Mobile Monday: Galaxy Conquerors iOS Review
Raven Castle Studios
Raven Castle Studios
Galaxy Conquerors has one thing in common with the majority of bullet-hell shooters: It is punishingly difficult.
Galaxy Conquerors Review
Unfortunately, that is where any comparisons stop. Other popular games in the genre like R-Type and Ikaruga were difficult, fun to control, and an overall blast to play. Galaxy Conquerors falls apart in nearly every aspect of the bullet-hell experience.
Understandably, a decent story line isn’t common or even very necessary in a good shooter. Galaxy Conquerors isn’t the exception, but the minimal story that is displayed here is cringe-worthy at best. The story is odd, focusing on a future where humanity has achieved peace which prompts them to abandon all weapons development in favor if researching new technologies that will allow them to colonize the “empty space”. Predictably, humans aren’t alone in outer space and now must defend themselves against waves of alien invaders. You play as a lone “drone pilot” who appears to be humanity’s last hope for survival. This simple plot is made extra silly by the dialogue. It is bad, but in a way that will no doubt make you laugh. The phrase, “Something wrong is going on” does spring to mind.
I could forgive the hilariously bad dialogue in Galaxy Conquerors if it wasn’t for the fact that the text boxes that pop up on screen didn’t directly interfere with gameplay. Occasionally, a dialogue box will appear in the midst of an enemy wave. The action doesn’t pause while the text is displayed, leaving you open to taking to damage from enemies that are hidden behind said text box. Unfortunately, this is only one of the issues that takes away from the overall experience. The controls in Galaxy Conquerors are not as responsive as you’d like from a bullet-hell shooter. Your ship is controlled by dragging across the screen you to where you would like the ship to go. However, the ship struggles to keep up with your finger, even when the sensitivity is set to the maximum level. This is unforgivable in a game that requires the player to dodge hundreds of on screen projectiles. Perhaps the worst offender is that there are times when you will take fire from behind. This is a poor design choice as your finger makes it impossible to see these assaults.
Galaxy Conquerors attempts to mix things up with a variety of mission types. On top of the common shooter stages; you will also conduct bomb runs, escort missions, and survival game types. While I can commend the developer for trying to add some variety, the issues I mentioned plague these missions all the same. The bomb run missions are especially frustrating and initially confusing. When I first encountered this mission type, it wasn’t immediately apparent as to how you destroy enemies on the ground. There were no clear instructions that tell you that your main weapon cannot be used against ground based enemies. I had to figure out on my own that you have to use special weapons (which are minimally upgradeable), such as: homing missiles and bombs. Once you figure that out, another problem presents itself: These weapons have a cool down period after every use. The cool down period is fairly brief but you are left completely defenseless against ground enemies while you wait for your bombs and missiles to recharge. This becomes especially frustrating when a stage will sometimes culminate with a large structure that can only be destroyed by your special weapons. Your main gun has no effect. This causes the fight to drag on way too long and sometimes may seem impossible as you also have to avoid projectiles from constant waves of enemies. There are times when I wanted to give up entirely.
The visuals in Galaxy Conquerors aren’t too hard on the eyes, but I quickly found myself becoming bored with what I was looking at. The variety of enemy ships was very minimal and the environments (which range from open space to barren planetary wastelands) seemed empty and uninteresting. That could almost be considered a good thing, seeing as how there is little to distract you from trying to survive the enemy’s attacks and wonky controls. Mission instructions are also accompanied by the blank and expressionless stare of your commander that will be forever burned into my memory.
The audio in the game could also use some work. There is little in the way of sound effects to speak of. You might hear the sound of your missiles launching and enemy exploding. I say “might” because the sound effects seem to play randomly with some enemies not even making a sound when I turn them into a ball of flame. Your main weapon (which is constantly firing) doesn’t make a sound either. In the brief breaks between enemy waves, all there is to listen to is the repetitive music track stuck on a loop (which continues into menus as well). Maybe it’s just me, but it takes me out of the experience when I cannot hear the action that I partake in.
When it comes to indie game development, you can’t expect them all to be winners. This happens to be the case with Galaxy Conquerors. With some updates and tweaking, I am confident that this game could at least be a passable time waster. However, as it stands now, Galaxy Conquerors misses its mark.