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It Came from Canada: Galaxy Dash

Posted by Jordan Minor on August 19th, 2014

With its use of well-established tropes like endless flying and sci-fi space shooting, the upcoming Galaxy Dash: Race to the Outer Run most likely won’t confound expectations. However, with its robust amount of opportunities for fun player interactions it might just exceed them. We check out this new great space coaster in the latest edition of It Came From Canada!

Galaxy Dash has the typical infinite runner set-up: players control a ship and try to fly out as far as possible, hopping between the three lanes to avoid enemies and obstacles. But from that familiar framework, the game then introduces a lot of interesting small details that add up to something greater. For starters, players can shoot lasers to bring down bogeys or bust open gem-filled asteroids. However, the weapons need recharging so players must plan their shots carefully. Part of that includes paying attention to the snaking nature of the lanes. Shots always go out straight, but players themselves will be at the whim of their looping path. The way larger deadly asteroids casually intersect also adds to the cool feeling of naturalism.

But players' options aren’t limited to pure offense. In between rounds, they can upgrade various aspects of their ship or purchase new models. One upgrade path lets players increase the speed of their shield, which charges throughout each run and can soak up a single hit. Or players can choose to upgrade their cargo. Each run is littered with crates - some lying out in the open and others attached to special enemies. Depending on their capacity, players can pick up these boxes and earn extra points by carrying them to the checkpoint outpost separating each section. Finally, players can recruit allies who leave special power-ups for them to find, like deadly double lasers. Tying Galaxy Dash's surprising amount of gameplay choices together is the clean, colorful art style. What looks to be cel-shading gives beautiful depth to images that could’ve seemed flat otherwise.

Again, Galaxy Dash won’t feel like some radically innovative experience once it fully launches - it does things players have seen before. However, it’s hard not to appreciate how well and how intelligently it executes those familiar ideas.

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Space Qube Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Carter Dotson on October 10th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: HALF AND HALF
Space Qube makes it easy and fun to build spaceships. Playing with them is kind of disappointing, though.
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BlastPoints Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Carter Dotson on December 17th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: A BLAST
BlastPoints is a space shooter that's great for picking up in short bursts, but is it worth coming back to again and again?
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Odyssey: Alone Against the Whole Space Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on November 26th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: DOWN
So many things could have gone wrong with Odyssey, and a few things did, but it all comes together in the end thanks to lots of RPG trappings.
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Galaxy on Fire 2 - Supernova Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on October 5th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: COULD BURN BRIGHTER
Supernova may very well be Keith T. Maxwell's most dangerous adventure to date, but it might also be his most frustrating.
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Space Shooter Blitz Review

By Rob Rich on September 26th, 2012
One minute. Tons of hostile aliens. Even more tons of bullets. Let's rock.
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Quantum Legacy HD Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on September 17th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: DECEPTIVELY STRATEGIC
Quantum Legacy HD has just the right amount of arcade shooting mixed with just the right amount of strategic gameplay to create one surprisingly awesome title.
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Dangerous is a Console-Quality iOS Game

Posted by Rob Rich on August 10th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The Backstory
Sentenced to an eternity in suspended animation for a heinous crime he may or may not have committed, the man known as “Dangerous” is woken up a century later and unceremoniously tossed back into the fray. Actions performed and choices made will help determine the war criminal’s ultimate fate. Where he goes and who he becomes is largely up to the player, but savior or super-villain, there’s bound to be lots and lots of shooting and exploration.

The Gameplay
Dangerous features a massive universe to explore with plenty of star systems – each with their own denizens, commodities, resident dangers, and missions spanning through each of them. Navigation and combat can be handled via manual tilt/virtual stick controls, but things are at their best when using the contextual button commands. Orders can be issued with a tap or two, and most variables (i.e. distance to target) can be adjusted using a simple slider. Experience can be used to purchase and upgrade a variety of useful skills, and any spoils can be re-appropriated or sold in order to purchase better ships, gear, or modifications.

How does it Compare?
While Dangerous may have its roots firmly planted in the space adventure sims of old, the rest of it is very much reaching for the now. The steady pacing, wealth of customizations by way of skills and equipment, huge environment to explore, and especially the almost hands-free approach to performing actions are very reminiscent of the “cult hit” MMO juggernaut EVE Online. In fact, the only things missing – aside from the super-pretty textures – are the other human players and the wacky economy. For all intents and purposes, Dangerous is indeed a single-player EVE Online, and personally I’m inclined to believe that’s a very good thing.

Dangerous did go through some growing pains. The interface, while still not all that pretty, was a horrific mess after the initial release and most of the menus were nearly impossible to read on an iPhone due to size and formatting issues. However, all of the major gripes that have had a noticeable effect on the gameplay have since been addressed. Now Dangerous is every bit the giant space sim it was meant to be, and every bit a Console-Quality iOS Game.

*NOTE: “Console-quality” refers to the quality of the experience, not just the graphics. This is about the depth of gameplay, content, and in some cases how accurately it portrays the ideals of its console counterpart.*

Final Space Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Dan Lee on April 16th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: PRETTY
Patrol space tunnels and destroy enemy ships!
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Endless War Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on April 6th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CHOOSE WISELY
Despite initial appearances, Endless War can be a surprisingly personal shoot-em-up.
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AstroWings2 - space odysey Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on March 29th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: ROUGH SKIES
It gets the obvious stuff right, but this shmup stumbles a bit with the key fundamentals.
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+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on February 14th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: BIG GUNS
TAITO brings another shmup classic to iOS, complete with some new bells and whistles.
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Shogun Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on February 7th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: RISK
This tribute to classic Japanese shoot-em-ups has a couple of tricks up its sleeve.
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Asteroid 2012 3D Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on January 30th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SIMPLY SHOOT
Asteroid 2012 3D may not have a whole lot of bells and whistles, but it does shooting space rocks quite well.
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Galaxy on Fire 2 is going Supernova

Posted by Rob Rich on January 18th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: COULD BURN BRIGHTER :: Read Review »

It isn't much of a surprise to see that Galaxy on Fire 2, one of the App Store's most notable space adventures, is going to be getting a second in-game add-on pack. Let's face it, the game is excellent and the added content from Valkyrie was more than welcome. FishLabs deciding to follow it up with a second batch of new things was only natural. Thus we have (or will have, really) Supernova.

Supernova is set to pick up right after the events of Valkyrie. Keith is taking it easy at the Deep Science space station, but it's not long before another galactic peril makes itself known. The entire Mido sector suddenly finds itself threatened with annihilation as a supernova "of unknown origin" appears. Keith being Keith, he decides to get involved. The entire adventure is said to last "at least twice as long" as the previous add-on, with promises of 10 hours of gameplay, new mission types, more ships and more story.

Dates and pricing aren't available at the moment, but it's probably safe to assume it'll cost about as much as Valkyrie ($4.99) and will be out sometime in the second quarter of this year. Be sure to keep a look out for release blurbs.