Only recently having completed its kickstarter campaign, Startropolis was available to demo in a very prototype-y form, but there it was.
Together with the other players you’re building a star-based metropolis (see how that works) by purchasing modules and plugging them into each other. But it’s not a cooperative game; you’re out to get rich, the richest Star-preneur there is.
To gain said wealthiness, you’ll first need to spend money on buying modules. There are different types of modules, which earn points based on what’s connected to them. The tourism module, for example, earns you more cash the more unique modules it is connected to. On the other hand, Upper Class modules are filled with people who don’t want to mingle with the general rabble, so you want to keep them isolated. Some modules earn points for matching adjacent modules, some for more connections.
One of the modules is the Solar Panel, which restricts building – no modules can be placed “higher” than the solar panel (this is in space, so higher can be in any of the 6 directions – whichever way the solar panel is facing), which will make it harder to place your modules in the ideal spots as the game goes on. On the other hand, you can use Solar Panels to strategically block others.
The real draw of this game is that it’s all 3D, and by the end of the game you’ll have a massive construct made out of all the modules. It’s not quite the same effect with the rough prototypes, but I could see this being quite the eye-catcher on the table.
My biggest worry is that it will be easy to miss when your module changes value. You do have cards with plastic clips to mark how much money you’re earning each round for each module you control, but as that value changes when new modules are plugged in, I could see a player missing an important change, especially as the station gets bigger. Hopefully someday I will see for myself.