Developer: Phil Hassey
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini Retina

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Have we woken up and gone back to 2008 on the App Store? Not only has Eliss Infinity returned in all its glory, but one of the original titles that felt like a statement in favor of touchscreen gaming – the space strategy game Galcon – is back with a new entry in Galcon Legends.

GalconLegends-3Well, it’s somewhat new. This isn’t the Kickstarter-funded Galcon 2, but a re-release of a somewhat obscure 2009 entry into the series. Originally released for PC, Galcon Legends has been reworked and brought to a variety of platforms, including mobile. Story-wise, players control a bill collector who must go around fighting what apparently are the galaxy’s most cunning fleet commanders (and least-attentive bill payers), by fighting with waves of ships until all planets in a section are conquered.

Yes, good people are sent to die thanks to disputes over past-due bills. It’s still not as ridiculous as Chickon.

Gameplay wise, each planet can be taken over in the player’s favor and generate more ships for them, which are represented by a number. Ships can be sent to enemy and neutral planets to diminish their numbers, and to friendly planets to bolster theirs, like if a planet is in risk of getting attacked. Bigger planets are worth protecting as they manufacture ships faster; a useful shorthand in the hectic battles full of swarming ships. Each enemy AI character has a different strategy that must be mastered in order to conquer them.

The game features ten difficulty levels and they start getting rather challenging around the middle ranks – the later ones are so hard even the developer, Phil Hassey, has had trouble beating them. That’s where the bulk of the replay value here comes from: trying to do better on existing levels and to unlock more difficulties to play on. There’s no multiplayer, or any mode really, beyond the main campaign, so players need to dive in for the experience.

GalconLegends-7The controls can be a bit chaotic: learning how to manage sending ships to and from various planets, including multiple ones at a time, takes practice considering that battles can get quite heated. As well, it can be easy to accidentally send a massive swarm of ships to one planet by dragging carelessly. Also, the slider to adjust the percentages feels like it should be the default instead of an option tucked away in a menu because of how intuitive it is versus just tapping on the number to cycle it.

While those anticipating Galcon 2 will still have something to wait for, Galcon Legends should satisfy those who haven’t played around in the Galcon universe for a while. And for those who haven’t gotten to experience this strategy series, it’s still quite unique to this day and works solidly on a touchscreen. It’s a unique experience, and still works well.

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