App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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I've always had a fondness for space games that emphasize simulation. There's just something about them that can hold my interest for hours. It's this bizarre character quirk, coupled with supremely pretty graphics and a real sense of isolation, is why I'm so enamored with EVE Online. But this review isn't about CCP's monstrous "cult" MMO. It's about Galaxy Pirate Adventure, a game that's heavily (and obviously) inspired by the corporate espionage laden multiplayer space opera, but is missing a major key element. Namely variety.
Galaxy Pirate Adventure follows the story of the Prince of Pirates (*eyeroll*) as he attempts to make a name for himself. After some tutelage from his father, of course. Players travel from planet to planet taking on a number of missions to earn cash and other rewards, or they can ferry cargo from port to port. It's all done using a very clean, simple interface that requires one or two button taps at most to navigate.
It's apparent from the screen shots that this is a rather pretty game, so I'll just move on to the gameplay itself. It's somewhat simple as a result of the interface, but it captures most of that Space Adventure goodness. There are a number of ships (37) to find and purchase, lots of weapons and equipment (200+) to use and quite a few crew members (200+) to hire, each with their own stats that will effect their assigned equipment's performance. Combat is a bit more involved with target switching and distance adjustments, as well as knowing when to activate shields or recharge energy, but it's more about planning than direct action.
I have a few niggling complaints, however. They mostly involve minor issues like the inability to compare parts or ships directly, the constant repetition of a handful of music tracks and the lack of any explanation as to why I can't equip a nice new gun that I just bought on my ship (is my level too low or something?). But my main problem is that there's really nothing here. The universe of Galaxy Pirate Adventure doesn't seem to allow for many extra-curricular activities, save shooting down other ships. There's no mining, no NPCs that aren't story-related and all of the missions involve either "go here and blow up this ship/fleet" or "take this cargo here." It's a huge disappointment, to be perfectly honest.
I've been enjoying what Galaxy Pirate Adventure has to offer quite a bit, but it didn't take very long for me to wish there was more. Mining, escort missions, anything. Anything to break up the monotonous loop of travel-shoot. It's not a bad game, and I've heard rumors that the developers might be working on more content updates in the future, but for now anyone who thinks this looks interesting should know that it's not exactly a deep experience.