App Reviewed on: iPad 3
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Some prefer intricate strategies as a means of bringing down an opponent. Others like tossing waves of fodder at them until they’re overwhelmed. The Galcon has always managed to combine both tactics to great effect and Galcon Fusion is no exception.
For those who aren’t familiar with Galcon, this is how it works: players are given a map full of uninhabited planets, along with a home world, and have to either take over everything or wipe their enemies out of existence. Each planet automatically constructs the ships necessary for planetary consumption, represented by a number on the surface. The actual taking over of things is simple math, really. If a planet has the number 15 on it, at least 16 ships are needed to convert it. Naturally if it’s an enemy planet that number will steadily increase so it’s important to send a good deal more forces in order to conquer it properly. Tap an owned planet or two (or more), tap the intended target, then sit back and watch the show.
Galcon Fusion can be a ton of pick-up-and-play fun, but there’s so much more to it than the regular game mode that pits players against an AI opponent of the difficulty of their choosing. There are actually eight different variations to the standard rules, each of which offers up a different sort of challenge. They range from a three-way free for all to a variation that causes opposing vessels that come into contact with each other to explode in mid flight. My personal favorite is Vacuum because it’s more like a timed puzzle (conquer everything in sight without opposition) than a full on war. Even better; players can hop online and battle their friends (or complete strangers) rather than dialing in the AI’s difficulty. Plus the bragging rights that come with besting another person.
I did have a few problems with the selection controls, though. For the most part they work great but I’d occasionally end up deselecting the planet I wanted or selecting one I didn’t want to, which would often lead to sending the wrong forces out and leaving a vital location weakened. I also thought it was a bit odd that none of the other seven game modes are explained; instead players have to learn by doing. Not that it’s a huge inconvenience but it would be nice to know what I’m getting into before the match starts.
Galcon Fusion is a fun game with a ton of modes to explore. It’s also a great fit for the iPad thanks to the larger screen, which also means larger icons and improved tap accuracy. It’s one of those games that are perfect for a few quick rounds that could easily lead to several hours disappearing in the blink of an eye.