Multiplayer Game of the Year 2014 Runner-up: Galaxy Trucker

By Dave Neumann 17 Dec 2014 0
Reveal the next adventure. Reveal the next adventure.

There’s always excitement when a new digital board game port is announced, particularly when it’s pulled from the top 100 games over at BGG. So there was much cooing and polishing of iPads when Czech Games Edition announced that much-loved board game Galaxy Trucker would be their first port for tablets, but with was one black hole-sized caveat: how would simulataneous, real-time multiplayer work?

Those doubts were eminently well-founded -- there are no other board game like Galaxy Trucker in a digital format. The cardboard version of Galaxy Trucker consists of players sitting around a mountain of cardboard chits, each grabbing and putting chits back as fast as they can go. How would you simulate the pile of chits digitally? What if two people reach for the same chit? How in the hell was this going to work?

As it turned out, beautifully. Playing a real-time multiplayer game of Galaxy Trucker is so close to playing the cardboard version that it’s a bit hard to believe while you’re doing it. The interface is smooth and tiles from other players slide back into the pile for your perusal just like in the cardboard version.

Vlaada Chvátil and everyone at CGE wasn’t finished, though. They knew that real-time multiplayer for tablets is somewhat a pain and asynchronous is king. The mechanisms of Galaxy Trucker prevented any sort of asynchronous experience, however, so they sat down and created new mechanisms that allow Galaxy Trucker to be played asynchronously and still maintain the feel of the board game.

Couple all this dedication for a solid multiplayer experience with the unexpectedly diverse grab bag of options you have for creating an online game, and Galaxy Trucker stands as a beacon to future board game developers on how to do multiplayer right. That Galaxy Trucker's online multiplayer worked at all was a pleasant surprise -- that it was nothing short of genius makes it one of the most remarkable games of 2014.


To see all of the games recognised in the Pocket Tactics Best of 2014 Awards, visit the 2014 Awards Index page.
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