Imagine a real-time strategy game that takes the gritty sci-fi grandeur of StarCraft and mixes it with the lighthearted zaniness of The Minions from Despicable Me.
Congratulations - you've just imagined Galaxy Life, the successful Facebook freemium RTS title, now available on iOS in the form of Galaxy Life: Pocket Adventures.
Galaxy Life has enjoyed a great run on Facebook, and fans of the original may wonder if it translates well to mobile devices. These fans will be happy to read that Galaxy Life: Pocket Adventures is as faithful of a port as could be imagined, straight down to its freemium business model.Across the (adorable) Universe
You begin Galaxy Life: Pocket Adventures by building up a small outpost and fortifying it from attacks by the nefarious Firebit. As the base grows, you learn to harvest coins, minerals, and chips from your environment.
From the very beginning, you have complete control over the layout of you base and can either spread it out wide across the field (not recommended) or cluster it beneath within sheltering range of nearby turrets.
But Galaxy Life: Pocket Adventures is more than a simple base-defence sort of strategy game. Because you have an entire galaxy to concern yourself with, you raid other planets for resources, or to simply spy on them.
With a host of planets to explore and colonise, this mechanic injects a dose of fun into the strategic buttocks of Galaxy Life: Pocket Adventures, helping to foster the illusion that you're really managing a space colony.Space: the fiscal frontier
As with so many social strategy games, building everything in Galaxy Life: Pocket Adventures - from units to structures - has a delay timer.
In older games, this delay timer was introduced to provide a sense of balance: if you were able to build planet-razing spaceships at the same rate that you could build infantry grunts, you would quickly become overpowered.
In social games like this, however, the build delay timer is where the developer makes its money. Building intricate units and structures takes a long time, but you can speed up the process by spending currency (chips), which you can buy in bundles ranging in cost from 69p/99c to £69.99/$99.99.
If Galaxy Life: Pocket Adventures had been a paid title we'd have been able to recommend it wholeheartedly as an excellent mobile strategy game. But it's almost unplayable past a certain point without an investment of hard currency or a phenomenal amount of patience, so you'll struggle if you're not accustomed to the freemium model.
If the strategy gameplay of StarCraft combined with the payment model of FarmVille sounds like a dream combination then Galaxy Life: Pocket Adventures is for you. It certainly provides an entertaining atmosphere, along with the temptation to send a bit of coin the developer's way.