Cosmic Encounter History


Origin design by Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge, Bill Norton and Peter Olotka

For 2-6 players, ages 8 to adult.

Companies that have produced some version of Cosmic Encounter:
Eon Products, Mayfair Games, West End Games, Alga (Finland & Sweden), Altenburg-Stralsunder (Germany) Tsukuda Hobbies (Japan), Mediagenics/Activision Jeux Descartes (France), AppleLink Computer Network Games Workshop (England)


Winner: Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame, Origins 1997

Selected: Games 200 Games Magazine 1996

Voted: Best Science Fiction Board Game 1992 Origins Awards

Voted: Best Science Fiction Board Game 1982 Games Day, London, England

Voted: Best Science Fiction Board Game 1980, 1981 Space Gamer Magazine

Voted: 2nd Best Family Game (after Monopoly) 1980, 1981 Games Day, London

Selected: Games 100 Games Magazine's "Best Games" '80, '81, '82, '83, '84, '85, '86, '93

Selected: Honorable Mention "Top Ten Games" 1980 Omni Magazine

Selected: The Siggins Hall of Fame, by Mike Siggins, editor of Sumo's Karaoke Club games magazine.


"One of the most original games of modern times"
Games Magazine

"This is the game most likely to succeed in a diverse group everyone we know who has tried it likes it."
Games Magazine

"Cosmic Encounter is the real thing"
Playboy Winner's Guide to Boardgames

"So much fun you forget how strategic a game it really is"
award winning game designer, Sid Sackson

"(Cosmic Encounter) is a teeth-gritting, mind-croggling, marvelously demanding exercise in 'what if?'"
award winning author & TV writer, Harlan Ellison

"Of all the products reviewed in the past year ...I believe Cosmic Encounter to be the best"
Galileo Magazine

"The best thing about Cosmic Encounter is precisely [its] limitless variety. I have played hundreds of times and still can be surprised at the interactions different combinations of aliens produce. Cosmic Encounter remains enjoyable because it is constantly new."
Richard Garfield, designer of Magic: The Gathering

"Though there are about a dozen games that have directly influenced Magic in one way or another, the game's most influential ancestor is a game for which I have no end of respect: Cosmic Encounter."
Richard Garfield, designer of Magic: The Gathering

"I'm a great admirer of Eon's Cosmic Encounter. I decided to go for the same free-wheeling, back-stabbing play style. Another similarity to CE was the idea that each player would have his own special power."
Steve Jackson, game designer and head of SJ Games, on the design of Illuminati

"First into the boat was my mutant Cosmic Encounter set-- a complete Mayfair set with the expansion, plus a homebrewed Eon set with extra powers and homemade cards. I spent many, many long nights playing Eon Cosmic in college when I should have been studying, and I still prefer their Flare rules to Mayfair's emasculated rewrite. But Eon Flares are virtually impossible to come by, so I had to create my own deck of cards. Mayfair's set came along in case my fellow castaways insisted on using an authentic set (although real players know that Eon's is the "real" one)."
Peter Sarrett, editor of The Game Report, 'Desert Island Games' report on what 10 games he would choose if he was to be stranded on a Desert Island - 1st choice.

"Without thinking, my hands automatically reach out and grab my Cosmic Encounter game. It's an almost complete Eon set, with a few dozen extra homemade powers, edicts, and etc. This is probably the game I have played most in my lifetime, and I still find it fresh and exciting. There are so many different combinations of powers, tactics, and unexpected changes of fortune that it will never go stale. Hesitantly, I grab the new Mayfair Cosmic Encounter (complete with More Cosmic Encounter expansion), and try to fit it into the single game space with my Eon set. I sigh with releif as the boat expands to accommodate it. It is the same game, and almost as good. (Besides, Mayfair included one of the powers I invented.)"
Kris Gould, games collector and founder of WATTSALPOAG Games, 'Desert Island Games' report on what 10 games he would choose if he was to be stranded on a Desert Island - 1st choice.

"For four gamers (not three, not five) I'd take out Cosmic Encounter (by the Eon Games guys), currently sold by Mayfair Games. Again, it has loads of variety, surprise, risk, and luck. The Mayfair version comes with lots of extra rules and components to enhance and complicate gameplay. I prefer the basic game best four players with one power each. The idea here is to colonize five of your opponents' fifteen planets by winning the right to "move in." There is a strict sequence of steps that make up a round of play. But each player is given one alien power/identity (and a hand of 7 cards) that changes one rule in his or her favor. With dozens of powers to choose from, the combinations of play are extensive. Four good gamers can balance any game and provide lots of laughter and a suspenseful ending."
Mike Gray, game designer and Director of Product Development for Milton Bradleym 'Desert Island Games' report on what 10 games he would choose if he was to be stranded on a Desert Island - 3rd choice.

"Highly playable, fanciful and fun"
Dragon Magazine

"Excellent introductory fantasy game"
Omni Magazine

"Fast, fun, exciting enjoyment is immense"
Campaign Magazine

"Mechanics are simple and easy, the complexity is fascinating"
Wargamers Digest

"Rich in humor and detail, easier to learn than Monopoly"
Gifted Childrens' Newsletter

"Finally a science fiction game that demands analyzing strategies, dealing with compromise, and daring to speculate"
Parents Guide to Resources for the Gifted