Galaxy Trucker
Galaxy Trucker

My extremely generous sister and brother-in-law gave me Galaxy Trucker: Anniversary Edition for Xmas, but I failed a bunch of saves since then and haven’t been able to play the damn thing. Another frustrating achievement unlocked!

But a $5 investment on Google Play has given me hours of solo galaxy trucking fun while I’ve been sick. (It’s also $5 for iPhones, but $8 for iPads.) The app is gorgeous and well thought out — not just a flat port of the tabletop game. It adds a great tutorial and campaign mode, plus interesting multiplayer and other modes. Best of all, it makes me hungry to play the damn tabletop game, so it’s firing on all cylinders.

Galaxy Trucker is played in two phases: Building and Hauling. The first phase is more immediately competitive, as players draw on a shared pool of tiles to construct spaceships out of components like engines, cabins, shields, cannons, and more. Each tile has 1-4 connectors, which makes finishing a ship without exposed connectors challenging. The second phase starts at launch, and each ship handles a set of challenges drawn randomly from an Adventure deck. These include fighting pirates (which requires plenty of firepower), landing on planets to acquire trade goods (which requires plenty of cargo space), and exploring abandoned spacecraft (which requires plenty of crew). All the while, players jockey for position in an effort to reach their destination first and in one piece.

It’s great fun, and while I haven’t yet explored the multiplayer options, they look just as well designed as the rest of the app. I still haven’t finished the campaign, but I’m sure that I’ll keep playing long after I do.