Space, the final… marketplace for capitalism.
Galactic Cruise was a pleasant surprise for us at Gen Con this year. Still in the prototype phase and featuring bare bones utilitarian graphics for play testing, we had no idea what to expect. However, the gorgeous Ian O’Toole cover art on the box, the only complete piece of art at the time, was enough to pique our interest before we sat down to learn about the game.
In Galactic Cruise the players are competing to score the most points by developing commercial space flights for wealthy patrons to explore the cosmos. You will be constructing rockets, advertising flight plans, conducting research, and guiding passengers to their destinations.
Galactic Cruise is a crunchy worker placement euro game where every action is intertwined with other actions and mechanisms. You can develop links between adjacent actions to give yourself more options in the future. You can research technologies that change the way you interact with actions on the board. It is a complex game in the way you need to plan your actions in advance. What sets it apart from other heavy euro games with complex systems is the way the designers have found to always reward the player. An example of this is if someone wants to go to the space you are already in, they bump your worker back to your board which triggers a reward for you, and also gives you your worker back to be used for another turn. There are no dead turns where all you do is pass or take your workers back. You are always doing something that moves you towards your end goal.
Another highlight from the demo was the mechanic for space travel. One of the primary ways to earn points is to launch rockets, but rather than just scoring points when you launch and moving on, you will actually guide the rocket along its flight path with stops in the path corresponding to actual game turns and the reward only paying off once the rocket reaches its final destination. You can go for quick points on short flights or build up for an ambitious long distance mission that will pay off big at the end, but you better not wait too long or you could run out of time before the game ends.
Going back to the beginning, the box art was a teaser of what is to come. The mechanical core of the game is solid and the complex systems you get to play with seem fun to try to wrap your mind around, but art and graphic design can make or break a game. There is no one better at weaving art and graphic design into a cohesive and clear play experience than Ian O’Toole. We fully expect Galactic Cruise to look just as amazing as it plays once Ian is done with it.
Galactic Cruise is coming to Kickstarter soon.
A life long video gamer, Mark caught the Tabletop itch in college and has been hooked ever since. Epic two player strategy games are his favorites but he enjoys pretty much everything on the tabletop, just no Werewolf please. When he gets a break from changing diapers and reading bedtime stories he can usually be found researching new games or day dreaming about maybe one day having time for a ttrpg. Some of Mark's favorite games are Star Wars: Rebellion, A Feast for Odin, and Nemesis.