Played on Monday, 7/31/17
Awesome Level: 3/5
Recommended Age: 9+
Play Time: 45 minutes
Learning Curve: Easy – Medium (10-15 minute teaching time)
Description: Galaxy Truckers is a competitive tile-laying game played in 2 phases: Building and Flying. In the Building phase, players must build the best ship they can in a limited time, all while other players raid the same pool of pieces trying to build their own ships. Once all ships have been constructed, players enter the Flying phase and venture into treacherous space. They may run into meteor showers, abandoned ships, planets full of goods to cash in, or even dangerous space pirates! At the end of the journey, players cash in what goods they still have on their ship, and get extra space cash for arriving quickly and keeping their ship together.
The game progresses over 3 journeys in total, each time upgrading the ship size and capacity, as well as the rewards granted. At the end of the 3 journeys, the player with the most cash wins.
Further Thoughts: this is a curious game. On the one hand, it offers frenetic, fast-paced creative decisions in the form of little square pieces that each correspond to an aspect of your ship (and putting them together in limited time is probably the BEST part of the game as you struggle to create the best ship you can to survive the treacherous trip through space). On the other hand, its high luck ratio can really mess up players. Build your ship a little risky? One wrong roll and it’s ripped in half. Oops. But the game makes up for this by offering 3 rounds, and moving quickly, so players can learn from their mistakes without feeling cheated.
The game likes to poke fun at futuristic corporate and its obvious that the rule writers have a sense of humor. That being said, there are a few things I recommend doing to keep things running smooth. 1) Each round, let players choose 1 good (no Reds) to put in their ship. Because only 8 cards are selected to represent your trip, you may NEVER pull a planet to get more goods, in which case your purpose is immensely diminished. 2) Have a pre-build without the timer so players can get used to what pieces they’re looking at and learn the rules of how they must connect. …then clear the boards, flip the timer, and get ready for the mayhem! 3) Play through the game twice if you have the time. You learn A LOT in that first play-through, and repeat plays are the best way to experiment with more crazy builds. (just be careful not to break the Laws of Physics – they fine you for that sort of thing!)
It’s silly. It’s funny. I highly recommend it for any gaming group and/or family looking to play something that is greatly aware of its own humor and can be a blast to play over and over again.
Galaxy Truckers is published by the Czech Games Edition, and designed by the awesome Vlaada Chvatil, with art by Tomáš Kučerovský and Radim Pech. You can find it in most board game hobby shops and always on the great and wonderful Amazon.com (it has 2 expansions out now, as well as an anniversary edition).
NEXT TIME: Steampunk Rally! 8/14/17