Released in 1977 by Eon Games, Cosmic Encounters evolved from an simple yet elegant four person role-playing game to a mature, six-to-eight player game with a surprising amount of elegant complexity. The original game grew to include nine expansion sets, and then was re-released by West End Games in 1987, and is now sold by Mayfair Games (each new release was a departure from the original Eon version).
Game play revolves around "alien powers" that the players assume. Each alien power allows a given player the option to modify specific rules of the game to their advantage. Working together (with "allies") or alone, players conduct battles on each other's "home worlds" in the ultimate goal of achieving enough bases on their friend's and foe's worlds to claim victory. Even the victory condition is fluid, and can change depending upon the specific alien powers in play in the game (in the full Eon edition, there are seventy-five alien powers).
Fans of the game have added new alien powers, new aspects (e.g. "Hazards") and have tried to keep the original version in circulation despite it being long out of print. Many who have experienced it playfully call it "Lawyers in Space" because of the complexity that arises from the game's novel design. Cosmic Encounters is even on the Internet, as the original game designers are working on a Java version that is open to all interested parties.
Most of the links in this section are to fan-based content.