Review: Xenofera – the space fauna


The universe is a place of soldiers. But besides the danger, it is full of delightful creatures, that inhabit countless different planets. And if you’re looking to create a truly exciting zoo, that residents of Pluto will want to visit, you have to take off behind the atmosphere of your homesystem. Animals are hiding and only those, who are really looking for can catch really unique specimens.

The hunters of animals are welcome by and , who created the board game . Their needed help with the release from fans on , where they at the end of 2016 gathered nearly $ 20,000. And then finally published their creation under LLC logo in .

On the lid, there are all these colorful creatures and welcome us together with their hunters with nets. Inside there are components made up of more than 250 cards divided into three piles. Among them, players must first find five sets of seven fight cards. Each participant chooses one color and gets these cards in his hand. In addition, participants will receive two cards of hunters, from whom they will choose one and will impersonate them for the whole game.


To begin with, players will also receive one card (once again choosing from two) of the collection and put it on table. But even by giving out cards to players, setup does not end, because there is a deck of equipment cards. Participants will receive one expedition card, one starter cage, and seven other random items. At the center of the table, common offer of five animal cards is prepared from the shuffled package.

As a result, players already have a good flood of cards. After that, each participant’s turn consists of the five phases. He goes through them one after another by himself. And it all starts with the chance to use up to two action cards from hand, whether to attack an opponent (for example, emptying his cage or dragging one of his team members). At the same time, a player may also hire some new team members. Second part of the turn again involves playing cards, this time providing a chance to build cages and other items from the hand. To do this, however, player needs to have team members skilled with hammer icons.


All characters and their equipment can then finally be put to use. They will be catching creatures that are running freely around the plain in front of them. The choice is always of five rare specimens – cards revealed in offer. Player needs a large empty cage and a crew with plenty of catching points. However, they can not use team members, who have built one of the subjects in the previous phases of his turn. They already have exhausted their strength for that round.

Player can always catch only one creature per turn, put its card in front of him and add new card to the center of the table. After that, he draws back to seven cards or can give up this chance and instead choose one of two collection cards.

Players will also often attack each other in the game using action cards. But attacked opponents have a chance to defend themselves using reaction cards. To do so, they will use their duel kits. However, they are always exhausted after use and can not be reused until all other digits are used. Both opponents choose two cards, one must be randomly set aside (opponent selects) and then compare them.


Game continues with further turns, construction of equipment and hunt for animals until players fill up enough cages or deplete piles of equipment cards. Players then get one more round of catching wild animals. Then they just add up points for the animals and, above all, add bonus points for the completed collections. Then each player knows his score result and the one who has the most points becomes the winner.

Xenofera is a card game, in which you will be catching animals to gain points, but above all to fulfill the collections, you have been given as a goal. Players must therefore set up their team and equipment in the right way.

But they need luck. A lot of it. All the items and team members are dealt through random pick-up from the shuffled deck. And this coincidence is an element, that condemns the game from being a fun for family play.


Unfortunately, the game has two points, in which it definitely will not shine. The first is the necessity to constantly do something with the cards. Players are turning them to use, playing new ones and topping others. They simply manipulate their equipment more, than they would like. But then there’s a fight between the players with whom we have one major problem – its simply not fun and it does not really make sense. These conflicts are just too complex for this simple card game, especially given the fact that the target audience is mainly families.

Monsters themselves are the most interesting thing about this game. These are the primary attraction of the game and reason, why it may be of interest to you. They offer interesting ways to score. And thanks to beautiful colorful pictures, children will be interested in playing. Box does not want them at all (game is recommended from fourteen years!), but the reason are just conflicts. However, the game too long to keep the attention and enjoyment all the time.


Cards are each in their own right. There are no complex combos, that would be offered with monsters, cages and objects. Players do not need to know the package thoroughly, so you can play it. Overall, the content is disappointing and it shows, the graphics is not everything.

Xenofera brought with it a strong expectation. But hunting for monsters is far from what it could have been. Gamplay is not interesting enough. If you do not have exaggerated expectations, then collecting points and assembling sets could be fun. But do not expect too much from Xenofera.

DesignerLiz Gattra
ArtistJeff Porter
Year Published2017
# of Players2 - 5
User Suggested # of Players Best with 5 players
Recommended with players
(2 voters)
Playing Time75
Mfg Suggested Ages14 and up
User Suggested Ages10 and up
(1 voters)
CategoryCard Game, Science Fiction
MechanicHand Management, Set Collection, Take That
FamilySports: Hunting, Crowdfunding: Kickstarter, Digital Implementations: Tabletopia
Primary NameXenofera

Infos courtesy of More Infos.

Review: Xenofera – the space fauna
Final word
Xenofera is a card game, in which you grab a net and begin to hunt small and large creatures. To do this, you need to hire hunters and build cages. Each player has their secret collections that they are trying to fill up and a certain level of entertainment flows from collecting points. The overall impression is rather flat, without a complex experience and with the chance of winning cards in the hinge. Xenofera will not be the game, that would excite you. It belongs only among the average.
Reader Rating0 Votes
beautiful graphics
collecting sets of animals
options to attack the opponent
fights between players are not fun
game is quite random
continuous card handling
insignificant playability
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