hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Galcon Fusion

2:00 PM on 02.12.2010 // Anthony Burch

Galcon, it has to be said, is one of the best iPhone strategy games on a platform overflowing with them. Winner of the 2009 Independent Games Festival award for Best Mobile Game, Galcon -- developed independently by a single dude -- was recently updated and ported for the PC.

But is Galcon Fusion worth a buy? It's got a whole host of new game modes and prettier graphics, sure, but should iPhone-less strategy fans be excited? Should fans of the iPhone version bother buying this indie darling a second time around?

Hit the jump for our official review.

ere

Galcon Fusion (PC/Mac/Linux)
Developer: Phil Hassey
Released: February 11, 2010
MSRP: $9.99

The iPhone version of Galcon is, without question, one of the most enjoyable games in the entire App store. Fast-paced, intuitive, and visually excessive, it's a fantastic mobile strategy experience.

Emphasis, sadly, on the word mobile.

Apart from some prettier graphics and new game modes, Galcon Fusion plays identical to its predecessor. Up to twelve players fight for control of a single screen full of planets; each planet occupied by a player automatically creates units over time, and you can only take over another planet by making sure your invading forces outnumber its defending forces. Since your units are created really fast and the map is pretty small, you'll find yourself embroiled in some pretty huge fights, pretty quickly.

As your only actual input concerns deciding how many units to send to which planets, Galcon is as easily understood a strategy game as I've ever played. There's no dicking around with resource management, or unit upgrades, or base building: it's just your units, your enemy's units, and the map. Within thirty seconds, you might have four hundred units to your name. Within forty seconds, you'll watch in empowered glee as the screen fills with a flood of your bright neon fighters, speeding toward one of your foe's planets. The words "think fast" have never seemed so appropriate.

erere

While Galcon can provide a lot of entertainment on the mobile platform, however, it feels out of place on the PC. On the iPhone, the fact that games only last about sixty seconds was a plus: in the time it takes to finish brushing your teeth with one hand, you can conquer an entire galaxy with your other. On a proper computer, however, the very simplicity that makes it such a fantastic mobile game also makes it an awkward PC experience.

It's one thing to be simplistic when lousy tower defense games and farting apps are your main competition; it's another to compete for my free time when (A) I'm sitting in front of a computer, and thus have a heck of a lot of it and (B) I have easy access to much more complex, protracted strategy experiences like Civilization or Empire: Total War.

Not to suggest that Galcon is inherently better or worse than those games -- it's just different, and suited to a different environment than what the PC generally provides. Galcon Fusion requires a great deal of strategy, but its fast pace and simplicity meant that after about five or six games, I'd generally had enough. To sit at a PC is to dedicate oneself to prolonged play, and Galcon is simply too intense for that. In the span of a minute you'll watch an entire empire rise and fall, see gigantic armies clash on a few key locations, and feel the intense stress of realtime unit management while trying to predict your enemy's next move. It's like playing Risk at 300 mph; it's strategic and satisfying, sure, but finishing a match is like stepping off a roller coaster. It's an exhausting experience, and tough to endure for long stretches of time.

erere

If there is one thing about Galcon Fusion that works better on the PC, however, it's the multiplayer. I haven't had a single problem setting up or joining matches since the game's release, which is more than I can say for the mobile version. The match browser is clearly organized and informative, making it remarkably easy to find the sort of game you want to play. Though the singleplayer mode includes a host of difficulty levels, there's nothing like playing Galcon against another living person, in realtime. The presence of another human makes a tense experience even more nerve-wracking; at any moment the screen might suddenly explode with your opponent's ships, and you've gotta be ready. Being able to type "FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUU" into chat as your entire flood of units fails to conquer a particularly well-defended asteroid is also a plus.

The added game modes (presumably created to justify the higher $9.99 price tag) are kind of cute, but nothing more than a diversion from the best, original mode. "Billiards" moves the planets around in constant swirling orbits, ever-so-slightly changing the player's deployment strategies; "Stealth" makes everyone's units more or less invisible to everyone else, and so on. The truly hardcore may find enough difference between these modes to jusitfy their existence, but to the untrained eye they come off as more gimmicky than anything else. Within fifteen minutes of play, you'll have experienced all the extra modes. If you don't really fall in love with any of them, I wouldn't entirely blame you for complaining about Fusion's price

All in all, Galcon is a tremendously easy game to recommend to anyone with access to an iPhone or iPod touch; Galcon Fusion is slightly harder to vouch for. If you can handle the game's intensity enough to stick with it for prolonged play sessions -- or if, conversely, you're perfectly fine with sporadically playing it for a few minutes at a time before switching it off -- then maybe Galcon Fusion is for you. If not, maybe you're better off picking it up for the iPhone.

Score: 5.0 -- Mediocre (5s are an exercise in apathy, neither Solid nor Liquid. Not exactly bad, but not very good either. Just a bit "meh," really.)

w

 




 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Mediamister avatarMediamister
Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
DTOID PAX MEET UP DAY 1 WAS FIRE.EMOJI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shinta avatarShinta
[youtube]https://youtu.be/JOXdORyTqVY[/youtube] I told you guys ... The Witcher 3 has more pirouettes than a ballet show. It's ridiculous!
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Are we really calling followers "fappers" on these quick posts? I knew I loved Dtoid.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[youtube]https://youtu.be/z04MAOubUgM[/youtube] This might've been a fun show.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Someone is trying to log into my Dtoid account. I keep getting emails notifying me of bad password attempts. What?
gajknight avatargajknight
If you spend 10 minutes trying to write a Quickpost...can it really be called Quickpost?
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
So I have enough coins to get a new character in Heroes of the Storm. I like big portly characters like the Butcher or Stitches, but I did enjoy my free week of Tychus. Crowd thoughts?
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Today I learned that Bad Rats 2 is a thing that is happening. I don't know how to feel about this.
techsupport avatartechsupport
The temp agency that employs me had me work as a sign spinner today. As in, I held a six foot cardboard arrow-shaped sign and spun it and danced for six hours. It got interesting when a homeless couple confronted me about hogging their spot.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
V days until !
Snaveage avatarSnaveage
5ish hours into Phantom Pain and it is absolutely glorious. This is truly A Hideo Kojima game.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
It looks like my job at PAX didn't work out (For a variety of reasons). Have fun at the convention, everyone! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdqoNKCCt7A
thelivinglegend avatarthelivinglegend
Witches of Crookback Bog from Witcher 3 is the best quest in the whole game and of any game I've played in recent memory.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I was just accosted by the most gorgeous cosmetics saleswoman with an adorable Hatian-Creole accent. It's not often my attention gets that immersed in a total bullshit sales pitch. Well, that and I didn't want her to let go of my arm.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
My son just washed my Majora's Mask NEW 3DS because the screen was dirty. Bahahaha *cries uncontrollably*
Flegma avatarFlegma
Ever thought of skipping a console generation (and not upgrading PC for years, either) because of how big your pile of shame is? I'm doing that just now.
Tenzan  avatarTenzan
Apparently there are cancellations on the CE versions of MGSV:TTP from Europe and North America. People getting emails saying they are cancelled and such. On top of that is that there's been unboxings that don't have the extras for the Day One edition.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I've been mad at myself all morning for missing the apostrophe in "I'll" on my Quickpost last night, but it turns out that apostrophes just don't show up on the feed! Isn't that the bee's knees?
Perro avatarPerro
Playing through Skies of Arcadia Legends right now. Bringing this to Steam or current gen in HD seems like a no-brainer. Make it so, Sega!
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -