You are adrift in deep space, time and oxygen is running out and only one of you can make it. Do you have what it takes to survive and beat your fellow astronauts back to the space shuttle? Be totally selfish and steal oxygen from your other players, use wormholes to your advantage, pull astronauts back whilst propelling yourself forward and battle asteroids, laser blasts and all other kinds of space hazards. Only one can survive the depths of space, will it be you?
Selfish Space is a 2-5 player space themed card game where each player takes on the role of an astronaut adrift in space. Each player must move their astronaut six spaces forward to reach the space shuttle. The first player to do this with oxygen remaining is the winner. Run out of oxygen and it is game over.
Selfish Space Gameplay
Selfish Space consists of two decks of cards, The Game cards and the Space cards.
The Game cards include oxygen tanks (single and doubles) and action cards. The action cards can be played against your opponent as well as helping the player. Cards such as Hole in Suit force a player to discard one of their valuable oxygen tanks. The Tether card pulls one player back a space and moves the other player forward a space. Rocket boosters allow you to move forward one space. Laser blast knocks another player back one space.
There are also shield cards that block an action being played on you. The Game cards give the game a high level of player interaction, players will be moving backwards, forwards and discarding cards when these are played.
The Space cards are used when an astronaut moves forward in space. A new Space card is revealed and placed in the vacant space the astronaut created by moving. The Space cards are a mix of good and bad things and include Useful Junk, which allows a player to draw another Game card. Hyperspace moves the player one space forward, Asteroid fields force the player to discard two oxygen and the Gravitational anomaly forces players to move back one space.
A round in Selfish Space consists of three simple phases. First, a player draws a card from the Game deck and adds it to their hand. Then, a player can play any number of action cards (only one action card can be played in a two-player game). Finally, a player can spend one oxygen to stay where they are or two oxygen to move forward a space and draw the next Space card, resolving its effect.
Players can also discard two action cards to use as a single oxygen and stay where they are instead of travelling forward.
The next player then takes a turn and play continues until the first player reaches the space shuttle and is crowned the victor or all players have died due to lack of oxygen.
(Deep) Space Thoughts
Selfish Space is a very quick game (around 20 minutes for two players). The turns are super simple (pick up a card, play an action, move) with anyone being able to pick this up and be playing in minutes. The Game cards are highly interactive and, on the most part, involve scuppering the other astronauts. There is a decent number of different cards in the Game deck making each game play out different.
The Space deck also has a number of different cards, some good, some bad and some downright horrible. The Game and Space cards can turn the tides on your fellow players. You could be far behind with another player about to finish, and then a wormhole appears which allows you to swap places with another player. Suddenly, you've gone from being in last place to being in a position to win the game. It is all about luck of the draw and clever timing of when to play action cards.
The added element of the oxygen cards is fun, albeit swingy, as well. You could be doing well, the space shuttle is in sight, but you end up suffocating as you run out of oxygen tanks, all because of the luck of the draw or an opponent stealing your last double oxygen tank.
Selfish Space is a frustrating, quick, light and mean game. But it is also fun. There is no hidden strategy or major tactics to the game but for a quick, light-hearted space race that has tons of player interaction, it is worth giving it a go. Just don’t take it too personally if your opponent sucks you in to a wormhole and steals all your oxygen leaving you gasping for that last breath without a hope of reaching the shuttle. It is only a game after all. Play again and make sure you have your revenge.