Price: Free with In-App Purchases
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4G
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Galaga 30th Anniversary Collection starts off with an appreciation for irony; there are 4 games in this package total, but the one game that is free is Galaxian, the Space Invaders-inspired shooter. Next up is the eponymous Galaga, which added moving enemy formations, Challenging Stages, and the ability to a sacrifice a ship in order to recapture it to get double firing. Gaplus brings the ability to move in a two-dimensional space, along with the ability to capture enemy ships. Galaga '88 includes more enemy formations and a dimensional travel element. Each game has been enhanced with similar "G 30th" elements. These include enhanced graphics; a new auto-fire ability by holding down on the screen (though bullets take time to recharge); as well, there are Galaga Points that can be earned and used toward consumable powerups and screen backgrounds. Point values have been completely changed; the scores on the first level of many games may be higher than my high scores in the normal versions of those games, ever.
Galaga 30th Anniversary Collection's best element is that Namco finally figured out how to make these games control well on iOS. There is a 1:1 slider with a mild offset on the bottom, and tapping on the screen fires. It's a far superior controls scheme to other Galaga releases on iOS by far. The "G 30th" elements bring nice new twists to the familiar games, and introduce Gaplus and Galaga '88 to people who might not have ever gotten to play them. Plus, the app does come with Galaxian for free.
The big problem with the collection as a whole is that the "30th G" elements all make the games feel very similar. All the games now have the autofire option and the similar enhanced graphical effects, which just tends to drown out the often subtle gameplay differences between them. It feels hard to justify buying all 3 extra games of my own volition, having gotten to play all 3 for this review. While Galaga offers the most nostalgic value, and Gaplus has its 2-dimensional movement, Galaga 88 is the deepest of the 4 games, and most worth a $2.99 in-app purchase, though all 3 extra games can be downloaded for $7.99.
Galaga 30th Anniversary Collection is worth a download for the free Galaxian "G 30th" edition alone, though the value of buying all 3 extra games is debatable. The classic games do get a nice new twist on them for those otherwise familiar with the games. Fans of retro gamers should check this one out.