First Look: Galactic Junk League

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  • Anyone who has seen Wall-E or the Great Pacific garbage patch, you know that sooner or later our world will be enveloped in trash. So junk based spaceships blowing each other up demolition derby style might actually be more teleological than fanciful.

    This is the premise of Galactic Junk League. Build a spaceship out of guns and engines and garbage and do battle with it across dead, space behemoths and wastelands.

    Building is simple, pieces snap together quickly and you don’t really need to worry about how aerodynamic something is. The ships all pilot similarly from what I experienced. Combat is simple too. Like the old Saliva song once told us, click, click, boom.

    And it all kind of works. Play one match and you quickly realize the importance of speed and a balanced design. Also rockets. You understand the important of rockets really fast. Tinkering with your starter ship is rewarding, and so is blowing up your first enemy.

    But it all feels a little hollow too. The simplicity cuts both ways. It’s unclear how progression will work and what will happen if you get intensely creative with the builds.

    All of the ships I’ve seen look too clean, too streamlined. Where are the spikes? Where’s the paint? The game ostensibly has a kind of trucker chic, but where are the hood ornaments?

    Surely the bombast can’t end with a few voice overs and “space whiskey,” could it? And since when do space truckers do research? They weld stuff and hope for the best.

    What the game is missing so far is the ability to slap on scorched, seared and otherwise banged up pieces of other ships. It doesn’t need to be an MMO where you trawl the vast expanses of space, but it would be nice to create something out of Mad Max. Something that strikes fear and shows its scars. I want to fly around in a rat rod, not a flying missile cruiser.

    The arenas feel a little hollow as well. Space is inherently empty, but if something is sold to me as a “galactic junk league”, I want a little more than just a big, mostly empty canvas. BattleBots absolutely nails this concept, a big square room with saws and hammers, Galactic Junk League should too.

    For a beta, this one holds together fairly well. It’s the cookie dough before it goes into the oven. It’s a good sign of where things are at but who knows what will happen between now and its full release.