Cornering the Intergalactic Soup Market; Nom Nom Galaxy Preview

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nom Nom Galaxy is all about soup. You are a lowly worker for Soup Co. an intergalactic soup corporation. Dumped on an alien world, your task is to create a vast soup factory, mine the planet for more resources and eventually corner the intergalactic soup market. Beneath the silly (but brilliant) concept is a much deeper game about exploration, construction and time management.

Originally title PixelJunk, Inc, NNG is the latest in the PixelJunk series from Q-Games. It's simplistic style and basic systems are really enjoyable. The open world environment gives players numerous avenues to search for new ingredients with the tools to get them almost anywhere, right from the start. It's mechanics intuitive and familiar, but still original.

As players wander the planet, they will discover plants and animals that can be harvested as ingredients. These ingredients are carried back to the base and put into recipe makers. Each recipe maker can hold two ingredients before it can make a can of soup. Once completed, the machine is now dedicated to that single recipe. In order to produce another type of soup, the player must construct additional recipe makers. This simple mechanic get players exploring their surroundings early in the game, and keeps them exploring as they look for new recipes and ingredients.

There is puzzle element hidden in the gameplay as well. As your base expands, carrying individual ingredients back and forth becomes a more and more trying task. You simply cannot gather them fast enough. To remedy that issue, there are little robots you an research and build to carry ingredients and pack soup cans into the soup rockets. Some simply carry them back and forth, others throw them up in the air, there are conveyor belts and pneumatic tubes and more. Eventually your factory becomes a gigantic Rube Goldberg machine, with most of the essential duties automated.

The larger the base, the more attention you draw from the competition and from the local wildlife. Building turrets and other base defenses help keep them at bay, but I've often found myself having to get in the middle of the fight when my base is invaded. It's also a constantly changing world. An empty cave may end up full of mushrooms, your base may be attacked while you're away, the tunnel you're digging may become unstable and collapse on you, or you might just run out of air.

Nom Nom Galaxy packs a lot into a small package. It's mechanics allow the experience to range anywhere from tightly organized to total chaos. I look forward to future developments. If you're interested in getting in on the early access alpha, it's currently available on steam