SNAP Review – The Stars Align
Who doesn’t like shooting stars – and laid-back puzzley gameplay? That’s the premise behind The Stars Align from Breaking Games.
The Stars Align is a quick, portable game for two players, suitable for ages 6 and up. We’ll tell you our thoughts in about five minutes, or in the summary below.
Your goal in The Stars Align is to create lines of stars in your color, representing “shooting stars” you’ve spotted in the night sky.
How to Play
Draw the top card from the deck. Then take four star tokens and place them onto the 7×7 board, matching the alignment shown on the card (you may rotate, but not flip).
The first phase is the intuitive Dusk phase. Draw a card and place your four-star shape in an open space on the board. Keep going back and forth until there is not enough empty space for one player to play the shape they’ve drawn. Now begins the Night phase.
In the Night phase, you are allowed to place your star-shape overlapping stars that are currently on the board. Any stars that would be covered, flip to their opposite side – and you are allowed to overlap up to three stars of your opponent’s color. Now the strategy becomes more intense!
Any time you create a line of seven stars in your color (horizontally or vertically), remove that line from the board and take a scoring token in your color. Score five times to win the game and create a five-pointed star.
We love how portable this game is. The 7×7 board is printed on the back of the storage bag. Sturdy square cards and small wooden tokens don’t take up much room. Throw it all in the bag and tuck it into your pocket or purse.
Even in play, The Stars Align doesn’t take up much space. We’ve played it on an airplane tray table (although that was tight). And Anitra loves bringing it to a coffee shop for a “mommy date” with one kid at a time.
The Stars Align is very playable with kids. There’s no reading, just pattern matching. The nuances of good strategy can be learned over time. For example: sometimes it makes more sense to block off your opponent then to only add one star to a line in progress.
Similar to Onitama, The Stars Align is a two-player game of strategy with a very relaxed feel. It’s inexpensive (about $15), portable, and robust.
Since it’s so portable, it would be nice if the cards were waterproof. The star tokens are also very lightweight, and played on the not-quite-flat bag, it’s hard to get them to stay exactly where you put them on the grid. We’ve had issues when flipping a star token and inadvertently shifting the entire bag/board.
Even with those minor issues, we’ve really enjoyed The Stars Align, and it will become a common travel game for our family.
SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
The Family Gamers received a complimentary copy of The Stars Align from Breaking Games. Breaking Games is a current sponsor of The Family Gamers Podcast, but that did not affect the opinions expressed in this review.
The Stars Align
Number of Players: 2
Age Range: 6+
Playtime: 20-30 minutes