At the Table, Everyone Can Hear You Scream

Mankind has always been fascinated with life amongst the stars. Whether it be that we meet some benevolent creature that guides our society to a new golden era. A chance encounter with extraterrestrials has also been envisioned as hardcore combat against gigantic alien bugs that wish nothing more than to lay eggs in a human’s stomach in a bid to dominate the species. Then there have been cosmic operas that see humanity struggle and grow amidst rival cultures looking for a place in the star-faring societies. Whatever your flavor, though, there is something a tabletop game can offer you, so while you battle the bugs, kiss the noble alien, or dominate the entire galaxy, just whatever you do, stay away from the tentacles. Here are 8 games worth a look.

Alien: Another Glorious Day in the Corps

It’s plain loco, man! Gear up as one of the elite soldiers of the cosmos as you battle your way through hordes of pitch-black armored aliens. Blast away at the bugs as they hiss and spew acidic saliva, make your way through claustrophobically small hallways, and watch out for those face-huggers. Finally, confront the mother of all these atrocities, the queen. Based on the famed sci-fi movies, this co-op sees you take on the role of the main characters from the film and work through a series of adventures in hopes of making it back home.

Players: 1 – 6

Playtime: 60 – 120

Cosmic Encounters

Is your goal in life to demonstrate why you deserve to be the leader of the cosmos? If so, this game is right up your alley. Build a galactic empire through negotiation, exploration, conflict, and good old backstabbing. Three to five players take on the role of different alien races and start colonizing planets, but each planet is ruled by someone. The approach taken by each player will see them expand their empire through diplomacy… or more aggressive diplomacy. So go forge your Machiavellian plots and rule with an iron fist.

Players: 3 – 6

Playtime: 60 – 120

Star Wars: Rebellion

Let’s face it, a list of alien games without a Star Wars is like a salad without dressing. It will miss its flavor. Get ready to live the Galactic Civil war, here you control one of two factions, either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic empire. Feel the power of the force as you command starships, plan your troop movements, and inspire people to your cause! While the game will always feel grand in scale, it shines as more personal decisions are made that change many situations. Characters like Mon Mothma, Grand Moff Tarkin, and even Emperor Palpatine himself take center stage as complicated problems are faced while the galactic civil war expands. So, use the force, whichever force you like.

Players: 2 – 4

Playtime: 180- 240

The Thing

The ultimate marriage between John Carpenter and Lovecraft can be found in this game. This game sees the players take on a member of the NSF researcher’s role as they face the horrifying encounter of The Thing at the abandoned Antarctic winter base. Feel the paranoia grow as the crew clears out room by room only to find themselves growing ever more paranoid… Who can you trust? The monster can make perfect copies of other crew members, and it is hell-bent on taking over the earth. Take up your flame thrower and flush the thing out before it’s too late.

Players: 4 – 8

Playtime: 60 – 120

Firefly

We Aim to Misbehave! This excellent adaptation of the tv show from the same name sees players take on the role of a captain commanding a Firefly transport ship traveling the Verse in hopes of finding jobs. Players will be dealing with the dangers of things like double-dealing and straight-up nasty employers, corrupt and dangerous Alliance patrols, and the cosmic terrors that are the cannibalistic Reavers. So, embrace your favorite tv show from the late ’90s and journey through the universe with your rag-tag group of misfits and make a change.

Players: 1 – 4

Playtime: 120 min

Twilight Imperium

This grand storytelling space opera sees players take tactical strategy to the next level. The Player explores the Twilight Imperium’s universes; each takes the role of one out of seventeen unique alien civilizations and then rev up for total interstellar control. Use your favorite tactics, trade, warfare, deadly alliances, and even straight-up treason. Each alien race offers its own skill sets and advantages, so replayability is highly encouraged. While there may be many ways to win, only one Player will see themselves sit atop the rest as the true rulers of the galaxy.

Players: 3 – 6

Playtime: 240-480

Galaxy Trucker

In this fun space, scenario game players take on the role of well cosmic plumbers. The idea here is to take on the part of brave spacemen and women who will fly through all kinds of danger as long as the pay is fair. So, take your premade spaceship and your load of pipes and pass through hell. You will be tasked with building ships capable of standing up to space pirates and big enough to ferry your crew. The players will be laying tiles, and once that’s done, collect your rewards. So go out there and manage your credits and win!

Players: 2 – 4

Playtime: 60

Star Trek: Conflict in the Neutral Zone Board Game

The alarms have been rung. There are resource-abundant planets and both the Klingon Empire and the Federal Alliance are out to obtain them. The gameplay sees the players take on the role of one or the other. Resources are collected by placing the proper ship at a minimum distance to collect the bounty; men while your other ships will have the role of either protecting the resource ships or engaging in combat against other warbirds. A fun game where disks represent the ships and placement is key to combat. Have fun playing this one, it’s fast furious fun.

Players: 2 - 4

Playtime: 20 min

So, take a deep breath as you face your fears or embrace the role of a conquering alien. Send forth your legions and show your friends who indeed dominate the cosmos. Show no mercy, yet remember the point is to play together and have a good time.