One of my favorite parts of the Star Wars Universe is the underworld of smugglers, bounty hunters, and other scum and villainy. Star Wars: Outer Rim from Fantasy Flight Games brings the underworld to your table. You play characters like Han Solo, Boba Fett and more. You try to go around the planets of the Outer Rim, buying and selling cargo (legal or not so legal), doing missions for payment, finding bounties to kill or capture, and testing your skills. You need to gain 10 or more Fame points to make you the most famous scoundrel in the Outer Rim and win the game.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.
The game is set up with a curved Outer Rim space map. Each planet is connected by Navpoints which you navigate your ship. This is a very cool map that does not take up too much material and you can put the market decks and other accessories that players use underneath.
You start out with a Player board that has sliders on the right side that keep track of your reputation with the many factions like the Empire, Rebels, Hutts and more. You place your character card under it. I chose Han Solo of course. And you have two starter ships to choose from. The Ship board is placed next to your player board. Player boards lets you add bounties, jobs, and gear cards. The Ship Board lets you add cargo, mods, and crew cards. And you can buy better ships when you make enough credits.
Patrolling the Outer Rim are patrol ships from the 4 factions. Watch out. If you encounter a ship on the same navpoint or planet and you have a negative reputation with its faction, you have to fight it. Having a neutral reputation with it just stops your movement for that turn. You can continue moving if you have a positive reputation.
Each player needs to find their bounties, do jobs which required skill checks, trade cargo to help increase their income and more importantly increase their Fame points. The game plays more like multiplayer solitaire where there is not too much player interaction unless you want to trade with another or if you have a card that lets you can steal from them. Also if a player has a crew member and another has a bounty on that crew, they can attack the crew member and the player has the option to defend their crew member.
I played the game solo using the AI player where you set up an extra player with everything but they have a special purple AI deck where you draw a card that tells you what the AI player does each turn. The AI player doesn't interact with you directly, but it will discard a card from one of the decks of the market row and may deny you a card you may want. And you must get 10 Fame point before the AI does. So you are racing against time. I won by doing a job that required skill checks to get 2 Fame points I needed to win. The AI was one Fame Point shy of winning. And I had failed the job earlier but kept it so I can try it again. I barely completed the job too.
I really liked this game as a solo player. It was exciting to play Han Solo and I even bought the YT-1300 Light Freighter even though I had to have conditions to convert it into the Millennium Falcon which I didn't meet. I love the assortment of ships to buy as well as mods, gear, and crew you can add to yourself. This makes the gameplay different every time and increase the replayability.
I liked doing jobs even though I was at the mercy of the dice with my skills checks. There should be better way of mitigating the luck without having the find the right crew or right card that may help. The Patrol ships that move around the board gave some good challenges when I had a bad reputation with a faction and that faction scout ship encounters me forcing me to combat it.
But some people may have a problem with the limited player interactions. It does play like multiplayer solitaire. But as a solo board gamer, that is not a problem for me. But when I play with others, it may not be as exciting. And you will do alot of waiting as each player does each turn to completion. They should have divided it up into phases for each player to do like everyone does the first phase of moving, healing or gaining credits in order and then do the second market phase in order. And then everyones does the Encounter phase in order.
Overall, this is a solid game of playing scummy morally flexible characters or at least be an anti-hero. I recommend this game especially if you are a solo board gamer.