Galaxy on Fire 2: The final frontier of space-shooter apps

Nov 5, 2010
Games

Galaxy on Fire 2 serves as a serious reminder that just because you’re playing your game on an iPhone, doesn’t mean it can’t look and play as impressively as any console game. Sure, Galaxy on Fire 2 doesn’t look as good as your average Xbox360 game, but it looks fantastic for an app game, and […]

Galaxy on Fire 2 serves as a serious reminder that just because you’re playing your game on an iPhone, doesn’t mean it can’t look and play as impressively as any console game. Sure, Galaxy on Fire 2 doesn’t look as good as your average Xbox360 game, but it looks fantastic for an app game, and it has hours of gameplay to back up its stellar visuals.

The nimble space shooter tells the story of Keith T. Maxwell, a space explorer who somehow traveled through time and space to end up 35 years in the future. Throughout the game, in which Maxwell is attempting to return to his home planet, you learn more about his story. It’s not exactly a riveting tale, but there is a great attempt by developer Fishlabs to give players something to think about as they fly all over space.

Missions possess nice variety, as well. From simple mining expeditions, to fire fights against hostile alien races, to friendly challenges from other AI opponents, there’s plenty to do in Galaxy on Fire 2. Once the game gets past the “show you the ropes” stage, you’ll find a cantina of sorts where you can pick up new challenges to complete. That’s an underrated touch, as it gives players a chance to progress at their own pace, picking and choosing the challenges that suit their skill level.

True to its depth, Galaxy on Fire 2 also packs quite an upgrade system. Throughout the game, the cash you earn from missions can be used to upgrade various aspects of your ship, if not your entire ship altogether. While it’s not quite on par with the level of intricacy in, say, Mass Effect 2 on the home consoles, there’s still an awful lot to sink your teeth into.

The biggest drawback is a rather irritating menu system. There’s a lot of information to take in during the game, and this translates to a rather busy menu, especially when dealing with upgrades. There are numerous prompts available for tapping on screen that are never adequately explained. As interesting as the space portion of the game is, the on-ship portion feels much more labored.

Certainly, the price for Galaxy on Fire 2 is no joke. It’s steep, arriving right around the price point for some downloadable games over the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, but this is a fully fleshed-out game. Don’t disregard it simply because it’s an app. Galaxy On Fire 2 might not be perfect, but if you’re looking to play a space shooter on your iPhone, this is the one you should be playing.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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