What is this game about?
Cosmic Run: Rapid Fire is a roll and write game that is much more action-packed and spatially challenging than other R&Ws I have played to date. In Cosmic Run, you are a space colonist trying to make your way to new planets, blazing a trail through the stars as you dodge space mines and develop technologies that will both assist you on your journey and give you victory points at the end of the game. The game is for 1–2 players. In a two-player game, you draft dice that allow you to race your opponent while dodging attacks and trying to knock enemy ships out of the game. In the one-player version of the game, you play against an automated opponent called Zorlord. (He is not as charming as Star-Lord.)
How does it play solo?
As I just mentioned, Cosmic Run: Rapid Fire features a solo opponent called Zorlord. He is a difficult opponent because he can beat you in three ways: by destroying one of your ships, by earning a higher technology score than you, or by advancing one of his ships to a new planet before you get all three of yours to their destinations. He can be brutal! Even worse, you can't attack him... but he sure can attack you.
To mimic dice drafting while playing against Zorlord, you reroll the dice each turn and give Zorlord the die that lands furthest away from you—or, on the last turn of the round, the die with an attack symbol on it. Sometimes he doesn't roll very well, but other times, you just can't catch a break and it makes for a crushing game.
Cosmic Run: Rapid Fire is special among roll and write games because it does a great job of enabling player interaction, even in the solo mode. That, combined with the interesting tech trees and the frantic race for new planets, makes for a highly exciting game. I enjoy it solo, and the game does put up a good fight. Sometimes, however, Zorlord makes enough "bad" decisions (because of how the dice land) to give you a decided advantage against him. Cosmic Run shines brightest as a two-player game. You can play the two player game with or without attacking each other, which means you can either blow each other's ships to smithereens or just do a lot of passive aggressive hate drafting. No matter which way you play, you will have fun!
Do I recommend it?
Yes. Expect a good but occasionally spotty solo mode (it's a dice game, randomness happens). Also expect a really juicy two-player game, especially if you've been craving a roll and write that is a little bit mean.
Overall Rating: 3.5 (4 for the 2-player game)
5 stars — I love it!
4 stars — I really like it.
3 stars — I like it.
2 stars — It's okay.
1 star — Meh.