This is the Captain of the “S.S. If Found, Please Return To Earth” calling in. We were required to jettison our entire stock of pizza to distract a space kraken and the engineer has been captured by small mammals who are worshiping them as a god. Despite this we were able to deliver the sandwich. Mission Successful.
Space Food Truck is a co-op, deck building game about making and delivering food across the galaxy. Now I should point out that deck building games are my jam (my space jam you could say) and I’ve spent more hours playing things like Dominion, Epic and Star Realms than I care to think about, so this game was already off to a good start.
The most immediate thing about the game is its very strong theme. A fun cartoonish romp of a small spaceship full of colourful characters, trekking across space to make and deliver odd foods. All of the items, flavour text, art and even music add to the wonderful atmosphere.
The objective of the game is to gather ingredients, cook them into a meal and then deliver them to the hungry customer. However as you do this you encounter lots of dangers thrown at you by an uncaring universe that means you need to get shifting. You play the game with four different characters – you can either split the roles up amongst friends or play all of them on your own. Each character plays differently as follows:
The Captain: A veteran space fearer with big dreams and low motivation. Their deck focuses on moving you around the galaxy allowing you to resupply the shop, deliver goods and find new items
The Cook: An Ex-Con with questionable tastes and a habit for break dancing. Arguably the most important character as he is the one that can actually cook the meals, although he can’t do much more.
The Scientist: He who knows all! Eventually. He forgets. Used to unlock the unique cards for each of the characters and create new items.
The Engineer: Likes tinkering so much they tinkered themselves a new body. They allow for the repairing of doors and workstations as well as upgrading various components and getting rid of some of the nasty bugs that can infest your ship.
So how does the main gameplay work? Each card you have has a power value and a credit value. Some cards require you to ‘use up’ the power of others to get effects such as research, repairs or moving. At the end of your turn all cards in your hand and play field have their credit value totted up allowing you to buy things from the store. Everything is then put into the discard pile and when you run out of deck your discard is shuffled up and turned into your deck. Better cards cost more credits and need more power and you try to fill your decks with good cards so you can be more effective.
How does it compare to other similar games? The different characters with their different roles makes a huge impact and makes it pretty much unique. The random events that happen each turn and as you travel to each location keep the game different each time you play it, as most deck builders rely on player vs. player interaction to change up gameplay.
I don’t have any major issues with this game. The tutorial isn’t great and there are a good number of bugs. Maybe more items and events will be needed to stretch out the appeal, but I think that’s why this is an early access game – to figure out how to make these improvements and finish off this game’s already stellar finish.
I’d enjoy this game more was if I could play it either on tablet or as a physical board game. This is a game I really can recommend, even though it’s only in an alpha state and I’m sure that by the time it’s actually released it will have even more great gameplay to it. I should point out that the review key for this product was provided by the developer free of charge.