Skip to content

The Search For Planet X Two Player Review

Important Note:

All board game reviews and ratings from “A Pair of Meeples” are entirely based on the game at two players. You can learn more about our rating system by clicking below.


This post may contain affiliate links so we might receive compensation if you sign up for or purchase products linked to below. As an Amazon Associate, we can earn from qualifying purchases.

The Search for Planet X is one of the most contradictory games we own. A crazy brain burner, but at the same time relaxing and chill to play. A great solitaire logic puzzle, and at the same time an excellent group game due to placed theories and their peer reviews.

At first glance, you wouldn’t think this game would be as good as it is. All we can say is your search for the perfect puzzle board game might end here.

The Search For Planet X Review

8.5 out of 10
The Search for Planet X Two Player Review A Pair of Meeples

Is it Good For Two Players? : Yes

The Search for Planet X might just be the best of its kind.  It is the perfect brain teaser morphed into an excellent board game experience! 

It provides a very intricate and well-designed puzzle that is extremely thinky while still being almost relaxing to play.  And while it feels very solitaire to play it also is still a group activity with the excellently incorporated theories, peer reviews, and changing visible sectors. 

It’s not a game you’ll reach for all the time due to its brain burner nature, but when you do get it to the table it’s always a great time and a game that you appreciate with each and every turn.

Theme: 7/10
Replayability: 8/10
Components: 7/10
Conflict: 3/10
Fun: 5/10

Husband’s Rating
9 out of 10
Wife’s Rating
8 out of 10

Pros

Excellent companion app that makes this game work

Countless replayability due to the infinite combinations and double sided board

An extremely well laid out puzzle each and every time

Individual difficulty settings allow players of various experience levels to play together

Very well thought out components 

Unbelievably well designed in terms of gameplay

Cons

Might be a little too thinky

Can be a little overwhelming for brand new players

The possibility of messing up your entire game is still there, but in a way that's just part of this game.  If you made a mistake, you made a mistake, not someone else or the game.

Gameplay Experience:

The Search for Planet X Review

When I first saw The Search for Planet X, I knew instantly that it would be a game my wife would love and one I would probably be terrible at.  She could care less about the theme but this puzzle style board game is right up her alley, and I’m a sucker for a science space themed board game, so ultimately it made its way to our table.

The rules are pretty straightforward and well done but this game is so unique that it took a while to grasp everything.  All we had left to do was install the companion app on our devices and start a game there, entering our unique game code.

There are a lot of board games with companion apps but to date, I think this is the only one we have played where all players need it on their own personal device.  It seems cumbersome and like a big requirement but we promise it’s worth it, and works so well, and makes The Search for Planet X one of the best board games in this category.

Once we typed in our game code and selected our difficulty (we were tempted to choose youth, but we stuck with the recommended beginner) we got our own unique set of starting information about various sectors we would be exploring.  We would also get various research categories we could explore that define how items in each sector relate to each other, with these logic rules changing from game to game.

Sometimes you might be able to research the relationship between asteroids and comets, other times it might be something relevant to just gas clouds and many other various combinations or singular items in each sector.

The Search for Planet X Player Screen

We had a little tidbit of information now that we could use to continue our search for the location of Planet X.  We took our turns surveying the visible sectors, researching new relationships between the celestial beings and targeting specific sectors to check our findings while also taking notes of everything we were learning.

Throughout the game, we submitted our theories in hopes that we were correct, with eventual peer reviews informing whether they were right or wrong.  I was going hard on the theories due to some good luck, but quickly realized that each theory revealed gave my wife more and more information. 

She had been complaining she hadn’t found anything for sure yet, but my 3 theories had been correct up to this point.  It seemed like I was so far ahead, and I looked down at my notes and realized I knew where Planet X was!

I tried to hide my excitement, but before I could locate Planet X, it was time for another peer review.  My dwarf planet theory that I placed a few turns before got flipped over and confirmed.  With this new information, my wife started making a lot of new notes on her player sheet.  A lot of notes.

I hoped it wasn’t so, but she announced “She was locating Planet X this turn”.  Something I was about to do on my very next turn.  All my hard work had gotten me there, but all the theories I submitted had also helped her to get to the same conclusion, with my dwarf planet theory being the final nail in the coffin that brought all her research notes together.

