Review: Galaxy Trucker (Czech Games Edition) – English

The life of a trucker is not just a stroll through the park. For many people, being away from home for long periods of time and enjoying a petrol station meatball sandwich for dinner along the way sounds like the ultimate dream. There even is a whole community of people who play Euro Truck Simulator as if their life depended on it. But full nights being on the road, only enjoying the weekends with your sweetheart, roadhouses where you eat more often than at home? I’m glad I am not a trucker. Galaxy Trucker proves that the life of a trucker is not that easy. In this game players try to build a space truck and will act like real space truckers, in order to pilot a hefty load to the other side of the galaxy in their ramshackle truck. Along the way, they must dodge meteorites and space bandits, keep their crew alive and have enough room for their cargo. Will you put to the pedal to the metal or will your truck fall apart before you reach your final destination?

Galaxy Trucker is played in several phases. First players will build their truck and then go on a space journey (without extensively testing their truck first…). During the building phase, players will simultaneously build their space truck. From a stack of tiles, players will simultaneously (blindly) grab parts. The tiles contain all kinds of parts that players can attach to their truck and hopefully ensure that they crawl through space unscathed (or at least avoiding receiving damage as much as possible). Players can add lasers, rocket engines, cabs for crew and hitchhiking aliens, batteries and shields to their intergalactic truck, among other things. The parts must be able to be linked together. Each part contains one or more connections and not every connection fits together. Each truck must be airworthy, but also have enough room for crew and cargo, and enough defenses against the dangers of space. In addition, players also try to create the most beautiful truck with the fewest open connections.

The first player to “finish” his or her truck is the first to enter space and is therefore also the furthest along the space track. The other players then have limited time to build. When players enter space they are exposed to several dangers that are listed onwards that are shuffled through a deck of cards. The game contains many cards and thus a lot of variation in hazards. Meteorites and laser attacks may cause players to lose parts of their ship. For example, if a part with an open connection is hit by a small meteorite, this part explodes. If there are other parts attached to it that are not otherwise connected to the ship, the player also loses these parts (i.e. tiles). All lost tiles result in minus points at the end of the round.

Once all dangers have been thwarted (or escaped), points are awarded. The player who has come the furthest (and whose truck has not broken down along the way due to lack of engines or crew or otherwise) gets the most credits (points). The most beautiful ship (least open exits) also gets credits and players also get credits for the cargo they managed to transport safely. The player who has managed to collect the most credits after three rounds has won!

Galaxy Trucker is rightfully a modern classic. The re-release gives the game a fine new look and has streamlined the rules. The game is a delightful chaos and (in a positive sense) cacophony of different game elements that drives players into a hugely entertaining frenzy. No truck is well built and the dangers are always surprising. Thus, it is also not a question of which player manages to build the best truck, but which truck is the least unsuccessful. Real-time building is obviously entertaining, but the hazards put the builds to the test in a fun way. Because the hazards are a surprise, you are never quite sure if your “strategy” for building is the best one. This game is hilarious and definitely recommended! Pedal to the metal and play away! Keep on spacetrucking!