Chairman of the Board: Hazardous Space

Illustration by Ed Appleby
Illustration by Ed Appleby

‘Galaxy Trucker’ board game review

By Ed Appleby, Illustrator

Space… there is a lot of it. And we’re going to sail this convoy right across it!

Galaxy Trucker is a tile-laying game for 2–4 players designed by Vlaada Chvátil and published by Czech Games Edition in 2007. Players take on the role of employees for Corporation Incorporated, the galaxy-wide leader in sewage treatment facilities. It’s your job to build a ship from pipes and manhole covers and fly it across the galaxy, all the while protecting it from space pirates, war zones, and asteroid fields. Players sell their wares at the end of their trip, scoring extra points for arriving first and keeping their ship beautiful. The player with the most credits after three rounds wins.

The game is divided into two sequences—building and flying. During the build sequence, the players frantically grab at tiles in order to build their ship. Each tile has a function as well as one of two types of connections. The build is timed, and once time runs out it’s time to fly. During the flight stage, the players have to test their ship builds against the hazards of space, as well as salvage any cargo they may come across.

The build stage has a frantic feel to it, as you try to make the best ship you can and anticipate any possible dangers you might face. The flight round has sort of a random, fatalistic feel where you see all of your hopes dashed before your eyes. Each round gets more intense as you build larger ships to face bigger challenges.

I loved this game for the writing’s light, comedic edge. It even manages to make the destruction of your ship seem almost comical. It is well balanced between strategy, chance, and player competition. I would recommend this game to anyone who likes the work of Douglas Adams, or for any group that needs a break from more serious fare.