Remember the old game Space Trader on the Palm OS back in 2002? Some people will remember it, some people won’t. Personally, it was my all-time favorite Palm Pilot addiction. Well, think of that basic, 2D interface and enhance it into a 3D universe, and there you have Galaxy on Fire 2 for the Android, iOS, and Mac. The sequel to the hit game Galaxy on Fire 3D has a simple premise, to save the universe from the threat of the Voids. While doing that, you must also mine ores, trade goods, and perform missions in order to upgrade your ship to be more effective in battle. Now, most people don’t enjoy the “Dope Wars” style of game, where you are jumping place to place to sell your goods at a higher price to make profit. Galaxy on Fire 2 understands that hatred of the grind and makes it more interesting.
Developed by Fish Labs, Galaxy on Fire 2 took my nostalgia to a new level, with a fully fleshed out 3D universe, complete with space stations, jump gates, asteroids to mine, and aliens! A hostile alien race, called the Voids, is attacking the universe using wormholes and it’s up to you to stop them. Traversing the galaxy as you trade your way up to bigger and more deadly ships, you will form alliances, fight off pirates, aliens, and the occasional security ship. The game is full of weapons, ships, and customization options, and you have the choice to do whatever you want, whenever you want. The game is far from linear.
The graphics for a mobile game are superb, beautifully showcasing (on Android) the ability of the Tegra 2 to render graphics on android devices. It looks just as nice on iOS devices as well, and the massive space you have to play in is incredibly well done. The ship models are far from ordinary as well, offering a huge collection of ships with varying stats to you; depending upon what planetary system or space station you are currently docked. Everything from the weapons to the environments screams well done.
The voice acting and sounds are very well done as well, offering a nice enhancement to the gameplay. The plot is pretty dry and gets a tad bit predictable. The missions throughout the game are pretty similar, offering minute differences depending on the system you are in. This is not to say it is not fun at all. Each mission is assigned a different challenge level, and even though most of them are the same, they can still be incredibly difficult! You can pick and choose which missions you want to go on, what cargos you would like to carry, and what bad guys you would like to kill, offering a choice no matter what your skill level. It also allows for players who would rather trade to be traders, and players who like to think of themselves as mercenaries to be ruthless bounty hunters.
As for the game mechanics, you have two choices. You can either rely on the tilt functionality of the mobile device you are on to steer your ship, using the virtual gamepad to shoot and make selections, or you can use the virtual game pad completely. Keep in mind, however, that trying to use the tilt in combat is very difficult. The virtual gamepad allows for a more precise method of movement. At your arsenal, and depending on your ship, you will have a vast selection of blasters, plasma weapons, EMP torpedoes, and more, allowing you to fight your enemies however you would like. The combat system is very well thought out, and lends well to the touch aspect of mobile gaming. If you’re looking for a game with great space combat, this is the one for you.
Overall, Galaxy on Fire 2 is a fantastic game. It does a great job showcasing what mobile games can really do, offering a unique gameplay experience coupled with seamless 3D graphics. The combat system is fast paced and efficient, and once you get the hang of the touchscreen interface, you will be taking on the galaxy in no time at all. If you enjoy space trading, combat, and a vast universe to explore, this game is perfect for you!
If you enjoy space trading, combat, and a vast universe to explore, this game is perfect for you!