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Downlink: The Game of Planetary Discovery
Downlink: The Game of Planetary Discovery
by Xtronaut Enterprises (2019)
Player Count
2 to 6

Player Ages

Playing Time
1 hour to 2 hours
  • Card Game
  • Exploration
  • Educational
  • Space Exploration
  • Designers
  • Dante Lauretta
  • Mechanisms
  • Set Collection
  • Dice Rolling
  • Point to Point Movement
  • Area Control / Area Influence
  • Artists
  • Guilhem Bedos
  • Family
  • Crowdfunding: Kickstarter
  • Rating: 10/10 from 1 users


    In Downlink, players lead a space agency to develop missions of planetary exploration. Resources are limited, and players must constantly decide where to allocate them best to score the most points. They can choose to specialize in launching rockets, delivering spacecraft to targets, downlinking science data, or spread their resources across multiple areas to increase the likelihood of success. Key events require dice rolling, and team training is available to stack the odds in player's favor.

    A player’s turn consists of four sequential phases:

    Phase 1 – Trade Cards

    The objective in Phase 1 is to assemble the best hand for Phase 2 so that the player can perform various game actions.

    To assemble the best hand for Phase 2, a player may trade one or two cards with the Market (five face-up cards available to all players). A player may also discard any three cards into the TMC Discard Pile and draw three new cards.

    Phase 2 – Discard TMC Triplet and Perform Actions

    After discarding their TMC Triplet, the player may perform up to three actions in any order. Possible actions are:

    Retrieve a Card from the TMC Discard Pile
    Build a Rocket
    Build a Spacecraft
    Build a Science Instrument
    Enhance Ground System
    Add Resource Cubes to a Component on Earth
    Retrieve One Resource Cube
    Transfer Resource Cubes
    Launch a Rocket
    Move a Spacecraft
    Downlink Data from a Science Instrument
    Acquire New Discovery Cards

    Phase 3 – Make Discoveries

    With the right combination of Downlink Cards, players make scientific discoveries. Players may claim their Discovery cards once they have the right combination of Downlink cards. After completing the Discovery, the player scores the points indicated on the Discovery card.

    Phase 4 – Restore Hand

    At the end of their turn, each player draws new Playing Cards to restore their hand to six cards.

    Game End

    The game ends when a player reaches 30 or more points on their turn or if there are no cards left for a player to restore their hand to six cards. When one of these events happen, each player gets one last turn. The game can be lengthened or shortened by adjusting the number of points needed to win.

    After each player completes their last turn, they total up the number of points scored. The player with the highest total number of points wins. In the case of a tie, the player with the highest Discovery points wins.

    -description from designer

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