Have you ever sat back and hoped, nay, dreamed of a game that would combine your love of exploration, tower defense and soup? Even if you didn’t know it was something you wanted, the studio behind PixelJunk Monsters went ahead and delivered on it anyway. Q-Games continues their legacy of delivering unique gameplay experiences with their newest title Nom Nom Galaxy.

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The intro sequences sets the tone for a light-hearted and eccentric trip through the space-soup industry. SoupCo., the universe’s premiere soup company has a monopoly on the space-soup market, but your company, [Insert Name Here], vies to change that and build your own soup dynasty. With that brief exposition, players get down to business and set forth to build their own space-soup empire. With the help of their trusty Astro Worker, players terraform planets, decimate local fauna and drive native animal life to near extinction in their quest for the perfect soup.

Gameplay is broken down into a few simple elements: exploration, world building and tower defense. The beginning of each level consists of your Astro Worker crash landing on a new alien planet. From there your Astro Worker sets off equipped with only a buzz saw, using it to clear out the environment as well as for combat. After a bit of exploration, players can dig out a decent area and begin construction of their new industrial park. At first players will have a limited number of construction options, from a few generators to keep the power flowing, to trusty soup machines and a rocket to export the soup off-world. After playing the informative, albeit lengthy tutorial, players will be given access to more creation tools, and that is where the fun really begins.

With more tools at their disposal, players are free to expand on the complexity of their operation. The humble origins of a simple one soup one rocket operation can quickly be expanded to a near fully automated factory. Players will get access to robot workers that can carry or throw cans of soup, conveyor belts, anti gravity elevators, etc. But players will need to be creative in how they combine all these elements. While in tandem they may create a fully efficient workforce, individually they are too simplistic to be of use on their own.

For example, players can purchase a pair of robot helpers by the name of Charlie and Charles. While the two of them can pick up and carry cans of soup that get dispensed, they can only do so in a straight line. The two of them will continue on a straight path and simply turn back around when they hit a wall. However, this behavior can be used to the player’s advantage when they throw in a Travis into the mix. Travis is another robot helper, but he has the ability to throw cans of soup either up or down. When you pair the Charlie twins with Travis and the anti gravity elevator you will see how these simple elements coalesce into the beginning of an assembly line.

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2015-08-02_00006But players will need more than just an efficient factory to wrangle that majority market share. Nom Nom Galaxy hides a fair bit of challenge. Players will always be in competition with another company as they concoct their soup, trying to overtake the market displayed by a small pie chart. But as the share grows, so does the danger of corporate sabotage. At times the enemy A.I. will send out drones to attack the players factory, destroying parts of it if they’re not taken care of quickly. Luckily players can set up small cannons around the base to help with the defense. Other than corporate competition, players will also have to deal with environmental hazards of whatever inhospitable planet they happen to land on. This can be anything from boss monsters and hostile wildlife, cave ins, to just falling a little too far. Players will also have to keep a constant eye on their oxygen meter which gradually drains outside their offices. Players will have to be careful and keep an eye out for air pockets to replenish their supply or risk running out of air while they explore.

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While Nom Nom Galaxy imposes these hazards, it manages to do a good job of balancing them out. It produces a sense of urgency without ever crossing into frustration. Although, the game could have done with a bit more of the frustration as many of the hazards are easily remedied. Careful placement of turrets can easily offset almost any invasion, the game provides more than enough air bubbles throughout levels where oxygen hardly becomes a problem, and wild life can usually be cheesed with careful abuse of the environment. The game can also be a bit finicky when it comes to controls. Sometimes positioning has to be exact in order to interact with items, and movement can feel a little clunky and slow sometimes.

Nom Nom Galaxy‘s biggest strength lies in how it can take so many simple concepts that seem to have little impact by themselves, and combine them into an enjoyable experience overall. The game evokes familiar of concepts from titles like Pikminand Terraria, coupled together with the aesthetic of PixelJunk Monsters, and coalesces all these elements into a fun package.

 

Nom Nom Galaxy Review
Nom Nom Galaxy takes several simple concepts and puts together a fun strategy game. Combining elements from strategy, exploration and sandbox, it takes players from humble beginnings and slowly ramps up the complexity, making for a fun indie title worth owning.
The Nom Nom
  • Great pacing and introduciton to mechanics
  • Lots of creation tools
  • Good balance between urgency and fun
The Blah Blah
  • Controls can be offputting
  • Difficulty doesn't scale too well
7.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)
8.5

About The Author

Enrique C
Editor-in-Chief

There's no problem that can't be fixed with fire. Doesn't matter what game. If that doesn't work, use more.