Galcon Legends – PC
Developer: Hassey Enterprises, Inc.
Publisher: Hassey Enterprises, Inc.
Release Date: January 13, 2014
Nerd Rating: 7 out of 10
Reviewed by Malefico
Galcon Legends is a cool and addicting campaign-driven, real-time strategy game that pits you against AI opponents for control of the galaxy. You play Buck, a collections agent for the Intergalactic Seed Corporation. Your goal is to make your way across the universe, collect overdue debts, and defeat the evil slug princess among other colorful foes. It’s a fun ride that doesn’t last long enough.
The game is quite simple. You begin each map with one or more home planets that generate additional attack ships over time. The map is comprised of a number of neutral and enemy planets of varying sizes (larger planets generate ships more quickly) that have a number of defense ships available. To take a planet, you need only attack it with more ships than are defending. Each time you attack from one of your planets, you send half of the total number of ships at the planet on the offensive. So, a planet with 100 ships can send 50 to attack. You can attack from one, some or all of your planets by clicking them in succession, or double-clicking one to select all your planets. The more planets you own, the more ships you can send out to secure the rest of the map.
As you progress across the galactic map, the setups become more difficult, and you can also choose to increase or decrease the game’s difficulty after each map. While Galcon Legends starts easily enough, it quickly becomes a frenetically-paced, challenging game, especially if you continue to ramp up the difficulty. Soon enough you’ll face more than one opponent on each map, and meet hostile forces that have special abilities, just to keep things interesting.
Control is accomplished by a point-and-click interface. Since the only action you’ll undertake is to order your fleets to attack, you simply click on the planet or planets you want to attack from, then click on the target planet to launch the attack. Double-clicking selects all your planets if you want to bring the pain in a big way.
The graphics in Galcon Legends are perfectly adequate, not earth-shattering but detailed enough to make the game environment attractive. The ships themselves are simple triangles, and hearken back to the raster-based renderings of the first arcade games in their simplicity. As this game is a derivative of Galcon, a multiplayer-only title for various mobile platforms, the visuals are not taxing for PCs and even players without a video card should be able to run Galcon Legends with no problem.
Galcon Legends in-game music is noteworthy. The title music is well-suited to the theme, but in addition to the usual grinding techno or ambient aural experience, the player is treated to the sound of strumming banjos and other folksy melodies in keeping with the unusual juxtaposition of space and down-home country flavor in this game. ‘Tis unusual to hear a hoedown in space.
Sound effects are extremely simple, but the lack of variety doesn’t really detract from the experience as you are usually fighting for your life and don’t notice anything but the rapidly changing battlefield.
The AI is not particularly smart, but since the player starts with one or two planets and the computer can have 20 or more, it doesn’t have to be to win if the player loses focus. Each enemy opponent does have a particular fighting style, which means each has a weakness. Depending on how the map is laid out, though it can be easier said than done to win and progress.
The Bottom Line
Galcon Legends offers even casual gamers an engaging if shallow RTS experience. Instead of focusing on research and tech, players can kick back and concentrate on the various strategies required to beat the campaign maps.
The matches turn over quickly. Basically, you’ll win or lose in about two minutes per map, except in the rare cases where the sides are so evenly matched that every move is crucial. The game play can range from laughably easy to incredibly difficult (unwinnable) depending on how you scale the difficulty after each fight. At its lowest setting, you can easily beat this game in under an hour. Turn up the difficulty level, though and you’ll be lucky to make it past the first couple maps.
Although the concept is simple, the pace of the game makes it enjoyable – perfect for a few quick fights between other activities. The maps quickly become clogged with ships on their way to conquer planets, and the player can easily lose important real estate if he/she becomes too focused on one area of the map. Become to set on taking over the big planets and you can lose your whole empire quickly.
Galcon Legends is not a deep game. If you’re looking for a detailed RTS it’s not the game for you as it eschews complex tech trees and varied attack forces for blazing-fast action and homogenous fleets. But if you want something that’s easy to learn and can be picked up and put down it just might fit the bill. It’s impossible to argue with the concept or execution of Galcon Legends; everything works well and although you may not win every battle, it won’t be because of faulty controls or other design elements. Although there aren’t a lot of maps, you can always increase the difficulty until every battle is a frantic struggle for survival. The game also allows you to re-generate each map – general conditions stay the same but your starting point changes, so even the same fight can become easier/more difficult depending on where you start and the number of valuable planets close to you at the beginning of the match.
Galcon Legends is a good way to gain some experience with general strategy before you make the leap to Galcon – a multiplayer only title. Just like any game, the pressure and complexity are increased exponentially when you go from AI to human opponents.
While this game is fun and diverting, it’s a stretch to say it’s worth the money. At $10 from various online channels, Galcon Legends is selling at a price point that includes a huge number of titles with a lot more content and substance. Hopefully the developer will release an expansion for players who buy the basic game that will expand the campaign, or include some other inducement to make the purchase more worthwhile.
Galcon Legends is a solid little game that lacks the more lengthy and involved campaign that needs to be present to make it a must-have title. While it does bring to the table is decent graphics, music and game play; it’s more of an appetizer than a meal. Still, if you like RTS and can accept the fact that the only replay value lies in ratcheting up the difficulty to absurd, you’ll appreciate the simple concept, shallow learning curve and the possibility of conquering the galaxy in under five minutes.
7 out of 10, needs more content to make it truly great.
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