Race For The Galaxy was the first game I played that forced me to use my plans as currency. What a concept!
It’s a board game (or a card game if you want to get quibbly) but there’s a decent enough digo-version. You and up to three other players are competing to establish control over the galaxy, and you do that by building up a tableau of cards. You’ll probably have some planets that generate resources, some facilities that let you turn those resources into points, and a bunch of miscellaneous factories and outposts that tweak what else is possible.
To build any of that, though, you’ll need to discard other cards from your hand. It’s an extremely slick way of getting you to weigh up worth, and of handing you control and consequences without overwhelming you with information. That collides nicely with the phase-selection system, where you’re asked to choose which type of cards you’ll definitely get to play – and to bank on one of your opponents choosing the phase that you absolutely need to happen.
It’s great at punishing greed, and excellent at rewarding long-term planning. Race ahead and grab it on Steam, why not.