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Galactic Cruise Kickstarter Review from Brad

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Quick Look: Galactic Cruise


Designers: T.K. King, Dennis Northcott, Koltin Thompson

Artist: Ian O’Toole
Publisher: Kinson Key Games
Year Published: 2025 (Currently live on Kickstarter – March, 2024)

No. of Players: 1-4
Ages: 14+
Playing Time: 90-150 minutes.
 
Find more info HERE.
Foreword:

I’ve been following this title and design journey for a very long time, possibly the longest I’ve followed and participated in any game journey. I’ve playtested it with the designers a half dozen times via TTS at various stages of its development, including a demo livestream. Seeing the game finally launch and have immediate success feels fantastic. I was proud to take part in the journey and to support this amazing team.

I received this prototype from the publisher and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the near-final form. NOTE: This prototype is close but not the final product. The game will have custom game trays, a box size change, as well as misc component changes. The final product is showcased on their Kickstarter campaign page which is live as I write this review and there is a direct link at the bottom.

From the Publisher:

Hello, and welcome to Galactic Cruise. Here, we offer our guests something special: the comfort of a luxury cruise with the innovation of space travel. As the first company to offer extended-stay space vacations, we are excited to have you working for us!
As a supervisor of this company, you’ll be expected to not only build these shuttles and satisfy our guests, but also to help the company thrive by enhancing our company network, inventing new technologies, and growing our workforce.
We are a united company, and you’ll often find that what another supervisor does will make your job easier. Let me be clear, though, this is a competition. The supervisor who comes out on top will become CEO of the company.

Disclaimer: The publisher provided the prototype copy of Galactic Cruise The opinions expressed in the review are completely my own. 


Review:


Initial Impression/Components:

The custom meeples and components were interesting, and solid. There is a very large quantity of items included in this game. I was very happy with the thickness, durability, and overall visual appearance of each. The final game will be all the more impressive. Art by the renowned Ian O’Toole is understandably next level.

 

Favorite:
My favorite part was the way they addressed limited choices typical in worker placement games. They have a bumping mechanism if you want to choose the same space (providing the opponent with a return bonus) and they also have developments you build up along the way to access nearby spaces. To further open the available choices, you can use opponents’ developments as well for a cost. 
Least Favorite:

It’s shameful to admit, but I love medium-heavy and heavy games but I have to suffer through their rulebooks unless I can convince a friend to learn it first and teach me. Normally, that’s exactly what I do, and I have a number of very generous and quick-learning friends who take on the task. For this game, where I had played a bunch of editions before it didn’t make sense to ask someone else to take on the task so it was left to me. Reading the rulebook would be my least favorite, as it is in any title. It’s a fair bit to get through and the setup takes a long time but it’s worth it.

Mechanics:
– Action Points
– Connections
– End Game Bonuses
– Hand Management
– Income
– Market
– Modular Board
– Multi-Use Cards
– Open Drafting
– Set Collection
– Solo / Solitaire Game
– Track Movement
– Variable Set-up
– Victory Points as a Resource
– Worker Placement
– Worker Placement, Different Worker Types
 
Rules:
The game is medium/heavy so there are too many rules to explain in a quick review. However, each turn you generally do 1 of 3 things. FYI there are 12 actions on the board to choose from.
  1. Recall all workers and take 1 action
  2. Place a worker and take 2 actions
  3. Launch a shuttle
Here is a link to the full rulebook:
Components (Image):
Areas they did well:
– Worker Placement/Action Selection
– Access to other areas through developments
– Technologies with extra abilities open to all and variable
– Variable setup in general (tech/expert worker ability/etc)
– Allowing 2 actions a turn and still 1 action when you recall workers
– Day at space and destinations
– Guest Types
– Resource management and equally important resources
– Close games and exciting finish
– Components visual appeal and quality
– Art Style
– Dual use for agenda cards
– Clear rules and Excellent Iconography
– Effective quick reference
– Double layered boards
– Fast-paced turns and gameplay
– Scoring milestones and end game scoring abilities
– Bumped workers and recalled workers bonuses
 
Areas they could have improved:
 
– Takes a long time to set up
– Takes up a lot of space on the table
– Rulebook is clear but some parts are harder to digest (I may not have had final draft)
– I know it was there for the “Facility Tour” but I didn’t like the dotted line making its way around the board to shot the various sectors. I found it distracting and unnecessary for me.
Interesting moment:
During my latest game, at my FLGS, I was winning by a sizable number of points. When it came time for end of game scoring, an opponent had a really great end-scoring strategy and racked up a huge number of points. Neither of us thought it would have been likely to be a close game until we counted it up. The crazy part is the game ended in a tie! We both ended with 135 pts and it came down to a tie-breaker. It was an exciting finish, especially where it opened up an unexpected underdog ending. I had played this game about 10 times (if you count earlier playtesting) and though the games were usually close, it was the first time I got to see a tie.
Overall:
Once you get past the setup and do a quick pass through the rules, this game plays very smoothly. Anyone that’s somewhat experienced with other games will also find this game very easy to pick up as the symbology and iconography are excellent, making the game intuitive. It does take a while to finish, but if you are looking for a meatier experience with a euro feel, then you’ve come to the right place. Who wouldn’t want to cruise among the stars?!
 
Final Thoughts:
I have been both a quiet and vocal fan of this project as it continued to progress over the last few years but it was often in my thoughts and I’ve kept checking in on their updates, newsletter, and public posts. In the last few months, there has been a ton of content put out there and it’s been a blast to see it all fall into place and for other content creators to showcase their artistic skills and show some love for the game that’s out of this world. When I get this game in 2025 (after fulfillment) it will honestly be an emotional experience. I love the game, sure, but I have mad respect for the team and they deserve all the great things to come. Congratulations, truly.
I’ll see you next time, back here at The Game Table,
Brad Hiscock, aka Zerility
Here’s a link to the game on their Kickstarter campaign and company website:
 
After reading Brad’s review, if this sounds like a game for you at the time of this posting Galactic Cruise will be live on KICKSTARTER  until Wed, April 3 2024 7:00 AM PDT, and has surpassed its funding goal of $50,000. Check it out and back it HERE.

 

 

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Check out Galactic Cruise and Kinson Key Games on:

         
 


Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”, is a construction project manager and electrician by trade who was the owner of a 6-time award winning electrical company. His passion for board games has led him from playing hundreds of original titles to creating a design and publishing company of his own, Convivial Games. As an up and coming collaborator on many projects, he is always eager to try new games and meet new people.

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All of Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”‘s reviews can be found HERE.

 


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