Galaxy Reavers – What We Think:
Galaxy Reavers is a mobile RTS set in space from developer Good Games & OXON Studio. Unfortunately the title does not live up to its developer’s name, as the core gameplay is repetitive and dull. The main element – strategy – is hindered by mobile accessibility, despite a highly polished visual flair.
Galaxy Reavers starts – like many space combat games – with a battle gone wrong for your team, leaving you in charge of the rebuilding effort. There’s actually an unskippable three-minute intro that lays it all out, and it should be very clear by the time that you get to the main menu that this is a real-time combat game set in space, with not much else to contribute.
The game then launches into a five-mission-long tutorial of sorts, where you can’t click anything that the game doesn’t want you to. So rather than outlining what you are doing and how it might come in handy later on, Galaxy Reavers only tells you what buttons to press to proceed.
Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before
The gameplay itself is rather basic, as it has to be when dealing with a mobile interface on a small screen. Each mission starts with your ships lined up facing forward, allowing you to tell them where to go.
I should mention that I played this game on an iPhone SE, which has a screen that’s not as big as many other devices. Still, I found that planning and directing was far too finicky to allow me to actually do what I wanted, effectively compromising any strategy I might have put into it.
We Have Go for Liftoff…
Once the battle starts, your ships fly toward the enemy. Your gun fires in a rhythmic cadence that will eventually take down an opponent, given enough time. Ships can be upgraded with special weapons, shields and maneuvers. These did not add much deeper strategy to my games unless I used them at precisely the right time, which the game doesn’t make very clear. The most I actually thought about these additions was placing them on my ship in the docking bay rather than during the missions.
The special weapon choices are fairly limited and unreliable, making them feel unnecessary, and I did not find the speed or shield upgrades very valuable. This is also where real money can be used to enhance the experience. However, paying money to overpower bad controls and AI feels very wrong to me.
Houston, We Are Out of Control…
Similarly disappointing, due to this lack of control, the game becomes more about keeping your ships headed towards the battleground than making any other strategic moves. There are escort and protection missions that change up the flow a bit. However, I spent most of my time sloppily reigning my ships in instead of doing any sort of strategy or tactics, which frustrated me enough to close the app on several different occasions.
It’s Pretty, Though, Right?
The game world looks very nice when zoomed in, but from the default distance, every unit just becomes an ant in a swarm. The ships themselves are well designed and crafted by a clearly dedicated art team. Unfortunately, the game does not emphasize these details at all. The sound effects are serviceable, and the music consists of your typical space marine-type battle marches.
Less Than Perfect
The carefully designed aesthetics of Galaxy Reavers do nothing to save its weak gameplay. Real time strategy games should feel hectic and challenging. Thus, the fun emerges from overcoming these challenges to master the systems enough to be able to plan attacks or ward off enemy maneuvers.
Galaxy Reavers has challenges that are fundamentally unconquerable. The controls don’t cooperate, the tactics don’t feel rewarding, and the whole game feels too dollar-store-Starcraft for my liking. If you absolutely need to play a RTS on the go, than maybe grab Galaxy Reavers. Otherwise, I’d suggest you skip it.
Galaxy Reavers is available via the iTunes App Store or Google Play.
Watch the official trailer for Galaxy Reavers below: