Slowly but surely, the App Store is being populated by all manner of Privateer-style games. We’ve already seen a superb space sim in Galaxy on Fire 2 (TMA Review), the original boardgame-like Weird Worlds: Return To Infinite Space (TMA Review), as well as a more adventure oriented experience in the amazing Warpgate (TMA Review). For fans of the latter, a new title recently hit the App Store that may well fill their spare time while waiting for a sequel – Galaxy Pirate Adventure. All aboard!
Galaxy Pirate Adventure is a space exploration Adventure/RPG. You’re a prince of one of the rival pirate clans and are set forth by your father to take on the universe. The story unfolds further as mysterious raids are detected on the outskirts of your own area of known space. Our bold hero quickly finds himself right in the middle of conflict and hunted by his own father. Sounds more cheesy than it is, actually, though the sometimes sloppy in-game writing definitely doesn’t help.
Once you get through the short opening tutorial, you’re finally handed your first ship. As the name suggests the main premise of Galaxy Pirate Adventure is, well, pirating – be it for story driven or side missions. The latter for some reason are pre-defined, though based on the wording and gameplay, it’s quite obvious they’re randomly generated. The missions come in several varieties but basically can be broken down in 2 categories: travel to a system and kill a bunch of ships or bring a specific amount of goods to a particular system. Despite the promise of an open world, there’s little of it you’ll see as no travel within a system is permitted. Instead you choose a port and push the autopilot. You can’t even maneuver your fleet near a port except for combat.
Combat by the way is a marginally upgraded effort of Warpgate with very limited controls. You can get closer or farther from the enemy, fire weapons (one by one), turn on the invincibility shield and recharge. The latter makes you basically a running duck since until the process is complete, you can’t fire or toggle the shield. As such, the combat turns into closing in on the enemy, firing all weapons, toggling the shield, flying away from the enemy’s firing range, and recharging. Rinse, repeat. This simple tactic with enough patience and careful timing will allow you to bring down even the most powerful enemy with a much weaker ship.
Speaking of which, the ship customization part of Galaxy Pirate Adventure is definitely one of its stronger aspects. They come in a variety of classes – up to the all-powerful Battlecruiser – with a bunch of different models in each. They differ in speed and power capacity, as well as the amount of slots for weapons and auxiliary equipment. Most of the items can be bought though the more advanced versions are only available as rewards for side-quests. Unfortunately (and strangely enough), for several such rare items the chance of award is set as 0%.
In addition to credits, Galaxy Pirate Adventure requires additional resources for constructing new ships, which can only be retrieved through robbing missions. This led to a conundrum during the latter stages of my game however, as the two most powerful ship classes required Carbon for construction – something that I was unable to find anywhere in the universe. It took an e-mail to the devs to find out that it was indeed a bug and that the Coal I did find was the same thing as Carbon. This has since been remedied in a patch but left me spending a nervous hour or two beating the final story mission in a ship two classes too weak.
Another strength of Galaxy Pirate Adventure is definitely the graphics – space looks gorgeous with superb visual effects and detailed ships. All of this looks especially amazing on the latest gen of Apple devices (iPad 2 and iPhone 4S) thanks to power of the A5 chip. The game’s universal, so it can be played on both the iPhone and iPad. The only thing missing from this is the game-save syncing between devices.
Despite its claim Galaxy Pirate Adventure does not really deliver on the open world space adventure experience. The limited universe, pre-defined repetitive side-quests and cheesy story just don’t live up to the promise of true freedom. That said though, the combat is quite workable, the ship customization options are superb and the graphics are simply amazing, currently making it a unrivalled way to pass the time for any genre fan, at least until Warpgate 2 arrives.
With this I declare Galaxy Pirate Adventure officially touched!
|Title:||Galaxy Pirate Adventure||Developer:||Sunfish Studio Limited|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.0.3||Min OS Req:||3.2|