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Genre: 3D, Action, Shoot em up :: Players: 1 :: Released: 23/3/09

Galaxy On Fire™ 3D (iPhone) Review

Developer: Fishlabs

Pros

Game Features

Rating/100

Huge amount of game time
Great graphics

Cons

Fiddly controls
High difficulty to begin with

Sound
Help
Save Option
Highscore
Suspend/Resume
Bus/Tube Friendly
See Compatible Handsets

90

Graphics

92

Sound

88

Controls

75

Playability

95

Lastability

99

Review Details
Handset Apple iPhone 3G
Time Played 7 hours
Game Progress 12% explored

Costas Stephanides’s Review

Review Date: 28/3/09

One of the best ever java games comes to iPhone


If you've been playing mobile games for the last few years (and I don't just mean Tetris), chances are you may have heard of Galaxy On Fire already. The game first launched a few years ago and set a new benchmark for mobile gaming. In short, the graphics were amazing and the depth of the game was huge. If it wasn't for changing handsets, we would probably still be playing the game.

Galaxy On Fire (GOF) starts off as a simple shoot 'em up. As renegade fighter, Keith T Maxwell, you are thrust into a battle between the Terrans (the good guys) and the Vossk (the bad guys). After a quick tutorial learning the basics of the menu and how to shoot, it's on to the missions.

You can control your spaceship using either tilt or touch. For the touch users, there is a virtual analogue stick in the corner which can be calibrated in the options. The fire controls are in the bottom right corner and you just need to double tap to start the auto fire. A small button above this allows you to toggle weapons and still keep the auto fire active.

GOF has a slightly tough learning curve. The mission against the double agent took many attempts to complete and I think I just got lucky in the end - I think will be a major sticking point for some people, but an update may fix this. This was mainly down to the controls or rather the complexity of the game. You are in space and you have a full sphere of motion. Unfortunately, so does your enemy. Tracking every evading enemy spiral and trying to get accurate shots can be difficult. However, persevere and eventually better weaponry will be available and the game really starts to open up. By that point, shooting the enemy wont be a problem, it's then all about evading their fire.

GOF is really a two part game. The story is played out in the first dozen or so missions where you have no choice but to follow orders and stick to your basic ship. Once the story is complete, the map is unlocked and you are free to roam the galaxy and take on any missions you want in a sandbox style game. The map is split into four quadrants and each quadrant has 25 systems (which each have 5 planets/space stations). We're talking 500 planets/space stations to explore. It's at each of these planets/space stations that you get to fly a mission. Missions vary from defending your cargo ships to taking out a group of pirates or just being a taxi service for some dubious passengers. For a bit more info of the gameplay, check out the java review.

Even if you somehow manage to visit all the planets and 'complete' the game, Fishlabs have added a separate survival mode. In survival mode you have a fairly limited basic ship against unlimited fighters where you take part in a straight shoot out. Unfortunately you cannot link in your ship from the saved slots, but you do get weapon upgrades after 1000 points. It's a very tough mode and just reaching the first upgrade at 1000 points will take 35-40 kills and 7-8 minutes of solid aerial dogfighting.

The amazing 3D graphics have been reworked and look just as an impressive on the iPhone. It's a testament to the original game, that I wasn't as blown away as should have been by the quality graphics on display. In truth, GOF was amazing back in the day but Fishlabs have since released DEEP (which was basically GOF underwater but with improved trading and missions) and very recently GOF 2 was unveiled. Both these games take the original GOF premise and take it way beyond the next level. We will just have to wait patiently before these are also released on the iPhone.

As much as I would love to give this an Ice Cold Award, I know there is better to come from Fishlabs and so it gets a very high Gold Award.