GALAXY of TRIAN
I am not sure what I expected when I first launched GALAXY of TRIAN but it wasn't what I got. I thought this was going to be yet another strategy game set in the outer reaches of the galaxy, in outer space. The game opens as I would expect, a dark screen with a scene of a starry nebula, all that is missing is the expected starship. I wait but it doesn't appear. Instead I get asked if I want to play the Tutorial, 10 Missions to teach me how to play. I naturally accept - there is no point in diving straight in as I haven't a clue what to do or what the game is about as all I received was a code for Steam; there are no instructions, no major lead-in cut scene of mighty spaceships and planets etc, just the nebula, stars and a heavy suggestion that I play the Tutorial.
I am requested to place a a tile in an available triangle, a triangle bordered by a bold red line. I have choices and from seeing those choices I quickly deduce that the tile I place must match the tile or tiles I play it adjacent to - this is a tile laying boardgame with the computer screen as the board.
Tile by tile I build up the galaxy, leaving empty space or spaceways beckoning. At the centre base of the screen are two stacks of tiles and I have to choose from which stack I will select my pieces. I can see the next tile available in the stack and how many tiles there are but I do not know what is hidden beneath that second tile. Whenever I place a tile that closes off an area I score points, shown on the left side of the screen as Player 1 or Player 2 etc as Human or AI, selecting one of these with a mouse click will show me the status of points so far.
I place a tile, my opponent places a tile and so on the game continues and the Galaxy expands, it's a bit like a computerised version of Carcassonne but set in space, and as the last tile is placed the final scores are revealed and unlike the majority of Tutorials from other games, I lose.
However, now I know how to play and where to place the tile on my turn, at least I do if I take the time to study the possibilities and that's one thing GALAXY of TRIAN gives you is the time to make your decisions; though once you have clicked "Accept" or later into the game "Research" (which appears to place an additional tile in a determined space) there is no changing your mind.
This is a clever puzzle game and not a space-age war of battles and missions to Mars etc. If solving perplex puzzles where studying the board thoughtfully and where taking care is the key and means to success is the type of strategy game you enjoy, this is the game you've been looking for as it is full of bamboozling and confounding possibilities each round.