At this stage in my gaming career, it's not often that I'm surprised with the content of a game. Nom Nom Galaxy breaks that mold. It's difficult to put NNG into a genre, because it incorporates so many different elements into it’s gameplay. At it’s core, it can be best described as a resource collection business simulator. If that sounds insane, then you're one step closer to understanding the game.
As a loyal employee of Soupco, you journey out into the galaxy to create new and interesting soup recipes by collecting ingredients and building factories to cook and ship the various concoctions. Seriously. You're a soup baron. I've always been a proponent of the bizarre, so I was intensely excited to start Nom Nom Galaxy. It did not disappoint.
Each level presents a different terrain and environment to explore and build upon. A large portion of the fun in NNG is tearing across the side-scrolling landscape and discovering new nooks and crannies that may contain secret treasure troves of soup ingredients. The levels and planets are very pleasing to the eye, and the atmosphere is quite engaging. The old-school graphic style is simple but quietly beautiful and works perfectly with the gameplay. I often found myself being nostalgically warped back to my childhood as I ran, jumped, and dug through the cleverly pixelated world.
Nom Nom Galaxy gives very basic objectives, but allows you to pursue them in any way that seems interesting. I often found myself spending rigorous hours building factories to meet my wildly ridiculous ideas. Nom Nom Galaxy is great at encouraging the player to expand their imagination. I was building factories out of some architect's nightmare, twisting tunnels and elevators skyward while also burrowing further into the planet. I sometimes went to bed at night dreaming up structural improvements or collection innovations to make my soup-selling life easier.
Beyond the main storyline, there are challenge modes that include races and resource collection time trials. These were fairly fun, and it was nice to have them as an option, but the real meat is within the main mode. Nom Nom Galaxy also allows you to team up online with other players if desired. I spent very little time doing this, as the matchmaking wasn't great, and combining strategies in such an intricate situation rarely yields great results. I was more than content spending my hours in my own convoluted worlds.
Evene after 25 hours, Nom Nom Galaxy has great replay value, as you have vast opportunities to improve your efficiency or try different recipes to create a bigger buzz in the soup-eating galaxy. The controls were smooth and easy to remember. The soundtrack was fun and light, which fit perfectly with the gameplay.
If there were a main detraction to the game, it would be the repetitive nature of the objective as you neared the end of the level. Your goal is 100% market share, so once you get above 80%, it's really just a matter of grinding to finish. It can be a bit exasperating to know you've beat the level, yet still have to go through the motions for 20 more minutes just to reach what has become a forgone conclusion. Additionally, as you gain more and more influence in the levels, opposing soup companies send enemies to attack your factory. Overall, I found this to be an annoying and unnecessary portion of the game. The combat wasn't stellar, so fighting off alien hordes could become extremely tedious. I was never excited to quell my invaders, but rather bothered that they were hindering my progress and that the turrets you purchase are essentially useless. Conceptually, a defense portion of the game makes sense, but the execution simply wasn't up to snuff.
After taking in Nom Nom Galaxy in its entirety, I award it a Coolguy Jones on the Game Awry Review Scale. The game was great. I found it innovative, interesting, and a refreshing reprieve from many other games. However, it did feel a bit repetitive, which nudged it just shy of reaching its full potential. I recommend it to anyone who wants something a little offbeat and different. Give it a try, there are a world of soupy possibilities out there.