Developer: Digital Chocolate
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
We're finally in an age where games made and designed on Facebook make for high-profile releases on major platforms. As incredible as that may seem, when playing Galaxy Life Pocket Adventures, it's not hard to see why. This makes for a perfect iOS title: full of charm, style and replayability.
Players assume control of a tribe of slightly demented Starling aliens who have an insatiable lust for building vast, rich colonies from scratch. Fortunately for them, they're also pretty good at combat, and are as good at repelling an invasion as they are at causing one. GLPA places players into a living, breathing universe, filled with ambitious AI and the inquisitive, unpredictable nature of real-life opponents from all over the world.
Players are guided by a war-torn general who teaches them the basics of base building and survival. They will learn how to build compact houses and banks to accumulate coins, and mines and silos to help harvest minerals. These are the core elements needed to develop a stronghold and establish an army.
As players progress, inhabitants of their base will also offer out mini-quests to take on and complete. These will help the player learn the basics of the game, but also help them earn extra money for their efforts. Eventually, when the player is suitably prepared, they're invited to travel to other planets, spy on their opponents and even start a war. GLPA is one of the first massively multiplayer strategy titles on any mobile platform, and it works seamlessly. What's more, because other people are playing the same game all over the world, things happen even when the player is not logged in. Hypothetically, one night the player could build a base up to perfection, and the next morning, it could be ransacked, pillaged, and razed to the ground if not suitably defended.
It's not all squabbling however, GLPA also encourages players to message one another, exchange strategies and even combine their forces to take down a common enemy. Players will also be able to craft items for battle and defense, and will be able to exchange strategies with their new-found buddies.
defense, and will be able to exchange strategies with their new-found buddies.
While this is all great, the problem with Galaxy Life is that, after only a short period of time, the inevitability of having to spend real money in order to make any sort of progress becomes clearly apparent. With buildings taking several hours to be built and a minimal workforce thinly spread, it’s an ultimatum that, unfortunately, creeps up far too quickly. While you never have to pay a cent to keep playing, as a freemium title, Galaxy Life does little to reward the impatient.
Outside of that though, Galaxy Life is an extremely polished, entertaining excursion. It controls well, looks good, and has a great game play hook. A rare combination of addiction and pleasure combined.