Last year I backed Stellar Leap by Weird Giraffe Games on Kickstarter. I had backed one of their previous games, Super Hack Override, so I had a level of trust built up in their ability to deliver. That trust was correctly placed and I now have a copy of Stellar Leap sitting with me ready to play.
Stellar Leap is a boardgame of space exploration and conquest for 1 to 5 players, with solo play taking place against one of three “AI” players.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the box and what waits for you inside.
The box itself is larger than I originally expected, coming in at 27.5 x 19 x 8cm. The box is constructed from thick cardboard and has a tight fit between base and lid, giving a very solid feel overall. It has a smooth finish with very good print quality for the artwork and the nice touch of a reflective finish on the logo. My picture above doesn’t do it justice.
This attention to the quality of construction and finish follows through in the other components. Speaking of which…
First up are the rulebook, punch-out chits, and score sheets.
The rulebook is pretty much exactly as you would expect: staple-bound with a slight glossy finish. It presents things in a logical order, but there’s not really much to say about it until I’ve actually played a few games. The chits are printed on thick cardboard and seem very durable—they definitely won’t get destroyed in your first game. They’re also easy to punch out, which I appreciate. The score sheets come in a pad of about 50 (by my own rough count) and have boxes for each source of points, making it easy to compare statistics between players.
Next are the player boards, which are one of my favourite components. These are two layer boards, with cutouts on the top layer where you place meeples and markers. This is so much better than just having a flat board to place everything on. It makes setting up and playing the game quite a bit smoother and significantly reduces the chance of small nudges knocking things into the wrong place.
As with the box and the chits, the player boards are reassuringly thick. They are made of thick cardboard rather than cardstock, which was one of the stretch goals of the Kickstarter, and have a textured finish.
Finally we reach the various cards, markers, meeples, and dice. There are a lot of components involved there. Starting with the cards we have 29 planet/asteroid cards, 13 event cards, 9 trait cards, 34 mission cards, 11 dice power cards, 3 AI cards for solo play, and 5 reference cards. There are 10 meeples for each race, all of which are custom made for this game so they can correctly represent their races, 45 cubes for tracking resources and actions, a spaceship, and finally 7 dice.
The cards have a textured finish very much like the player boards, which gives a nice common feel across the components in the game. The different types of card are easily distinguished by the art on the reverse side, making separating them very straightforward. The meeples and markers are wood rather than plastic, which is a better choice in my opinion.
I also received a large number of small empty resealable bags in the box, which I don’t know whether to put down to a logistics error but I’m sure will come in handy.
If you’re thinking that there’s a lot in the box then you’d be correct. This is a game that will need a bit of table or floor space to play, especially as you head towards four players.
Overall it is clear that a lot of thought has been put into the design of the components and this shows through in their quality and finish.