We apologize for any sense of Déjà vu this post may trigger.

Race for the Galaxy heading to mobile. This time, for real.

iOS Universal, Android •

If you’re one of our seven readers (and, if you’re reading this, you are! Thanks!), you might have noticed that we announced a mobile version of celebrated card game, Race for the Galaxy, last week and then promptly removed said story. No, it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke or a prank on our part. Instead, it was me being an idiot. I received a press release for RftG last week and promptly posted the story only later realizing that the press release contained an embargo and I shouldn’t have spilled the beans until today. Now, after doing this for over six years I still haven’t grokked the purpose of embargoes on press releases but we also don’t want to be dicks, so we’ll try to abide by them as much as possible.

My inner voice just told me that none of you give a rat’s ass about any of this backstage nonsense and just want to know if RftG is coming to mobile or not. Yes, it is, and you’ll have it on iOS and Android on May 3.

Race for the Galaxy was released in 2007 and quickly became one of the most beloved card games of the decade. Created by Tom Lehman, the game uses role selection and a staggering system of iconography to tell the story of space exploration, expansion, and conquest.

Race for the Galaxy is a phase choosing game. Players secretly and simultaneously determine which one of seven phases they will lock in, then all reveal at once. Choosing a phase guarantees that it will happen for everyone, so advanced players will keep a close eye on rival civilizations to determine a phase that will benefit one’s empire the most while benefitting opponents the least. Will you build an engine to ramp up VP generation on cheapo production planets? Will you invest in exploration and settle rare and valuable VP rich planets? Or will you rush a military conquest to cut off your opponents before they have a chance to develop their strategy!

Yes, Race for the Galaxy is a euro and was one of the games to coin the phrase Multiplayer Solitaire. You can affect other players a bit with your phase selection but, for the most part, you’ll be building your own civilization and there’s not much anyone can do about it. Still, playing your hand skillfully is quite the puzzle to unravel and should give strategy and tactics lovers a go for their money.

Developed by Temple Gates Games, the mobile version will use the AI for RftG developed over the past 10 years by Keldon Jones. This is great news, as Keldon’s AI is basically the Deep Blue of RftG. I think I can safely say that RftG will have the best AI of any card or board game ever ported to a mobile device and, if you think I’m exaggerating, you can check out his AI now for PC/Mac and see how many wins you can pull off.

Besides solo play vs. the AI, RftG will also have online multiplayer, both asynchronous and real-time. The mobile release will run $7 and will have six additional starting planets included for free as well as both the Gathering Storm and Rebels vs. Imperium expansions available via IAP at launch.

The quick beta test will begin this Wednesday, and they’re accepting signups right now. Head over here and get in on RftG early.

No video for the digital version, but you can watch Kaja and Joanna from Starlit Citadel give an overview and review below.

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Notable Replies

  1. js619 says:

    Trying my best to put on a surprised face! Apparently there’s no emoji for that?

  2. Apparently not, but we thank you for your fine acting performance nonetheless.

  3. For anyone wanting to beta test Online play, my friend code is SY4HDVRR.

  4. I clicked that Beta sign up link so hard my phone reset.

    I’ve had the RFTG AI installed on every computer I’ve owned since he released it, so I’m very happy to hear they’re using it in the mobile versions.

  5. I’ve already been accepted into the beta and I only applied a couple hours ago…here’s hoping you get in as well.

  6. js619 says:

    Applied this afternoon as well, and received the email link to download the app about ten minutes later… Now if only Sprint had decent service in my office… or country, for that matter…


    (Did I do it right?)

  8. js619 says:

  9. Fingers crossed!

  10. For some reason, I thought this was a deckbuilder, but clearly not.

  11. Nope, this pre-dates Dominion by a year.

  12. I’ve been playing the beta for about an hour (haven’t tried multiplayer) and I think you can relax…it’s pretty great.

  13. No invite yet, unless I’m unlucky or Android’s starting later, or both.

  14. js619 says:

    Looks like this might be async…

  15. Multiplayer can be asynchronous or real-time. Async can be kind of a pain with the role-selection, though.

  16. Probably no worse than playing Puerto Rico (or Race for the Galaxy itself, though I’ve never done it) on Boardgame Arena.

    I can live with it!

  17. js619 says:

    I have a RFtG going async on BGA and it’s not awful, honestly. I’m up for it if you want to try it out.

  18. I’d join if you dont mind me being a newbie, and not in the beta either.

    Im unimpressed that my nemesis, hardco, gets a head start in the beta and I need a way to redress that somehow

  19. js619 says:

    Are you on boardgamearena? Snotty128 there as well?

    edit: nevermind, found you on there and started a 3p, base game, no draft with @whovian223 to keep it simple while you learn it. Ask away if you have questions, either here or there!

  20. It’s not much of a headstart, as @js619 and I are halfway through our first turn after two days!

  21. I got sent a link, happy days! My friend code is 715JQWVV .

    Has anyone spotted how to leave feedback? Ive glanced at their website, in the app, and in testflight, but nothing is jumping out at me

  22. Sorry our Android beta rollout has has some unforseen technical gumming-up. If you email me at beta@templegatesgames.com I can hook you up with a quick end-around access.

