May 29, 2015
We just had to try Galaxy Trucker. For real…
The tutorial is important, and helps one understand the intricacies of gameplay. An instructor is assigned to show one the basic ins and outs, and via dialogue boxes, cutscenes and pulsing graphics, the game concept readily emerges.
Folks knowledgeable with the board game will be on familiar turf. Backstory? We are talking about interstellar travel, and huge corporations are still a serious thingie. The major entity here is Corporation Incorporated, and it is a sewer-building company that is looking for space drivers — ah… Galaxy Truckers — to haul stuff from place to place for potential profits. Potential drivers can build spacecraft from materials and using a generalized set of rules governing placement. After that, it is a race to see who can get to the endpoint fastest, and ultimately, with the most profit.
The player starts out by building the aforementioned space ship. Out of sewer prefab, by the way. This portion of the game pays unabashed ode to its board game origins, as it is a battle to pull random, virtual cards from a pile. The idea is to get the pieces that can help out with game endeavors: rockets, engine, cargo holds and more. When ships are finished, the competition ramps up, with activity cards becoming a part of the process. These give a player an opportunity to things — take on jobs, if you will — for cash payouts. Not so fast though, because the way one creates the ship determines what one can transport. And then, there are other parts like meteor showers that need to be defended against too.
Decisions have consequences, because it is in essence a race of sorts. Taking jobs and other events can slow fliers down. The idea is to pick opportunities carefully, and avoid dangers. Everything is tallied at the end: profits, ship damage deductions, speed bonuses and more. Whichever racer has more wins.
The mix of the whimsical and the logical is quite engaging. Take the shipbuilding exercise; the sewer pieces are funny, but constructions best practices (like the placement of specific pieces) give it a sensible feel. The combination of card play, pseudo-racing, strategy and defense make for a handsome gameplay. Toss in multiple play modes (online, local turn-based, single player versus game AI) and one sees why the game can be tough to put down.
Porting board games to mobile platforms can be tough, as a lot of the the aspects that make it compelling in “real” life sometimes get lost in translation. Not to with this one.
Well done, Czech Games Edition. Well done.