Galaxy Trucker 2nd Edition - Review

Game designer Vlaada Chvátil has become something of a household name among tabletop types in recent years.  His contribution to the board game industry is impressive, as are more than a few of his design efforts.  Notable works include the vaunted Mage Knight, the Codenames series of games and Galaxy Trucker.  The latter title recently gained itself an updated second edition, so how does this game from 2007 fare with its fresh coat of paint?  

Setting Course

As in the original game, Galaxy Trucker 2nd Edition sees players in the role of space-faring truck drivers engaging traversing between planets to deliver their cargo, all the while, navigating through asteroid fields, engaging in combat with, or avoiding pirates, or gathering even more cargo to deliver to their destination all in an effort to turn a profit.  The trick is to keep your ship in one piece until you get there.

Systems Online

Players construct ships in real time by first turning the included hourglass then selecting random tiles which represent different parts of the ship, one tile might be a weapon, the next a power cell, another an engine etc.  Players will need to balance their construction to ensure they have what they need to get to the end of the line. It’s not unusual for a player to construct a ship, then find they forgot to include power cells resulting in useless weapons or engines.  Or perhaps they made the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy only to forget to add cargo holds, resulting in no profits that run.  This construction phase is, for me, the best part of the game.  The satisfaction of creating a ship that has just the right configuration of systems tickles the reward centres of my simple brain. 

But the true test of a ship comes in the journey, players flip cards revealing the next event on their route then resolve that event.  For example, there may be a meteor shower incoming so you’ll need to destroy larger pieces with your weapons while relying on your shields to deflect the smaller rocks. Any that make it through will destroy any section of the ship they impact. This can result in entire rooms being lost to space, perhaps taking other vital systems with them.  If you’re not destroyed during the ship, then chances are your ship will be limping into port by the end of the round. 

Cargo Secured

Galaxy Trucker includes a range of gorgeous components, from little green Tic-Tac like power cells and coloured translucent cubes representing the different values of cargo, to rubberised crew members. The player boards are made of a thick, sturdy card stock and each one includes three increasing sizes of ship to build. The artwork is crisper and brings the overall design more into line with the official app version of the game, creating a more consistent style.

Likes

  • The frantic race against the timer to assemble a space worthy vessel is great fun!

  • Component quality is high, the plastic tokens for power cells, crew and cargo offer a lovely tactile experience to an otherwise flat, cardboard-on-the-table experience.

  • The new single journey variation allows for faster shorter games meaning more opportunities to engage in the far more enjoyable ship building process.

 

Dislikes

  • There’s not a lot of depth to the game, so if you’re looking for something a bit heavier, you may be disappointed.

  • More variation in the hazards faced on journeys would be a welcome addition as I felt I’d seen most of what the game.

 

Final Destination

Galaxy Trucker 2nd Edition is a thoroughly enjoyable real-time ship building race against the clock with a premise that just makes sense once you see how all the pieces fit together, both literally and figuratively. The kind of game that will have players wanting to test their ship-constructing mettle time and again.  If you’re looking for a light, fast and easy to learn game to introduce new players or for a no stress experience for game night, then Galaxy Trucker delivers!

 


That's it for this week, but we'll be back with more, so check back often!  If you have any thoughts on Galaxy Trucker, the blogs or anything else game related, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below or over on our Game Kings Gamers page where we have one of the best gaming communities this side of Alpha Cenaturi!  Until next time, secure those bulkheads and for goodness sake leave the airlock release alone or it'll be the Kevin fiasco all over again!

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