Galaxy on Fire
A good 3D game finally hits cell phones. In other news, hell has frozen over...
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have undoubtedly noticed that the number of three dimensional games available for your phone has increased at an extremely rapid pace. Every possible taste a gamer could have has been catered for in 3D form, from puzzlers to shoot 'em ups. And with the quality of 3D engines and in-game sound being improved every day, this can only be a good thing. European developer Fishlabs' futuristic shooter, Galaxy on Fire, is a prime example of how gameplay is not lost in the transition to 3d.
Galaxy on Fire puts you in control of Keith Maxwell, a rather mild freelance pilot. The galaxy is home to about 10 different walks of life, ranging from regular big-headed grey aliens to rogue cyborgs. For the initial part of the game, you are hired by the Terran (a security force made up of humans) who will ask you to carry out a number of missions for them, which will eradicate Vossk (the evil alien race) presence in Terran territory. Once you have finished those 12 missions, you are free to roam space to your heart's content.
I can honestly say that the graphics here are probably the best I've seen so far, on a phone. Every aspect of the universe, from meteors to space fragments and ships, is polished to perfection. Despite the graphic detail, I never experienced any slowdown, to boot. Explosions and turbo boost effects add a further layer of polish. Sound is less spectacular; you're supplied with a few suitable tunes, but no sound effects to add further ambiance.
As mentioned before, after finishing the initial 12 Terran missions, the universe is your oyster. This universe happens to house 500 different planets and space stations, each with jobs waiting to be taken- from intercepting convoys, to carrying out private hits, meaning at least 500 missions (besting quite a lot of PSP and DS games in terms longetivity).
There are also about 20 different ships to pilot, each with different attributes and weapon capabilities. You will also level up and gain notoriety as you complete more missions, buy better shields and weapons and destroy more ships. Finally, you have a "loyalty meter", which will determine who you swear allegiance to. If you continue to do missions for the Terran, you will stay on the right side of the meter, and will not have to bribe customs to enter Terran territory. If you turn into a bad little boy, however, and visit Vossk planets, buy Vossk ships (which I have to admit are much better than Terran ones) and complete Vossk missions, you will be frowned upon by the Terran, and will move near the left of the meter.
The only real problems I found with this little gem are the sound and its size (around 500kb). The animation is fluid, the controls are intuitive, an incredible amount of detail is crammed in, and longetivity is excellent. It proves the mobile phone's ability to near console quality graphics, plain and simple.
What's Hot: excellent attention to detail, outstanding lifespan, good initial story, incredible depth.
What's Not: not enough sound effects, resolution could be better