Saturday, May 9, 2009
Keep truckin', like the doodah man...
Woohoo! Galaxy Trucker!
The other night we wrapped up a tad early with our Dark Heresy game, so we gave Galaxy Trucker a spin around the block and kicked the tires. It was fun, a lot of fun. At first, trying to learn all of the tiles involved with shipbuilding I thought to myself "This is way too complicated..." but it came together rather nicely and ended up being a lot of fun to play with a rules system that was quick, easy, and intuitive. Most of all, and since I've mentioned it twice now in the first paragraph...it was fun.
The board(s) in action, sorry for the cell phone pics
The caption link up top is going to give a thorough and in-depth review from a trusted source and do a much better job than I could here. For us though, we've never played it before, in fact we were still punching out playing pieces while we were setting up, but it played fast and easy. You're playing truckers...space truckers. You throw together a ship, rather randomly at the beginning of the game, ensuring to add battery cells, laser cannons, engine thrusters, crew compartments, and cargo holds. You'll want as many of everything you can snag, by the way, but good luck cramming it all in!
Everything links together via 'connectors' on the tiles themselves, if you can't link up the tiles, they can't be built. At the end of the shipbuilding phase you get to check your opponent and make sure they're legit. If not, you dismantle their ship accordingly. Once built, you literally race around a space 'track' picking up cargo along the way. At the end of the race you get space bucks (or whatever they're called) for each piece of cargo you've got.
There are also special action cards where you can salvage a hulk, attack smugglers, get smacked by asteroids, and the like. All the upgrades on your ship (or lack thereof) determine your success against these obstacles and more. The complicated setup makes me wary that the casual player, but if they just give it a chance, it's not as bad as you think, and you can get right into racing and trucking. The races are scalable too, you start with small freighters, then work your way up race after race to bigger ships.
My ship; The Cosmic Cash Cow
The components that come with the game are plentiful and full of character, some might even call the plastic spaceman 'meeples' "cute". The overall package oozes high production value, and makes the steep price tag easier to swallow. There are instances where you can shoot one another, but I got the vibe that wasn't a core mechanic, dodging aliens, smugglers, and the like seemed like the top zany factor. It seems to be an overall solid game, and promises a lot of fun at parties, but has enough replay value that a gaming group can make it a regular game in their rotation. I'll definitely play it again.