[PS Plus Reviews] February 2016- Nom Nom Galaxy

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Disclaimer: This post is made as an entry for PS Asia’s PS Plus Junior Reporter competition. The points and views raised in the review however are not affected in any way.

For most games that I have background knowledge of, expect a bit of a lore dump in the intro here, just like I did with GRID Autsport. But to be honest, Nom Nom Galaxy isn’t one of them. Heard of it before, saw the artstyle, and became not interested and let it fly out of the radar.

Yes, so I decided early on this indie game is not for me, and while I appreciate the Pixeljunk series of games, I feel that it just won’t click for me, despite each of the games are of different genres.

So colour me surprised to find out the Nom Nom Galaxy has similar tones to Minecraft, or more accurately, the 2D Minecraft-like Terraria. The twist is that it has an economy angle on the crafting.

Or, to put it in another way, this tweet (which developers Q-Games’s Twitter account RT’d and liked. So it means something):

I still don’t like it as much, but I implore you to give it a shot if you’re into Minecraft and/or Terraria. It’s pretty good.

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Graphics & Sound

As mentioned earlier, I am no fan of the art style applied to Nom Nom Galaxy. It’s not objectively terrible, it’s just not up to my taste. Some part of it are busy- I cannot understand the basic anatomy of the controllable astroworker, and the second tutorial level where you first get a glimpse of a whole made factory feels daunting to grasp. I should mention I am not really that familiar with Terraria and other 2D games that has a lot of details for its buildings. So that could be a reason why I don’t get the artstyle as much.

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But it is what it is, and I can see it can be something I will get used to. There are plenty of nice details if you dig the art. Some of the graphical pop-ups looks poppy and fun, which I don’t mind.

On the sound side, it’s nothing to note of except this one sound tone you will get as the end of the day is coming to a close. A static noise usually associated with interference of a mobile signal. I had to check my phone for messages a couple of times before realising it is from the game.

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Gameplay

Nom Nom Galaxy has a goal for each level. You are dropped into the planet as an astroworker, with the sole purpose of developing a soup factory and dominating the market share with your corporation’s produced soup, the de-facto food of the whole galaxy. Hunt for resources and build up your soup factory. Gather different materials to make different recipes of soups, as different soups can influence the demand and sales you generate. You are competing with a rival corporation and sometimes, they will try to do some corporate sabotaging by sending in invaders to attack your factory.

While the core mechanic is similar in feeling as the aforementioned crafting and mining games, it has a twist. There’s a goal and it’s not a combat-oriented one. Putting in an economic angle where you are competing for market share. Some recipes will sell well, some won’t. This added competitiveness to Nom Nom Galaxy that would have been just a boring soup making build and craft game. There’s no night cycle here, as you only work on daylight and at the end of the day you can see a bunch of useful statistics to see how you did for the day, and sales data of both all the competing corporation.

Building the factories can be finicky. Parts can be picked with triangle, and holding it inside one of the building part opens a submenu for repairs, reloads, or demolishing. Building can take some time to get used to as I believe the tutorial did not do a good job to prepare me for building a whole entire factory from scratch.

But after putting more time in, everything just makes sense. It’ll reward you for putting time and thought. Until then, it’s a rough ride, like how I played Minecraft initially before I finally understand the appeal and how to actually play it.

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Content & Longevity

Interestingly, if you are already hooked, there’s plenty to dig in here. You can play any of the levels as an open sandbox (in-game called S.O.O.P Simulator). There’s also a lot to collect, in-game achievements and recipes to collect. It has an online multiplayer component too, if you want to find some helping hands. Then lastly there’s Galactic Challenges, similar to the daily challenges of most games nowadays in concept. There’s plenty to do here, assuming you like the core gameplay in the first place.

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Summary

On a final note, Nom Nom Galaxy is an interesting take of the survival/crafting game with a nice twist on soup economics. I came in blind (no knowledge at all) with this game, but was pretty surprised with the outcome. If you wanted a score it will be a 7/10, a strong game of crafting and building variety. I unfortunately do not see this game being played more in the future for me, but that’s because I don’t find the genre (and sadly it’s nice artwork) to be appealing to me.

But it could be a fantastic game for you. This is worth a try to see if it gets you hooked or not.

Looking for other PS Plus free games of the month reviews? I have you covered. Click here for a full list of games I managed to cover.

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