  23. Email fired off at the speed of light.

    And I’m IN!

    Friend code: KRYFEE22

  24. js619 says:

    Am I forgetting how to play this? I thought in the 2P everyone picked two actions, but the app only lets me take one… bug or variation or me playing wrong all this time?

  25. Sorry, I didn’t choose the “experienced 2 player” option, as I haven’t played the game for awhile.

  26. js619 says:

    Ah, didn’t realize it was a variant. Thanks for setting me straight and no worries!

  27. It was 36-34 for me shown on a final score screen. Did you report it as a bug?

  28. I’ll create another game, and let’s see if we can duplicate the bug. Try to do the same thing…

  29. Ive got a rough idea what I was doing before the bug. I’ll try again, but the server appears offline to me at the moment

  30. Yeah, asynchronous isn’t as bad as I’d feared. Given the choice, I’ll always play real-time or as close to real as I can get, but I won’t turn down any truly asynch games.

    This is going to be great once the app is realesed and everyone can play.

  31. I’ve got games going with multiple stately players (yuk-yuk), and it seems to be working pretty well. Asynch is surprisingly tolerable, provided the opponent makes some sort of effort.

    Looking for some more friend codes, though: @Neumannium, post your code, yo. How about @JammaTal? Anyone else, too. Doesn’t @Zebracadabra get into every beta? Let’s see some codes.

  32. The Zebra has had medical issues recently and is guarding his stripes for now but will inevitably surface along with Terra Mystica.

  33. I’m really loving this implementation of the game, just in vs AI play. It is clean and usable in all the ways Core Worlds was not. I still regret backing that one at 50.00 for ‘beta’ access. The AI, set to Easy, still challenges me. I can seem to win easily when I go for Military settling of planets, and lots of scouting to dig deep for planets and the Imperium 6pt development. I still can’t seem to find a way to win with a produce/trade strategy though. Just can’t keep up points wise.

  34. js619 says:

    Don’t even get me started on Core Worlds… what a total waste of money… even the finished app is unplayable.

  35. Core Worlds is so bad. Just thinking about it makes me want to kick puppies.

  36. js619 says:

    And such a great game in cardboard. Makes the app even more of a disappointment, knowing what could have been.

  37. Sorry for not responding sooner…vacation was a bitch.

    My code: CXAKTIGG

  38. Be sure to update, everyone. The notifications make a huge difference.

    The randoms I’m playing are all taking their turns more quickly now. That’s huge in a game like RftG.

  39. they’re working for me, but my game with @TheDukester is still moving at a glacial pace because I started it on my iPad and games don’t appear to sync between phone and tablet. I’m just not by my iPad as much. If I would have known, I would have started it on my phone instead.

  40. I’m getting banners, sounds, and lock-screen alerts, FWIW. But no badges, even though the Notifications Center says I should be seeing them.

  41. LOL. Never mind, Within 15 minutes of typing that, I not only saw how to do a takeover, but had the AI steal two planets in the same game.

    It’s still a super-clunky rule, but I see now how the app is doing it.

  42. js619 says:

    What now? Is that an expansion?

  43. I guess I don’t know the game well enough to know what the issue is. Want to explain?

  44. Not trying to give too many spoilers if you are new to the game, but my understanding was that produce-consume was one of the top tier strategies of the base deck. The balance does change when you add more decks into the mix.

    That being said an early produce-consume novelty engine can get up and running quickly, quick enough to run away with the game. It really is a race when you’ve got a good game with a well matched opponent.

  45. Pitta says:

    Takeovers is the biggest addition to the core game imho.
    While other expansions ‘just’ add new cards and new combos, it’s basically more of the same, ie gameplay is basically a solo race against the clock (your opponent completing the deck) with no interactions whatsoever.
    Takeovers add interactions between the empires, giving you the possibility to steal or destroy key planets in the opponent deck, changing fundamentally the gameplay flow (think RftG meets Star Realms).
    Adds a new layer making the game more interactive, you now have to ponder when to use a certain planet, knowing your opponent can steal it, often completely changing the score.
    Empire vs Rebellion is a Star Wars like scenario that just makes takeovers even more prominent.
    Personally I like the game much more with takeovers on.

  46. Interesting. Is the scenario from EvR part of the digital version for solo play? I had noticed the lack of interactivity. Truth be told, I’m pretty lousy at keeping tabs on what my opponents are doing. I might be better off without that, though I gather you can disable it.

  47. Pitta says:

    Yes Empire vs Rebellion is in the last expansion and you can play against the AI.
    I love playing Star Wars against the hard AI. There is even the Death Star.
    It’s the only mode where your opponent deck matters, some games are constant warfare.
    I have always a takeovers game going on with @js619 maybe he can tell you something about it too.

    I’m not sure you can play mp expansions you don’t have but I can invite you if you tell me your friend code.

  48. Pitta says:

    You are biased because of our last game :stuck_out_tongue:

    What a glorious game.

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