Valerian: City of Alpha Review

Valerian: City of Alpha Review

Jul 12, 2017

When it comes to movie-tie in projects, it’s safe to say they are closed to standard; when a major motion picture drops nowadays, you can almost always find a mobile game companion.

And we love that. New ways to increase mindshare, and even a way to pull in new fans. We all win.

Now, we are even getting to see interesting games like Valerian: City of Alpha. This one is pieced out from and based on Luc Besson’s upcoming futuristic space thriller Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. This one takes even a step further, as it looks to help develop some backstory for the game.


It’s visually pleasing, with an uncanny ability to invoke a sense of deep space. The game utilize engaging colors, with pulsating effects and effective animations that help the gameplay along and even frame it. The use of stills also buttress the action, and the sounds work well along with the looks.

Our location is Alpha, an erstwhile metropolis looking to expand to humans and other species. From a timeline perspective, it’s 600 years before the events in the movie, but still way out from where we are now. The gameplay tutorial is extensive, which is helpful; it leads players on some of the basics of world-building. There is a symbiotic feel here, because it takes a bit of give and take to ensure positive outcomes result.


Without spoiling too much of the game, one aspect that stands out is the CYOA — choose your own adventure — element. During play, you can and will face scenarios with multiple options. Each has an element of risk and a corresponding reward. Your job is to figure out which path is best, and deal with the results. There is a crafting element as well, and simple stuff like re-aligning habitats help facilitate this. The game also has objectives and achievements.

In the end, the exploration, creation of partnerships and strategic moves is all about creating a space city worth being proud of. The movie looms large in this one, as it may feel as though it is a bit open-ended without its source material to lead into. Still, it mostly works.

Quite well.

Valerian: City of Alpha Review Rundown

Graphics/Sound - Quite the rich visual experience.
Controls - Gestures and taps work well.
Gameplay - A lot of elements, mostly well faceted.
Replay Value - Easy to get into, go back to again and again and again...
Overall - A great movie tie in that might stand on its own in the hands of the more engaged mobile gamers.

Download: App available at the Google Play Store »

Tre Lawrence
Tech fiend that isn't too cool for ramen noodles...
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