Galcon Fusion PC, Mac, Linux Review
You may have heard of the little game for the iPhone called Galcon, award winner for Mobile Innovation in Mobile Game Design at the 2009 Independent Game Festival. Galcon Fusion is a desktop update of Galcon that introduces updated HD graphics and new modes of play.
Galcon Fusion can’t easily be placed in a specific genre. The best way I can describe it is as a pseudo-RTS, where you control many units at any given time. But there is only one unit type, there aren’t any buildings to build, and no resources to gather. Yet it is also similar to a puzzle game because you have to think about your game plan if you want to win as quickly as possible.
There is only a single objective for each and every map and game type in the game: capture all of your opponents’ planets. You start out with a single planet which produces triangular ships. With these ships you must capture adjacent planets in order to produce more units. The larger the planet you capture, the faster it will produce your ships. While doing this you need to contend with your opponent who is also capturing planets and quite possibly attacking your own. Once you have captured all of your opponent’s unit producing planets you have won. The objective is simple but quite satisfying, especially when a match can last for over an hour and at last you reign victorious.
The problem with having such a simple premise for a game is that it really is just that simple. No matter what game type you play, you are constantly doing the same thing over and over again, which makes the singleplayer get extremely tedious far to quickly. The same thing goes for the multiplayer, except that when you finally get into a game, you most likely will be outclassed and stomped within mere minutes. One time it took me thirty minutes to get into a game.
Singleplayer consists of eight different game types: classic, a standard game type of capture and attack; vacuum, a time trial to capture all of the planets; beast, only a few planets with several large planets; 3-way, you against two enemies; stealth, you can’t see your enemy; billiards, all the planets are moving; crash, only six large planets are included; and assassination, you and an ally against one super enemy. After playing each one I found that classic to be the most enjoyable, although all of the modes basically boil down to the same thing.
The music is some of the best I have ever heard in an indie game like this. I found myself humming it while going about my day. I just wish there were more good things to say about Galcon Fusion. It’s overly simple and lacks the diversity for extended play. As it stands, it’s better suited to the iPhone, but you could download the demo and if you really like it, buy it.