Galaga Wars Review

Galaga Wars Review

Nov 14, 2016

Galaga Wars is an old-school experience built for a mobile generation.

Based on the eponymous arcade hit from decades ago, this one recreates a space shooter invasion scenario, and allows folks to partake of it on our varied smartdevices.

Definitely worth a look. On paper, at least.

It plays in portrait, and utilizes brazenly expressive graphics that pop and sizzle… almost literally. The player uses a continuous finger gesture to guide the ever-shooting spaceship as it battles a futuristic cadre of lethal, bug-shaped enemy that is eager to destroy the last vestiges of humanity.galaga3

It boils down to a war of attrition. The main job is to take out the enemy craft, which dive and swoop in intricately adventurous motions, sometimes while shooting. So, one must position the craft to take out the enemy, while avoiding run ending/delaying enemy fire. As the game goes on, the enemy craft get craftier, as does the fire, and the bosses add an interesting wrinkle.

Better stuff can be purchased in the app.

It’s simply laid forth, so much so that one need not have played the original to like it; indeed, its roots as an arcade space shooter allow it to retain an intuitive feel that make it especially easy to get into and enjoy. The microtransactions, while understandable, do blunt the upgrade experience; one almost wishes that coin accumulation, however prolonged, were an option with regards to getting better craft and attributes.

The control mechanism can be an obstacle sometimes, but that is a reality of games if this sort that use gestures. What one might lose in the area of complete view of the playing area might be gained in accuracy of control.

All in all, at first play, it comes across as a competent port, and it doesn’t rely too much on nostalgia to make its presence felt.

Just as well, because the blast to the past can then be an added benefit.

80s Arcade Hit Galaga Comes to Mobile

80s Arcade Hit Galaga Comes to Mobile

Nov 3, 2016

Galaga Wars, a mobile refresh of the arcade hit Galaga from yesteryear, is back — on Android.

This one definitely looks like a pleasant blast from the bast; the story arc is mostly unchanged: one ship looking to avoid extinction, taking on waves and waves of endless enemy fighters.

There are several powerups to exploit, and bosses to conquer.

It plays in landscape, and at first glance, easily envokes an arcade feel with its color patterns. The features (per Google Play excerpt):

● The authentic retro, sci-fi experience returns for Galaga’s 35th Anniversary
● Weave through endless waves of original enemies, including the Bee, Butterfly, Scorpion and a many more.
● Evade the treacherous tractor beam of Mother Galaga in battle against the huge alien boss!
● Play as Galaga fighter, as well as other legendary Namco starshipsincluding Xevious, Galaxian, Star Blade and many more.
● Double your firepower by rescuing captured friends ships and merging into twin mode
● Enhance your space-faring abilities by upgrading and levelling up your craft.
● Blast through alien waves with 4 unique abilities per ship including laser, explosive shot, space mines, ghost shield and more.

Galaga Wars is presented by Bandai Namco; it is free with micro-transactions. Check out the launch trailer:

Plasma Sky Review

Plasma Sky Review

Mar 18, 2013

Who doesn’t like a little space shoot-’em-up to brighten up their day? Plasma Sky is a basic space shmup that thankfully nails the essentials and is a joy to control.

Players fly around in two-dimensional space, taking on enemies and giant asteroids that fly about in different formations, Galaga-style. The player auto-fires, so they just need to worry about keeping themselves alive, and picking up the powerups for more firepower and additional shields. The game is fast-paced with a variety of enemies on screen, but never gets so jam-packed that it could be considered a “bullet hell” game. It doesn’t have a lot in the way of original hooks to make it stand out, but it nails the basics of the genre to be just satisfying enough.

The thing that really shines through in Plasma Sky is the ease of its controls. The touch-based controls are 1:1, meaning that the ship moves exactly as far as the player’s finger moves. However, they also have an offset, so that the player can reposition their thumb and start moving again, or move their thumb around in a way that doesn’t obscure the screen. As well, there seems to be just enough inertia with the movement that makes the movement feel natural, and not just like dragging an object around a screen, it feels like moving a spaceship around in a game. That natural feeling makes for a tremendous difference in how the game feels. Try the tilt controls too; the developer claims that they are his preferred method.

The game has two modes: Conquest, which boasts 80 levels that can be continued from where the player dies, along with a health bar for maximum player-friendliness. Then there’s Hardcore mode, where there’s no health bar and no continues, it’s all about going far and getting that high score. The lack of online leaderboards on Android is definitely lacking, though – this is seriously where Google needs their Game Center!

While Plasma Sky won’t win any awards for uniqueness, as it does feel awfully familiar while playing it, it’s definitely a game that’s a solid pick-up-and-play experience, and developers of other space shmups need to take heed of its excellent controls.