Levitate the rocks, light the lightsabers, and break out the blue milk- it’s May the 4th – Star Wars Day- once again! What better way to celebrate than playing with some amazing Star Wars themed games? Here’s eight great choices to bring to your table:
Star Wars: X-Wing 2nd Edition
“Cut the chatter, Red 2. Accelerate to attack speed.” Star Wars X-Wing has been around since 2014 and continues to be an amazing game. With 6 factions to choose from it’s never been easier for new players to jump into the game and get started with their favorite ships and characters. Whether you want to recreate X-Wings and Tie Fighters dog fighting around the Death Star, Bounty Hunters taking out Imperials and Rebels without regard, or Separatists droid swarms battling Jedi and Republic Clones, there is something here for everyone. The quick build system makes it easy for players to get straight into the game without worrying about squad building and the core box has everything two players need to get started and learn the game, but don’t be surprised when you find yourself wanting to expand quickly. Eight years later and X-Wing remains the king of ship combat skirmish games.
Star Wars UNLOCK!
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, Star Wars took the world by storm. Since then there have been a lot of different ways to experience Star Wars. With the addition of Star Wars UNLOCK!, to the UNLOCK! family, Star Wars fans can enjoy their very own Star Wars themed escape room. With it Star Wars UNLOCK! offers three separate escape room adventures all in one box. Each adventure is made up of a deck of cards that provide the entirety of the experience and allows for replayability if desired. Made for 1-6 players and each adventure following the escape room formula of being around an hour long to beat. Taking on tasks such as solving puzzles, looking deeper at clues given, and ultimately working together towards the end of each individual adventure Star Wars UNLOCK! gives every fan of escape rooms and Star Wars alike something worth bargaining for.
Star Wars: Outer Rim
Star Wars Outer Rim is a delightful romp through the seedier locales of a galaxy far, far away, where 1-4 players bounty hunt and smuggle their way into fame and fortune. To start the game, each player selects one of the 8 outlaws, which include movie canon favorites such as Han Solo or Lando Calrissian, bounty hunters such as Boba Fett and IG-88, or more obscure characters from comics and cartoons such as Dr Aphra and Ketsu Onyo. You’ll notice that there is a distinct lack of lightsabers and jedi robes- this game is not about the centuries-old struggle between the Jedi and the Sith, and in fact after several games I barely remember them being mentioned. Choose between two basic rock-hoppers, grab one of the player boards, pull out the appropriate numbered databank card to reveal your starting position and starting job or bounty, and get ready to become the most famous scoundrel in the galaxy!
Star Wars: Legion
Luke Skywalker, lightsaber in hand, leads a small strike force across the desolate landscape of an alien planet. The Rebels are moving in on the objective but there is a problem: the dozen Imperial Stormtroopers led by Darth Vader that are moving to counter them. Blaster fire and grenade explosions fill the air while small walkers and speeder bikes race across the battlefield trying to flank and dislodge troops that have found good cover. Luke and Vader meet in the middle and lightsabers clash while force powers shift the tide of the battle back and forth. This is the battle so many kids imagined with their three inch-tall action figures and it is finally here in the form of a tabletop wargame. For a movie franchise that has been around as long as Star Wars, it might be surprising to some that Star Wars: Legion by Fantasy Flight Games is the first tabletop wargame to dig into ground combat in a galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars: Jabba’s Palace, a Love Letter Game
Having played many games of Love Letter in my many years of playing board games, I can without a doubt say that Star Wars Jabba’s Palace is my favorite of any Love Letter game I own or have played. From being a Star Wars game, to a good and quick filler game, Star Wars Jabba’s Palace has everything I want in a game that can fit in my pocket. Without a doubt this game is a welcome weapon to any Star Wars/Love Letter Fan’s arsenal.
Star Wars: Rebellion
Star Wars: Rebellion is, quite simply, the best game of all time. It recreates the epic struggle of the fledgling Rebellion fighting against the superior might of the Galactic Empire. It’s a 2 player, asymmetric, head to head battle of wits and luck that maintains exciting tension throughout the fairly long play time. The Rebel player will be sweating as they race to bring the galaxy to their side by completing special missions with their meager forces while trying to maintain the secret location of the Rebel Base. The Empire player has vast forces at their disposal and spreads across the galaxy subjugating planets against their will while trying to find and destroy the Rebel Base. You’ll encounter all of your favorite characters from the original trilogy and Rouge One if you opt to include the expansion. The expansion completely replaces the original combat system from the base game and is a vast improvement so keep that in mind if you choose to pick it up. You can’t do better than this for an all out Star Wars experience.
Star Wars: Imperial Assault
What if there was a dungeon crawl game but you made it Star Wars? Imperial Assault is that game and once combined with the excellent app it’s a fantastic good time. Players will assume the roles of unique characters inhabiting the Star Wars universe like rogues, ex storm troopers, rebel soldiers, and jedi and fight their way through waves of storm troopers, beasts, and other villains to complete missions in a series of expansive campaigns. You’ll earn xp and credits to upgrade and customize your character as the campaign progresses. Along the way you’ll encounter favorite characters from the movies in the form of allies and villains. If app based games aren’t your thing, the game can be played one vs many with a single player acting as the “dungeon master” and controlling the bad guys. While still fun, there are some balance issues that will require the DM player to play to let the rebels have fun rather than play to win. If you’re looking for a cooperative Star Wars experience then Imperial Assault is the way to go.
Star Wars: The Card Game
Square off with a friend, light side vs. dark side, in one of the earliest living card games to hit the market. Star Wars: The Card allows players to build light and dark side decks from one of six factions to square off in a battle for the galaxy. The unique part of this living card game is that cards are chosen in sets of five that are attached to objectives themed to the different factions and storylines in Star Wars history. As you play cards in the game, players are trying to move the balance of the force to their side, defeat enemy units, and upgrade and maneuver your way to victory. The Light side player is working their deck to defeat a number of objectives before the Dark side can build up enough strength on the Death Star to overwhelm the rebellion. Build thematic decks to recreate classic Star Wars moments where the Rebel Alliance is taking on the Imperial Navy on Hoth, or the Jedi trying to outsmart the Sith on Endor, or Smugglers trying to keep the Scum and Villainy of the galaxy from capturing their assets, or create your own deck to overpower your opponent. Even though this game is out of print, it is still easy to get your hands on a core set and some extra force packs to have an epic, 2-player, Star Wars experience. NOTE: This game is currently out of print, but copies of the core game and expansions can still be found out there in the wild. Good luck!
Remember: The Force will be with you, always! Happy Star Wars day!