For many millennia the human race has been enthralled with the alignment of many celestial bodies that encompass our universe. The most ancient of cultures have always had some sort of astronomy & even today we follow this same tradition by tracking the many stars in the night sky.

Now you can play a game where you must fulfill a goal by moving around the Sun, the Moon, & the Stars. Such game is being published by Minion Games this year & it is called Sun, Moon, & Stars. Go figure, right?

Sun, Moon, & Stars is for two to four players. The game is appropriate for children ages six to adult & can be played in less than fifteen minutes. Now Sun, Moon, & Stars is what I consider a pocket card game. Which means that it can be taken just about anywhere. And the rules are easy to learn so once you know the rules it is real easy to teach.

There are three celestial cards, four goal cards, & eleven action cards. The three celestial cards are the Sun, Moon, & Stars. The Wolf, Deer, Owl, & Serpent are the spirit animals that represent the four goal cards.

At the start of the game a dealer is picked at random. Now the positioning of players is important & changes depending on how many people are playing the game. In a 2-player game the deal sits to the “South” of the second player who sits to the “North”. In a 3-player game the third player sits either to the “West” or the “East”.

After the dealer is decided & player positions are chosen the game will start. The dealer will shuffle the four goal cards & will pass one out to each player in the game. The goal cards sit in front of the individual player marking off what position they are in. They can be picked at by the player controlling them at any time.

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Then the dealer will position the celestial object cards in an order where the first player will not receive one. The first player is the player that is sitting North of the dealer. So in a 2-player game the dealer & the empty positions at West & East will receive the celestial objects.

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Then the dealer will shuffle & deal out one action card to all players. After each player receives their action card the first round will start. The first player will start by drawing one action card from the action card deck. Then player one must decide on which action card to play.  At this point the current player will look at their goal card & see if they can complete it in that turn.

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On each players turn they will draw a card & then play a card. A player should always have one card left in their hand at the end of their turn.

Now action cards will do a few things. They will either allow a player to move an object to switch with another object & then to move an object one or two positions. Or an action could cause an object to move one or two positions. Other cards can switch goals or switch multiple objects with a single object depending on positioning.

At the end of each player’s turn, all players will peek at their goal & see if it can be completed. If it has been fulfilled that player will win the round. Another way for a round to end is if the action deck runs out for a second time.

The first player to win three rounds, wins the game.

Alright…my initial reaction to the game was that this was going to play out like Love Letter. But after I set it up & started playing I could see that I was completely wrong. After playing a round I really enjoyed the complexity of trying to get the celestial objects to line up with the goal.

My first round ended up with me winning on accident. I had matched up the Moon & the Sun to my position. My opponent drew his action card for turn, but couldn’t use it because I had the Moon & Sun stuck in the same position. The only action card he could play was  to switch our goals. Unfortunately for him his action card was the Owl whose goal was to have the Moon & the Sun.

I will say that in every round that we played, we always ended up shuffling the action cards at least once. And only once did a round end with the action deck running out of cards the second time around.

Minion Games has a pretty cool pocket card game which will be added to my travel kit. So get ready to move some heavenly bodies & game on!

-Christopher Richter

Twitter: @Boardgaming_FTW

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