She was successful and was the first to discover the location of Planet X with me also successfully finding it on my next and final turn.  Ultimately my successful theories still granted me the win but they had also almost cost me it.

Not only is The Search for Planet X one of the best puzzle games we have ever played, but it also has a lot of strategic game elements that work incredibly well with the puzzle.  Do you place that theory now or hold off to keep the information from your opponent?  If you wait too long you might not score though, and that theory is also a good check to make sure you’re correct about the item without wasting one of your target actions.

The Search for Planet X is such a multi-faceted game that works so well and is so interesting and unique.  Honestly, it is probably the closest thing to a perfect puzzle board game we have ever played.  It’s not one we play often just because it is such a brain burner but once it’s on the table it’s always a blast to play.  

The Search for Planet X Rules Summary:

Players take on the roles of astronomers searching for the elusive Planet X hidden in the solar system. The primary goal is to accurately identify the location of Planet X using deduction, logic, and inference.

The game uses a board that represents the sky placed between players and throughout the game it will depict what portion of the sky is visible for players to study.  This board will also be used to keep track of time and notify players of opportunities to submit theories, undergo peer reviews, and partake in a search for Planet X conference.  

The Search for Planet X Board

Before the game begins all players must have the game’s companion app installed on their device.  Once all players have the app, the starting player will initiate a game and all others will input that game’s unique code on their device.  This will make sure all player’s apps contain the correct information and setup for that particular round.

The Search for Planet X Player Sheet

Once players have recorded their initial starting information on their own personal player sheets they are ready to start the game.  Players each have their own player screen to hide their work that also lists all the actions they can take and the standard logic rules of the game.

The Search for Planet X Player screen and theory tokens

Players will take turns, taking actions such as conducting surveys, researching, and submitting theories, and moving their tokens on the time track an appropriate number of spaces.  The following are the actions players can take on their turn.

  • Survey: Players can search a range of sectors of the currently visible sky to determine how many of a certain object are within that range.  For example, a player can survey for asteroids in sectors 1-6, and the app will tell them how many asteroids are contained in those sectors.  
  • Research: Players can research various relationships between objects in the sky.  When taking this action players will pick an item or relationship they are interested in and the app will give a logic rule that applies to the current game.  Researching cannot be done two times in a row.
  • Target:  Players can target a certain sector to find what is actually in it.  They may only perform this action twice throughout the game.
  • Locate Planet X:  Once players think they have found Planet X, they can attempt to locate it.  They must know the sector it is in and also what is contained in its surrounding sectors.

These are the basic actions players can take and each has its respective time cost that will move players along the time track.  The player in last is the one who takes their turn so players who take lower-cost actions may get to take multiple turns in a row.

As players move along the board the visible sky sector will be moved to match the player furthest behind.  This means the sectors players can survey and target will be changing throughout the game.

Throughout the game players will reach opportunities to submit theories.  When these symbols are reached players will be able to place facedown tokens about theories they have about certain sectors.  In time they will be revealed and peer reviewed (through the companion app) and if they are correct, they will score that player points, but they will also provide their opponents with that information!

Once a player has successfully located Planet X all other players will either get a chance to also attempt to locate it or submit final theories depending on how far they are behind.  

After this players are awarded points based on whether they have located Planet X, how quickly they did it, and any correct theories they have submitted.  This means the first player to find Planet X isn’t necessarily always the winner.  

That is all there is to playing this amazing puzzle game.  The app guides you through everything making it fairly easy to learn and play.  It even has options for difficulty settings so players of all experience can play together.  

There is a second side to the board that has more sectors increasing the puzzle difficulty greatly for those who get really familiar with the game and are up for a challenge.

Conclusion:

Player Screen and Player Sheet The Search for Planet X

The Search for Planet X might just be the best of its kind.  It is the perfect brain teaser morphed into an excellent board game experience!  We have yet to play a game like it and especially not one better in this category.

Typically games like this fall prey to cumbersome tracking, convoluted rules and setup, and the high likelihood of errors that ruin the entire game in a very frustrating game.  All of these problems are solved by the amazingly implemented companion app.

