What a long, strange trip it's been: Galaxy Trucker incoming24 Jun 2014 0
Galaxy Trucker is a game of two halves. In the first half, players are simultaneously racing to build a spaceship from a shared collection of tiles. Here's where players need to plan ahead for the dangers that lurk on the next journey. Do I need guns? How many? How much extra energy do I need? Shields? How many engines? Should I bring along some aliens with me? How much crew should I take? Of course, you're trying to make these decisions at the same time as your opponent with a timer running, so there's no time to sit and ponder.
The second half of the game involves sitting back in your chair and hoping your spaceship doesn't fall apart. Hoping because you have very little control over the horrors that will befall your intrepid crew once the second half of the game begins. From here on out, you're going to need a little luck to survive.
Earlier this week, Czech Games Edition announced that the digital version of Galaxy Trucker would be landing on our iPads in September, and Android tablets shortly thereafter.
The big questions about this digital implementation are how will the simultaneous ship-building take place, and will people unfamiliar with the source material enjoy the hilarity and pathos that Galaxy Trucker evokes.
The implementation is taking two routes: simultaneous real-time play and asynchronous play. I was lucky enough to play the current build a few weeks ago and was amazed at how much simultaneous play felt like the board game. It is very much like sitting around the table and playing, except you never have to stand up to reach tiles on the other side of the table. The asynchronous system was developed specially for the app so players could play this very real-time game asynchronously. It involves action points and tiles shifting to rows at the top of the screen and it seems to work, but definitely misses out of the frantic mess that you'd expect from Galaxy Trucker.
The thing to remember about Galaxy Trucker is that it's not a serious game. It's not so random that a good player won't consistently beat a poor player, but it's not unusual to finish trucking runs with no ship, no crew, and no money. It's the way your ship dies that makes the game interesting and fun. Will people buy into that? We can only hope.
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