If you’ve ever played Inis and thought, ‘this could use a lot more interplanetary portals and ancient civilisations’, Galactic Renaissance should fall on your radar. The upcoming board game of influence and politicking is crowdfunding on Kickstarter ahead of a release in early 2024.
Galactic Renaissance is the latest creation of Christian Martinez, the mind behind Inis, Cairn and Trool Park and will be published by French tabletop specialists Matagot. Two to four players will take on the role of Galactic Senate members during the discovery of an ancient portal system that allows instantaneous travel between planets. The ensuing war of influence and intrigue will take about 75 minutes to play and, according to the publisher, feels a lot like “Inis in space’.
Players will gradually build a deck of specialist cards throughout the game, curating and refining their strategy over several rounds. These specialists will discover new planets on the other side of the portals, make contact with lost civilisations and begin the process of forming beneficial alliances. Opponents will be sending their own agents, meaning sabotage and disruption might be necessary.
The game ends when one player earns enough victory points to prove their worth as executor of the Senate’s vision. These points are gained from objective cards played at the start of every round, which also publicly signal how everyone might act. Throughout play, planets with too many visiting emissaries will fall into disorder and force the involved factions to vie for control. Planets under a player’s influence grant them additional abilities, so winning these fights will be high on everyone’s priority list.
Emissaries and other specialists aren’t the only way to extend a faction’s influence throughout the galaxy. A player might instead choose to construct facilities on planets to increase the number of cards they draw each turn or grant more specialists during specific actions.
Artists Tano Bonfanti and Francesco Orrù depict the universe of Galactic Renaissance with a style that evokes the popular 4x video game Stellaris - fashion and architecture is a mixture of rusted, sandy earth tones and bright pops of colour, and the different species range from mostly human to anthropomorphic animals and beyond. It looks nothing like Inis’ dreamy take on Celtic art and mythology, which lends the new project a distinct identity from the jump.
Galactic Renaissance’s Kickstarter campaign runs through April 11th and is funding an early version of the game ahead of its wider retail release. Matagot currently expects fulfilment to begin in January of 2024 and run through May, depending on where in the world the boxes are bound. Asia and broader global orders will be the first out of the gate, followed by Uk and Europe, the Americas and finally Australia and Aotearoa.
As mentioned by Matagot in the campaign’s comments, a separate campaign for a Ukranian version of the game will be launched at an unannounced point in the future. Ostensibly, this will allow for more affordable shipping into a part of Europe still caught in an illegal invasion and ongoing military aggression by Russia.