The app is there for every player and the best part is it always has the correct information.  In other hidden space (deduction) games, other players’ mistakes can often throw off the game for everyone.  In the Search for Planet X, the only thing that can ruin your individual game is you, and in this case, that’s just part of the game, meaning if it happens it doesn’t sour anything.

On top of that, the app makes this game have an insane amount of replayability while making the setup of the “hidden information” non-existent while being precise and consistent about said information.  The various difficulties, research topics and their logic rules, and unique starting information for each player make sure every game is a great and satisfying puzzle.

We know many of you aren’t fans of app based board games but there’s no denying that the app is what makes The Search for Planet X work so well and one of the best puzzle board games ever.  

App aside, the rest of The Search for Planet X is so well done that it’s almost unbelievable how much thought and care has gone into making the actual board game aspects of it. 

I mean even the player sheets have symbols designating your actual physical position to the board so it’s easier to take correct notes and know what you’re looking at.  It sounds so trivial but it’s the cumulative effect of all these small details that let you know this is a great board game.

I think at this point you have probably gathered we are huge fans of this one.  In our opinion, The Search for Planet X is one of the best puzzle board games of all time and it will probably be some time before any game comes close to it at least for us.

It provides a very intricate and well-designed puzzle that is extremely thinky while still being almost relaxing to play.  And while it feels very solitaire to play it also is still very much a group activity with the excellently incorporated theories, peer reviews, and changing visible sectors. 

It’s not a game you’ll reach for all the time due to its brain burner nature, but when you do get it to the table it’s always a great time and a game that you appreciate with each and every turn.

Is The Search for Planet X Good For 2 Players?

The Search for Planet X is great for two players and plays pretty similarly to higher player counts.  The game will likely feel a bit different though.

When playing with more players, ultimately more theories will be submitted as players find information at various times.  Players will more quickly find out what items are contained within various sectors and ultimately the game will likely be shorter compared to playing the same game settings with just two.

At the same time though, there will be more downtime between players’ turns, especially if one player decides to take a high time cost action while everyone else takes a lower cost action.  Competition for placing theories will also be ramped up.

While these things aren’t negatives and instead just make the game feel slightly different, they can be adjusted for by using the expert side of the board which has 18 sectors instead of 12.  This would reduce the effect of revealed theories and little while also reducing the race to place them slightly.

I don’t think we can necessarily say whether two or more players is the better option for The Search for Planet X, they just provide two different experiences.  Two players results in a more chill, possibly slightly longer game, while more players ups the tension a little bit while also making the puzzle a little quicker and easier to solve as players can piggyback off of each other more.

Pros:

  • Excellent companion app that makes this game work. 
  • Countless replayability due to the infinite combinations and double sided board
  • An extremely well laid out puzzle each and every time
  • Individual difficulty settings allow players of various experience levels to play together
  • Very well thought out components  
  • Unbelievably well designed in terms of gameplay

Cons:

  • Might be a little too thinky if you’re not a fan of puzzles
  • Can be a little overwhelming for brand new players
  • The possibility of messing up your entire game is still there, but in a way that’s just part of this game.  If you made a mistake, you made a mistake, not someone else or the game.

Renegade Game Studios The Search for Planet X, 1-4 Players, Ages 13+, 60-75 Minutes, Take on The Role of Astronomers, Deduction Game
Renegade Game Studios The Search for Planet X, 1-4 Players, Ages 13+, 60-75 Minutes, Take on The Role of Astronomers, Deduction Game
Renegade Game Studios The Search for Planet X, 1-4 Players, Ages 13+, 60-75 Minutes, Take on The Role of Astronomers, Deduction Game

We hope this The Search for Planet X two player review has helped you.

Our reviews are not paid reviews, but some games are given to us, we do not let this affect our opinions in any way. This post may contain affiliate links so we might receive compensation if you sign up for or purchase products linked to. As an Amazon Associate, we can earn from qualifying purchases. This helps cover our site's costs and allows us to continue reviewing games.


If you would like, you can help others by sharing this The Search for Planet X board game review.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *