iPhone Games: Galcon Labs Review
Galcon Labs is a great game that boasts an increasingly intelligent enemy, ten levels of gameplay, as well as five game modes. Add to those attributes easy to learn and use game controls, decent graphics and sound, and a detailed tutorial mode and you could easily assume this app to be one of the higher priced games in the Apple store. The icing on this Galcon cake is that the app is available for only .99c! Galcon Labs is truly one of the best .99c you will ever spend at the app store.
Galcon Labs packs a lot of great things into this one, low-priced app. The Settings menus include options for color-blind mode (which is key since the game relies on being able to identify your conquered planets from your enemy’s planets), left-handed mode, color schemes, and audio settings. You can also set-up an account with Galcon.com to keep track of your high scores and connect with other players online. The design is great — very old school style space game - and the music is spot-on perfect for the game.
Basic gameplay requires players to tap to select their own planet, which will have a number indicating how many ships available to deploy. You can set the percentage of your inhabited planets’ ships to send with each deployment at the bottom of the screen. The game is default set to 50% of your total ship number. After selecting one of your planets, you drag your finger to another uninhabited planet, or an inhabited enemy planet. On uninhabited planets your fleet can establish control and start multiplying additional ships immediately, which can then be sent out again to enemy planets. The goal is to defeat your enemy’s fleets so that you can advance to the next level of play.
Gameplay is available in single player mode or multi-player mode, and both modes offer several game play choices: Classic, Billiards, Stealth, Crash, and Assassin. The game is lacking in instructions for some of the game choices, but basic play is the same from one game to the next. Billiards is pretty much the same as Classic, except in Billiards the planets are constantly moving around the screen, increasing the challenge level slightly as you need to keep an eye on where your planets and your enemy’s planets have moved. In Assassin, a planet is surrounded with crosshairs and it is your job to eliminate that planet before your enemy does. Finally, in Stealth, the colored triangles (the ships) that are typically visible become invisible. This is perhaps the most challenging of the game options, as playing against an unseen foe is far more difficult than one that you can keep visual track of.
One drawback to the game is that the game does get repetitive after several plays, especially because each game has so many levels of about equal challenge. It would be better if the levels became more challenging from the start, perhaps allowing the player to advance difficulty levels rather than just leveling up within a difficulty setting would help that problem.
For only .99c, Galcon Labs offers players a lot of play options and settings options for a nominal fee. There were some app store upsets when Galcon Labs came out not as a free update to the original Galcon, but as its own separate app with its own cost. However, the games are different enough to warrant another version rather than an update, and at only .99c, previous fans of Galcon will definitely want to check out this version of the Galcon game series.
- Easy to learn gameplay
- Several levels of play to challenge players as they improve
- Several play options in both single and multi-player modes
- Online Galcon.com community connection available
- Great game for a great price
- Can get a bit repetitive, so many levels means it takes a long time to get through