A Great Digital Version!
Please note that I received a review copy of Galaxy Trucker from the publisher for review purposes.
As you may know, I have a HUGE board game collection. It sits somewhere just over 200 games, but there are great titles that I don’t have for one reason or another. Galaxy Trucker is one of them. It’s always been a game that has interested me with its real-time, frantic, ship-building action that is mixed with random events that may-or-may-not end up destroying your hard work. There just aren’t a lot of games like it out there, so it is a very unique one on that front.
However, I never even gave it a go in all these years. I tend to not really enjoy real-time games, even digitally, with only a few rare exceptions. The idea of building this awesome spaceship, just to have it (probably) fall to ruin, kind of puts me off too. Plus, in the physical version it is a bit fiddly sounding. When I was offered a chance to take a look at the upcoming release of Galaxy Trucker for Steam I jumped at the chance to finally give this a go. I’m sure glad I did too, and here’s why!
What is Galaxy Trucker?
I’ve already kind of mentioned this, but Galaxy Trucker is a game where you have to quickly assemble a spaceship in real-time in order to transport goods from planet-to-planet. Unfortunately, space is fairly dangerous and things likely won’t go as you plan. Your ship will almost certainly have pieces fall off during the journey, which could end up hurting your bottom line!
You do this by going through tiles piled up on, “the table” face-down. If you find a piece you like, and more importantly, that fits, you can add it to your ship. Be careful though! Once you start looking for more pieces and think you are going to save or add a new one, you can’t move any of the previous pieces anymore. This results in a frantic puzzle-like experience, but one that is actually a lot more fun than it sounds.
After you complete your ship, or another player triggers the timer to count down, a short amount of time is given to everybody to make last-minute additions. Then, you fly your ship through space, represented by a semi-random deck of cards (which you can look at in part during the building process) hoping to be the most successful trucker in the end with minimal damages to your ship.
About the Digital Version
Originally, the digital version of the game was released in 2014, with an expansion released later in 2016 but the Steam version has everything all included with just an extra level of polish. It is a seriously well-put-together digital version.
Included are some extra features unique to the digital version. You get a full single-player campaign which has a surprising amount of depth to it. Some of the missions are quite difficult, but never frustrating. As mentioned, you get a free expansion, “Alien Technologies” right away. Additionally, you have a small challenge mode for single-player as well.
If you are looking to play with real people, the digital version has you covered. You can play online against other folks or locally even. Personally, I haven’t felt the need to even explore this yet and I have nearly 10 hours of play in the game already.
What if you don’t like the real-time component of the game, but everything else sounds good? Don’t worry because Galaxy Trucker has you covered! There is a turn-based mode, which is good. I actually thought I’d prefer this mode, but the real-time ended up being a lot more enjoyable. You may just be surprised because it was not stressful like I had anticipated.
Lastly, the benefit of the Steam version is you can be both quick and accurate when constructing your ship. On mobile, this would be more difficult without a stylus or something. While building the ship is part of what makes Galaxy Trucker hard, you can mitigate randomness and risk as you build by looking at the cards for the random events. It’s a game with near perfect information, because only a few cards are set aside that you can’t see during building.
I know for a fact that this is a calmer version than the physical game, but I think that’s what makes this so appealing. Galaxy Trucker is easy to learn, so easy you could teach it to a child even, but at the same time, this is a game with a lot more depth than you may first see at-a-glance. While RNG can get the best of you, which may be a turnoff for some, it can be mitigated. With good planning, strategy, and a little luck, you’ll find that doing well in the game is not actually that difficult.
For $9.99, you are getting a ton of content! I’d start with the campaign so you can really explore the mechanics and have a chance to master them. Some things may take a little practice, but you’ll find yourself doing well in no time. If you enjoy puzzles and light strategy games, then Galaxy Trucker is a must! The game releases 3/7/19 on Steam and comes with my full recommendation.
Have you played Galaxy Trucker before? Will you be getting the digital edition? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you would like to support my writing efforts, please consider using my donation button. Finally, thank you so much for reading and I hope you have yourself an excellent day!