Star Realms card game was born as a successful Kickstarter project.
Back in 2013 the creators (partly responsible for Ascension, too) reached the $20,000 funding goal in less than 5 days.
Now in 2015 it’s released as both physical deck and multi-platform digital game (iOS/Android, Windows, Mac). It’s a 2 player a spaceship combat deck-building game, average playing time is 20 minutes. If you want to play with 3-4 players, you can do it, but you’ll need two copies of the deck.
As you play, you make use of Trade to acquire new Ships and Bases from the cards being turned face up in the Trade Row from the Trade Deck. You use the Ships and Bases you acquire to either generate more Trade or to generate Combat to attack your opponent and their bases. When you reduce your opponent’s score (called Authority) to zero, you win.
I’ve played it for a few hours on a train, and it’s quite enjoyable. It’s absolutely easy to learn, especially if you’re familiar with deck-building games.
Star Realms uses a faction system that allows cards to have multiple effects based on other cards in your possession.
But unlike other deck-building games, here you need to select cards based on which other factions you have in your hand because faction powers are only activated when another card from that faction is also in play.