Developer: PuzzleBox Games
Version Reviewed: 1.01
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Somewhere, in the deep recesses of space, there's probably a group of people out there that will absolutely love Galaxix. It's dense and stat-driven like the old PC space sims of yesteryear and look at the fan base those have managed to maintain. For the rest of us, though, confusing goals, slippery controls and uninteresting visuals make it a tougher sell.
Galaxix opens with a long opening crawl explaining how the various civilizations of this particular galaxy came to be. There's a lot of jargon about civil wars and political schemes and space taxes but really it's typical sci-fi fare with new proper nouns. Outside of giving names to the planets the player sees in the background and explaining why there are pirates roaming about, the plot never has that much impact on the gameplay either.
Speaking of that gameplay, despite its in-depth instruction manual, the actual point of Galaxix always remains a bit vague. The player pilots an upgradeable ship with a lot of abilities. They can fight pirates, warp through space to find new asteroids to mine and dock at stations to get enhancements for their guns and shields. The reason anyone would do this though just seems to be survival. The ship runs on fuel and running out means game over. Many tasks yield credits which can be used to buy more improvements and fuel but also cost fuel themselves.
Trying to last as long as possible is a fine motivation if what one is doing is fun. The problem here is that while nothing is broken, it is just boring. The 3D graphics and combat sequences are decent but slow and unexciting and the loose controls make navigation and enemy targeting a chore. By far, the highlight is the epic, bombastic music which only makes the onscreen action look so tame in comparison.
Galaxix has a steep initial learning curve - just look at how many buttons are on the interface. There's the possibility that there is an untold amount of enjoyable depth waiting to be uncovered. To get to that though players will have to slog through some tedious exploration and the sense of not knowing what is going on. Actually, there's an item to buy called "diplomatic secrets." Maybe that explains everything.