events phase, where players can draw additional event cards if they possess any at this point, which adds further tactical options when fighting against the spread of Infection. After Special Events comes Infection, where cities are added based on how many infection cubes were drawn randomly during setup and any extra cubes accumulated over several turns due to previous infections.

Finally comes Drawing Cards which allows each player to draw two new cards from either their deck or those belonging to other players depending on what type of card they want and need most at this stage of great game of play – whether it be a cure card, event card or city card used for trading purposes later in the game. With these cards in hand, it’s time to start tackling each outbreak before it gets too far out of control!

Pandemic is an exhilarating board game suitable for beginners and experienced board gamers, thanks to its intuitive ruleset and easy-to-understand mechanics that encourage experimentation without too much complexity. Whether you’re looking for adrenaline rushes to find cures before time runs out or collaborating with your team around strategic objectives – The Pandemic will have you coming back for more!


Amazon.com: Nemesis Board Game | Sci-Fi Horror | Miniatures | Strategy | Cooperative Adventure Game for Adults and Teens | Ages 14+ | 1 - 5 Players | Average Playtime 1-2 Hours | Made by Rebel : Toys & Games

Players: 1-5 | Age: 14+ | Game Time: 1-2 hours

Nemesis is a thrilling science fiction board game from Awaken Realms that has quickly gained popularity amongst gamers. It is a cooperative board game set in deep space exploration. Players must work together to overcome the odds and survive against their alien foes. Players take on the role of starship crew members who must explore derelict spaceships, fight hostile aliens and navigate dangerous terrain as they attempt to fulfill their mission objectives and make it back alive.

How to Play:

  • Place one of your faction tokens in the middle of the board to designate a Home Base.
  • Each player chooses their Faction and collects its corresponding Faction Token, Faction Card (with its unique rules and a goal), Power Dice, and Army Tokens.
  • All pieces should be placed in the Home Base to start each game.
  • During set up, players take turns placing their pieces on predetermined sectors on the map.
  • On each turn, a player may use their two actions to move two units or perform an action. The movement consists of moving through matching colored walls that line each sector on the board by expending 1 Power Die for every wall crossed.
  • When moving through a door between sectors (not count as movement). Actions are used to attack or play special abilities or abilities from Fate cards drawn by players during gameplay.
  • Attacks consist of rolling the die and using the number rolled compared against its opposing unit’s stats to determine the damage dealt.
  • Damage is marked by subtracting hit points from Health Points (displayed on units’ cards) until it reaches zero, which destroys that unit.
  • When either player has achieved their Goal card victory condition, they win!

Nemesis | Image | BoardGameGeek

Gameplay focuses on resolving scenarios listed on mission cards that constitute each scene of the mission-based story arc. As players progress through these scenes, they will face challenges such as puzzles, space battles, combat encounters or even intense standoffs between characters to overcome obstacles and reach their ultimate goal strategically. Every player must use their skillset wisely to make it out alive!

Aside from its stunning visuals, Nemesis’s greatest strength lies in its replayability, allowing for a unique experience every time you play – no two games will ever be the same! As the game progresses and you progress through each storyline card, new dangers lurk around every corner, and new mysteries await discovery; you never know what might happen next! With multiple factions vying for control over powerful relics scattered throughout space – anything goes!

If you are looking for an exciting adventure game full of thrilling challenges and unexpected plot twists, look no further than Nemesis: The Science Fiction Board Game! Prepare for an unforgettable journey filled with mind-bending puzzles, jaw-dropping action sequences, and intense showdowns between rival groups. Get ready to go boldly into uncharted territory with this sci-fi adventure of galactic proportions!

Why Sci-Fi Board Games are Fun for Everyone

Sci-fi board games offer exciting, challenging, and imaginative play for all ages. Whether a kid, teen, or adult, you can enjoy playing these games with friends and family. Here are just a few reasons why sci-fi board games are the perfect way to stay entertained:

Develop Problem-Solving and Strategy Skills

Playing sci-fi board games encourages players to think strategically and develop problem-solving skills. Every game presents unique challenges, so you must be creative when figuring out how to win!

Escape Into A Different World

One of the best parts about playing sci-fi board games is escaping into another world for a while. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in strange new planets, meet exciting characters and explore fantastical environments! Plus, the gameplay will always keep you guessing – who knows what unexpected events may happen?

The Best Science Board Games

Bond With Friends and Family

Playing a sci-fi board game is also a great way to bond with your loved ones. Not only will it give you all something fun to do together, but it can also help strengthen family ties as everyone works together towards a common goal.

Concluding Thoughts on Playing Sci-Fi Board Games

Sci-fi board games are a great way to get together with friends, explore new worlds, and engage in friendly competition. The immersive nature of these games can guarantee that your next game night is an out-of-this-world experience.

As these games become more popular, they provide new world of infinite possibilities for players to explore with strategic and intelligent play. Whether it’s a cooperative game against a mighty space pirate or working together to build the most advanced civilizations, there’s something for everyone.

Where To Start With Science Fiction & Fantasy Board Games

Players that have enjoyed classic board games like Monopoly, Risk, and Settlers of Catan will find even more excitement escaping into the immersive play of sci-fi board games.

So whether it’s with other gamers at your local comic shop or around your living room table, get ready to let your imagination take flight while playing these fantastic sci-fi board games!

–This blog discussed sci-fi games, including Terraforming Mars, Cosmic Encounter, Twilight Imperium, Welcome to the Moon, Air, Land, Sea, Pandemic, and Nemesis. Hit the comments and let us know which games you’d like to hear about!