Blast space bugs in Namco Bandai's overpriced iPhone shooter.
With classic arcade games like Ms. Pac-Man and Centipede on the iPhone, it was only a matter of time before Namco Bandai brought Galaga to Apple's device. Galaga REMIX includes the 1981 original as well as an enhanced version with decent looking visuals. Although playing it conjures up memories of pizza parlors and packed arcades, the ridiculous $4.99 asking price makes it appealing to only the most diehard Galaga fanatics.
In order to make the iPhone transition, Namco Bandai whipped up three control schemes, two of which suck. The first places left and right arrow keys at the bottom left corner of the screen. They work, but you won't move fast enough to dodge the more difficult enemies. The second control scheme allows you to control your ship using the accelerometer, tilting the phone back and forth. Again, it's almost impossible to dodge tougher space bugs, and you need to tilt at a sharp angle in order to make the tiny spacecraft move.
Thankfully, the slider control prevents Galaga REMIX from being a disaster. This mode lets you slide your finger back and forth to move the ship in the desired direction. While it works partially well for the original arcade game, it's near flawless in the REMIX version because it allows us to move fast or slow. As expected, more control equals more destroyed bad guys.
With REMIX, Namco Bandai updated the visuals and made the audio easier to hear. Enemies feature more detail than in the retro version, and you'll square off against bosses after clearing a set number of stages. It's decent looking, but nowhere near as impressive as the Xbox Live Arcade game Galaga Legions. The static backgrounds, while pretty, are nowhere near as colorful.
It's also boring. The developers did little to spruce up the gameplay. You just go through the same thing, blasting the same enemies against the same looking backgrounds. Combine that with no online leaderboard to post high scores, and playing seems pointless.
Galaga REMIX is a difficult game to recommend. On the one hand, we somewhat enjoyed playing REMIX with the slider controls. On the other, the original Galaga failed to keep us entertained and we refuse to pay $4.99 for both games. Wait for a price drop.
What's Hot: Cool slider controls, REMIX version with updated visuals, semi addictive shooting.
What's Not: Two horrid control schemes, original arcade game shows its age, REMIX pales in comparison to Galaga Legions, no online leaderboard.