4X games historically have been very long affairs, with Twilight Imperium 4 being one of the best examples of a 4X game, while also exemplifying how long these games can take. So finding a game that can give a good 4X experience in a shorter time frame is something a lot of people have been looking for, and Stellar Leap hopes to do just that.
A 4X game is a game which consists of the four Xs, or eXs, of eXterminate, eXplore, eXpand, and eXploit. In this game you will be doing just that, trying to become the most pretigious race in the whole galaxy. On your turn you will roll two dice, which can be manipulated in a number of ways, which determines what planets will pay out resources to the owners. From there you take two actions on your turn which can include exploring space to discover new planets, expand your influence and empire onto those planets, using exploited resources to upgrade your empire, and take over areas occupied by other players by exterminating them. The game promises to be as aggressive or as laid back as the players want it to be based on their own play styles, as the missions and objectives in the game don’t directly force conflicts. Another interesting aspect is that there is asymmetry in the game with different abilities given to each race of the game. As the game unfolds there will be events popping up that trigger good effects, bad effects, or just shakes things up. It’s these events that are the timer for the game because once six of those events are out, the game ends, and whoever has the most points from accomplished missions and their secret trait, wins the game.
The game itself looks pretty good, and with a play time of only 20 minutes per player, aims to deliver on a 4X experience within a good time from. Check out the Kickstarter page for more information and to pledge for your own copy.