Galaxy Pirate Adventure iPhone Game Review.
A month or so ago, I reviewed Project MOS, a superb galaxy adventure game and walked away with the impression that a single-player version of such a game would be a best-seller on the AppStore. True enough, the moment I saw Galaxy Pirate Adventure I jumped out of my chair. The AppStore screenshots were delightful and the game play promised hours of fun. I immediately downloaded it and it’s been a joyride ever since.
What is Galaxy Pirate Adventure
The new iOS addition to the AppStore, released just last week, is a high quality full 3D space RPG in the true sense of the word. It’s a full-fledged adventure game that puts you in charge of a starship and lets you decide what your fate will be: a frigate-looting pirate or a commodity trader. This sounds a bit like EVE online, but it doesn’t reach that level of complexity. In Galaxy Pirate Adventure, you get to accept both missions that deal with looting and destroying enemies as well as missions that will require you to bring commodities from one star port to another.
The story line contributes to the game play, at times it’s carefully weaved in, which is a nice touch. As the son of the Galaxy Pirate King, you have to prove yourself worthy of the title of Prince. You start off with a small ship and you need to carefully choose your battles and missions in order to be able to progress in this 40-hour story. You’ll eventually be able to get a bigger ship, more weapons, face bigger enemies, trade more and who knows? Maybe overthrow the King, your father?
Gameplay is key
The one thing I was afraid for with Galaxy Pirate Adventure is the gameplay. With a game of this magnitude, complex controls or a steep learning curve can easily break it. Luckily, it wasn’t the case. The game has a lean learning curve, you’re introduced to new controls as they become available, with a few notable exceptions, and the fighting controls are, well, pretty damn clear.
The goal of the game is not as clear however. After you play the tutorial, you won’t hear from your father again for quite some time. Until then, it seems like your just jumping from star port to star port, competing missions with the short-term goal of making some cash or looting other ships. In short, it seems like you’re accepting missions because you have to.
Prepare for battle
Going into a fight with your ship takes a combination of defending and attacking, naturally. When you defend, you need to have your shield up. Activating the shield takes up energy and the shield is active for a few seconds before it goes down again. So you need to time your shield activations with the enemy fire.
You can always recharge your energy, but that will make you incapable of defending, so be sure to move away from the enemy’s fire range before you refill your energy. When the enemy is recharging, it’s the perfect time to strike. Move towards him and let him have it.
Generally, it was pretty easy to win a fight. You battle one or two enemies at a time, in the first missions, so it’s easy to pay attention to when you’re warned of incoming enemy fire and put up your shield, and fire at the enemy when you see him recharging.
The battles had a lower difficulty level, so to me Galaxy Pirate Adventure felt like a game of pilling up money from missions, but to what purpose?
Welcome to star port
What was a bit bothersome was that at times I felt like I didn’t know what I supposed to do. Every time you dock in a star port, you have a bunch of options. You can fuel and repair your ship, you can buy commodities or sell your cargo, upgrade your ship, buy new parts or even another ship and enlarge your fleet.
But not all this options will be available at every star port. Most star ports don’t carry additional ships or parts for your own ship. With the ones that do, I’m not sure how I can refill my current weapons, save for buying new parts and replacing empty weapons with new ones I just bought.
One thing is clear, there are two parts to adding new weapons to your star ship. You need the actual part, but you also need someone to operate it. You can equip the weapon, but you won’t be able to fire it until you recruit someone to operate it. For the first missions, you don’t even need additional weapons, and they’re hard to find anyway.
Trading is easier though. All star ports will have a Market you can buy and sell goods in. Depending on how much money you have and how big your ship is, you have a limit of how much of something you can buy and transport. Personally, I didn’t even see the point of buying something unless you have a mission that needs you to. Sure, you can trade Cigarettes around for a less-than-meaningful profit, but who wants to be a mule? I was more personally interested in fighting missions.
Every star port will offer you missions. You can choose to accept a mission after reviewing what your task is and what the rewards are. Once you accept it though, you can undock and got to warp to complete it.
Some impressive graphics
Everything that I loved in Project MOS is ultra-upgraded in Galaxy Pirate Adventure. It’s full 3D. You can gesture around the screen and marvel at the amazing scenery. There are 10 star systems, 40 star ports and 2 pirate kingdoms to warp through. No two star ports are alike and it’s amazing to see how much work has been put into these details. They really do make the game worthwhile.
The sounds complement the space atmosphere, but it tends to get repetitive. The battle sound effects are simply gorgeous though.
Galaxy Pirate Adventure comes packed with 37 unique spaceships, 400 pieces of equipment and crew members and more than 50 rare items. Couple the amazing graphics with the amazing cinematic cutscenes and you’ve got on your hands a game that you can literally play for hours.
Galaxy Pirate Adventure is an universal download for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Developer: Sunfish Studio Limited
Version reviewed: 1.0.1
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