Version Reviewed: 1.3
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
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Deciding what to buy at the grocery store and eat for the next week can sometimes be difficult, because there are so many choices. That said, running multiple planetary colonies in a quest for galactic dominance is considerably more complicated and difficult. Having to decide whether to research upgraded ship drives or to expand a colony's energy production is considerably more complex than choosing between pizza or steak. In the social, MMO-like Galaxy Empire, players take over the management of an expanding colony on a remote planet in a galaxy of other players also vying for control of as many planets and sectors as they can manage.
This management and conquest happens mostly through menus and tech trees. Players of military strategy games will be familiar with the concept of tech tree where players have to research certain technologies and build specific factories and buildings in order to unlock the production of certain units or unleash certain abilities. In Galaxy Empire there are three resources -- gas, crystals, and metal -- used to support all the players construction and research. By collecting and managing these resources the player can build their fortune as it were and use their increase in resources to fund even more research and construction. Players can eventually use their resources to expand to other worlds to attack other players or expand to new planets and establish new colonies.
The Galaxy Empire gameplay follows the general formula of other free to play social strategy and MMO games. Upgrades, units, and research all take time and resources to complete. Players are awarded dark matter for completing tasks and they can use this dark matter to expedite and otherwise speed up the process. Alternately, players can purchase large batches of dark matter via in-app purchase to use however they like.
There isn't much direct action in this game. In fact the majority of the game is spent selecting options in menus. Still, there is a surprising satisfaction in watching one's colony grow, expand, and flourish. There are battles that play out, but these are more passive and the player only has the ability to control how many and what kind of units to deploy. The visuals are great, but this is a deep game with lots going on. Players with only a passing interest run the risk of being quickly overwhelmed while players looking for something serious to sink some time into will likely enjoy this title.