Board/Card Game of the Year 201418 Dec 2014 0
Making a quality board game port is a tall order. Especially when you're a rookie developer. Especially when your game relies so heavily on its tactility and frantic pace. Czech Games Edition's announcement that the company would venture from the realm of cardboard into the murky waters of iOS would have rightly raised a few skeptical eyebrows. It should have brought out the doomsayers. Instead, it resulted in one of the best adaptions of all time.
Galaxy Trucker is, above all else, a funny game. It's about desperately searching for the one piece you need to complete your ship made of sewer pipes, then watching in horror as your work is torn to pieces by asteroids and your crew hauled off by slavers. It's about laughing at the schadenfreude as the same thing happens to your friends. Translating these sensations from the tabletop to the sometimes-sterile glow of a touch screen is no easy task, but CGE made it look like one. And they weren't content to stop there.
This is no slapdash port. It features new challenges, and an all-new turn-based mode for asynchronous play. Its beautiful animations and sound effects make Galaxy Trucker a full-fledged video game without shedding its analog roots.
Most importantly, there is the campaign. Most board game adaptions give the solo-minded player a few AI options, but this is not enough for Galaxy Trucker. Instead it sends the player on an epic journey across a quest-filled galaxy. The missions available are varied and often surprising, and the writing is genuinely funny. Board games are usually about having fun with friends, but Galaxy Trucker's sprawling storyline is a standout, not an afterthought.
Galaxy Trucker's spaceships may be barely-functional, hobbled-together monstrosities, but the game itself is a careful labor of love. No matter what mode you play, it is obvious the amount of thought and care that went into every single aspect, from the mechanics to the interface to the writing to the art. It takes its place beside titans like Carcassonne and Agricola as an esteemed member of the mobile board game pantheon.
Runner-up: BattleLore Command
Honourable Mention: Hearthstone, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Talisman Digital Edition
To see all of the games recognised in the Pocket Tactics Best of 2014 Awards, visit the 2014 Awards Index page.