I am no intellectual slouch, but Race for the Galaxy has stymied me for years. Ricky Royal has taught me many a game on his YouTube channel, but even his patient and detailed videos about The Gathering Storm couldn't get through to me. For some reason, I would zone out partway through any explanation of this game. There are several different symbols to keep track of, as well as multiple cards with varying bonus powers. I think my brain just couldn't handle everything at once.
My experience of this game has changed thanks to the release of a Race for the Galaxy app. Since downloading it onto my iPad and going through the tutorial, I have been able to play and enjoy the game. In fact, I like it a bit better every time I play it. The genius part of this particular tutorial is that it is divided into three phases, adding complexity as you go along. This way of explaining Race for the Galaxy really worked for me, because it divided things that had overloaded me into smaller chunks that I could finally manage.
One of the toughest things about learning new games is that when a game has a lot going on, it can be tough to hold all of the relevant information in your head at one time. Things that feel intuitive a few plays in don't always click so easily for a complete novice. A great tutorial in a board game app can help so much with that.
Race for the Galaxy's app is great in part because it handles all of the bookkeeping while your brain is still processing how to play the game. It also allows you to zoom in on cards and view a full explanation of what the symbols on them mean—an invaluable help when you are still figuring out the iconography in Race for the Galaxy. I am grateful I bought this app not only because it's fun to play it on my iPad, but because my experience with the app has finally enabled me to fully appreciate the physical game.
My name is Liz, and I play a lot of games. By day, I am a teacher. By night, I am an avid gamer.