Oh how I love the folks at Q-Games and their PixelJunk series. Admittedly I haven’t really played too much of PixelJunk Monsters but I fell in love with PixelJunk Shooter 1 and 2. It’s no surprise then that I was very excited when PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate was announced for PS4 and PS Vita and since launch day it hasn’t left either system.
One of the things I love most about the PixelJunk series is how atmospheric the games tend to be and how Q-Games manages to make every game in the series (except for PixelJunk Shooter) completely different than anything they put out previously. Did I ever think I’d be here writing a review for a game that has you making soup and blasting it into space for hungry aliens to devour while you try to gain marketshare and fend off rival invasions? Nope—but that’s what’s so great about the concept. It’s quirky and original. It’s a blend of quite a few gameplay genres and if Nom Nom Galaxy were a soup the base would be sandbox game with finely chopped resource management, a few shakes of real time strategy, and a smidgen of tower defense. To sweeten the mix the game provides both an online and offline co-op experience, with couch co-op being especially refreshing in a world that serves up primarily online only play.
The main campaign has you playing as an Astroworker who’s tasked with gaining 100% marketshare on whatever planet you’re currently setting up shop on. Your progress is measured through day cycles with an overall pie graph displaying your marketshare as you play. The day cycle and real time strategy components remind me a bit of the Pikmin series and, if I’m being honest, I hate having my play time broken up into days because I always feel rushed. Thankfully Nom Nom Galaxy let’s you simply pick up where you left off in a snap. In the beginning of the campaign you’re goal is simply harvesting matter within the ground along wtih finding ingredients for your soup. Matter is what’s used to upgrade your base by adding additional structures like turretts or soup rockets. Once you get these barebones mechanics down the game opens up more and more, easing you into the many hats you’ll have to wear if you hope to run your own soup empire from scratch (because premade is for suckers).
I found out through trial and error that I’m not great at juggling multiple tasks. Once I eventually did became successful it only made winning that much rewarding. It’s quite a feeling to see your base buzzing with conveyor belts whisking ingredients to robot workers who are hustling to get your soup blasting into space. When your business starts to pick up your competition will take notice and as you progress throughout the game your ingredients will be further and further away from you. Your competitors will also ramp up their soup output significantly keeping you on your toes to keep up and eventually surpass them. Remember when I said this game has some tower defense thrown in? Yeah, well rival companies will attack your base so you’d best be ready with turretts, canons, and any weapon you have on hand to squash their attempted infiltration. Throughout all of this my favorite part of Nom Nom Galaxy is discovering new soup recipes by randomly combining ingredients. What’s even better is when a recipe I came up with is actually a huge hit and generates a lot of cash money.
If you whip through the campaign solo and are hungry for more you can invite a friend to help you out. Communication is key to success. If you’d rather keep playing solo then there are challenges you can beat that are refreshed every few days for the community. Any way you slice it, whether it be solo or co-op, Nom Nom Galaxy is a delectable treat that satifises with it’s visuals, soundtrack, humor, and finely mixed gameplay.Nom Nom Galaxy is available on Steam and PS4.