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Survive the Heat Death of the Universe in ‘Last Light’

3 Minute Read
Feb 4 2024

Alien factions gather the last light from a white dwarf star at the end of the universe in this quick-playing 4X board game.

When looking into grand space opera 4X style board games, the obvious goto is Twilight Imperium. But sadly, there’s not always time or option to play an hours-long excursion into seizing control of the galaxy. Fortunately, you can get that same experience of exploring, exploiting, expanding, and exterminating in less than an hour with Last Light.

Last Light Overview

Last Light is a quick-playing 4X game that features unique player powers, simultaneous actions, and a rotating board. The goal of each player is to be the first to collect 20 Lights, the first to do so wins!

Images via Board Game Geek

On each round, each player will choose one of their action cards to play. Each player has the same 6 action cards and will resolve their chosen action simultaneously. These cards allow the players to research new technologies, generate resources, construct ships and resource extractors, trade resources, refresh and repair, and move and attack.

Technologies can be applied to your ships to give them bonuses and enhancements or to your civilization as a whole. On top of that, each faction has a unique ability granting them another strategic option.


Because actions are performed simultaneously in Last Light, this significantly reduces the overall playtime. However, this also introduces some very interesting social aspects to combat.

The Command card dictates when your ships can attack on that round. Even though combat damage is also done simultaneously, your ships can only attack if you played the Command card that round. But once you play the Command card, it’s gone. You can’t use it again until you play the Refresh card to be able to use it again. But once you do, everyone will know you are poised to strike again!

Last Light is a great minimalist 4X game that also has a fantastic presentation. On top of the 3D planet tokens, the board is designed to rotate throughout the game, as ships, planets, and asteroids orbit this dying white dwarf.

If you’re wanting to give the game a try, the official Tabletop Simulator module is a great place to start.


Author: Matt Sall
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