Wednesday 20 May 2015

Nom Nom Galaxy Review (PS4)

A new game from Q-Games is a cause for celebration in the Retro 101 office. We have access to pretty much everything they have ever done and have reviewed most of it as well. All of their games have received warm reviews from us and we were even tempted to pick up most of their DSi output a few months ago. Invention is always key to their programming ethos and Nom Nom Galaxy is another original take on tried and tested formulas and Double Eleven have done a great job developing it for the PS4.

Nom Nom Galaxy is a game about soup. Intergalactic soup in fact. There has been a soup craze sweeping the galaxy so you must set off to different planets and cultivate the very best soup out there. In order to do this you will need to grow and gather ingredients, set up a factory and blast your soup into space in soup rockets.  It’s mad, it’s fun and it’s got a bit of just about everything in it.

You control a single robot worker who has to explore the planet and decide where and what to build. Outside of your base your oxygen constantly decreases so you need to be careful how far you go and you’ll also take damage from high falls and rampaging tomatoes. It’s a dangerous world out there but then galactic soup domination never was an easy road to take.

The first thing to do is build your factory which happens on a tile by tile basis. Starting with your office you can add corridors, soup making machines, rockets and robot workers. The aim is to get ingredients to the soup machines and then the soup to the rockets in the most automated way you can. Ingredients are found by exploring the planet and then bringing them back to grow yourself or simply add into the machines. Some of the ingredients fight back so you also have some handy weapons on hand to subdue them.

You have a host of robot workers which can be unlocked to help the process. From ones which simply wander from side to side picking things up, to gardeners and little dudes who chuck things up and down vertical corridors there is plenty to use. The factory you build acts like a self-contained puzzle to keep everything flowing properly. You also need to keep an eye on the power usage and will have to set out to find a new power core if you need more juice.

Of course, other corporations won’t just sit back and let you have all the glory and each planet will have you competing to get 100% of the market. Every now and then your rival will launch a raid on you to try and cripple your operation so you will also need to make sure you have some gun turrets on hand to dissuade them. There is an open ended mode also which allows you to build your dream factory without the threat of attack should you wish to just want to explore.

It is quite daunting to start with but you’ll soon get the hang of how things work and it’s very difficult to fail the first few levels anyway. There’s a lot to consider such as finding air pockets to grow plants quicker and using water for the rarer water native plants. How you regrow stuff on the ceilings is also something to work out. But it all works in a logical way and the exploration and discoveries keep you interested as you build and develop your ideas and structures.

Factory building is pretty free form with tiles of all shapes and sizes available to you. Each planet has certain characteristics such as heavy rock formations or dangerous fauna to deal with as well and certain levels have strict conditions such as certain soups being undesirable or outlawed. It’s basically a game that allows you test yourself to run a soup business against numerous different variables and it works very well. Aside from the corporate conquest mode there are set challenge scenarios to play and also co-op if you have another friend who wants to help you out or compete against you.

Overall, Nom Nom Galaxy is another excellent game from Double Eleven and the Pixeljunk team. It’s a glorious time sink that brings in elements of strategy, puzzles, tower defence, platforming and terra forming and every level kept us engaged from start to finish. There isn’t really anything else like it and it comes highly recommended.

Overall 8/10

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