Players 1
Length 15-30 minutes
Equipment Required single standard piecepack
Designer Matt Worden
Version 1.3
Version Date 2003-10
License Custom License: Game rules can be freely distributed. Author retains copyright.


Deliver all your items as part of the Galaxy Express courier service.

Photo of game in progress courtesy of Kazunori Iriya


Reviews & Comments

Joint runner-up in the SolitaryConfinement contest.

The rules summarise it well: "Galaxy Express is a solitaire game for the piecepack about delivering shipments between planets in the distant future. It is a game of strategic planning and clever movement. Carefully move your starship to each of the planets, in the proper order, while refuelling as little as possible."

The planets are coins and the starship is a pawn. The universe is an 8×6 board, formed from 12 piecepack tiles. Starships can move from one edge of the board to the opposite, rather like the 1970s video game, Asteroids.

I had to think a lot, and managed to complete the game and get 115 points on my first attempt. According to the rules this is a good score. I think I was helped by lucky initial placement, which meant that all the planets had at least one shared axis with another planet.

I enjoyed Galaxy Express a lot; in fact it resurrected my dire evening. What I particularly enjoyed was the wraparound board. This reminds me of the Toric Scrabble variant, in New Rules for Classic Games. The name and concept come from the Toroidal Universe theory.

(./) (./)

If you like GalaxyExpress, try FroggyBottom.

--IainCheyne at inconsequential ruminations.

Galaxy Express is probably the one game from the SolitaryConfinement contest that I have played most often since the contest ended. It's a wee bit fiddly in the setup, but the play is quick and tense, especially when the fuel starts running low. Recommended! (./) (./) (./) -- ClarkRodeffer

When reading the rules of Galaxy Express, the first impression is terrific: the design relies heavily on several elements that are rather unusual in the Piecepack repertoire (dice for speeding up, slowing down and refuelling the lone pawn in the game; having to reach coins on the board without initially knowing in which order; toroidal playing surface) it blends luck, tactics and some strategy and it wraps all up in a snappy topic (a pawn doing deliveries to six planets/coins spread evenly across the 8x6 board). The setup feels a little convoluted but it is easy to see how it guarantees games of a fair level of difficulty and with an original configuration of the planets.

The play itself turns out lighter than it might be expected after the long preparation: with only two choices to speed up, two choices to slow down and clear short-term goals (i.e. move to the planet indicated by the top coin of the "delivery sequence" pile), the main source of tension is doing as much as possible before the player has to refuel (i.e. gathering all used up coins for braking and accelerating and shuffle them onto respective fresh piles): the less the player refuels, the higher the score. The strategy involves mainly deciding how long to keep scanning for planets before starting the actual deliveries - the limited amount of choices and the limited amount of time before refuelling generally leave very clear what the best move is if the player wants to reach the next goal(s).

Overall, I found Galaxy Express a pleasing game that uses the elements in the Piecepack in a refreshing way and in which the theme doesn't seem pasted on at all.

--Antonio Recuenco Muñoz

CategoryGame SolitaireThemedGamesCategory ThemeBusinessCategory ThemeSpaceAndTechnologyCategory MechanicPickUpAndDeliverCategory