In another of our regular board game spotlights, Zatu Games struggles to remember the face of its mother through the ever-thickening fog of time, but whatever happens, it will never forget Galaxy Trucker, the 2007 release from publisher Czech Games Edition and designer Vlaada Chvátil.
Galaxy Trucker pulls the old Battlefield Earth and deftly combines the worlds of sci-fi and sewage, casting players as drivers for the legally legitimate sounding Corporation Incorporated.
Just like protein synthesis, the game consists of two phases. First, the accurately named building phase, in which players are given access to a selection of components with which to construct their interplanetary bin lorry. Players grab component tiles from a face-down pool in the middle. If they decide they don’t want that particular component, they return it to the middle face up. Once the timer runs out, building is over and whatever technological monstrosity you’ve created is with you for the long haul.
Next comes the flying phase, in which players must contend with a series of cards that bring pirates, PvP combat, asteroids, worlds from which they must collect goods, diseases, and basically everything you get if you tie Jerry Bruckheimer to Michael Bay and jettison them into a black hole.
There’s a crucial trade off here… Players need credits to win. Dealing with the events on these flight cards gives them those. So, however, does being the furthest forward on the flight path by the end of the round, and dealing with cards sets you back. Players must decide which is more important: shivving a pirate or caning it into the vacuum.
This process repeats over three rounds, with points for delivering goods and maintaining a ship-shape ship accumulating over each. Every new round allows the player to build a larger ship. Once the final leviathans have reached their last stop, the most heavily a-credit-ted (ha) player wins.
Czech Games Edition was founded in 2007, when it published the successful Galaxy Trucker. They pride themselves on publishing games from Czech and Slovak designers, and all their releases are manufactured in the Czech Republic.
Since then the company have released more than 20 different games and expansions. All of the games that they create are developed, play-tested and manufactured in the Czech Republic.
Vlaada Chvátil is a board game and video game designer from the Czech Republic. He has been designing board games since 1997, and is well known for his unique style of rulebook, one that divides the game mechanics into ‘learning scenarios’ leading up to the full game.
We reviewed his most recent release, Codenames Pictures, earlier this year.
If you like facilitating the removal of contaminants from wastewater, but in space, buy Galaxy Truckers from Zatu!