Galaxy on Fire 2 HD is an excellent sci-fi game with an extensive storyline, massive amounts of side missions, and graphics that will render you speechless. The original version of this game has been around for almost a year but the developers have released this HD version which is optimized for devices packing Apple’s A5 processor, which include the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2.
The storyline holds true to the original version of Galaxy on Fire 2 but for those unfamiliar with the game, here is the back story:
A hyperdrive malfunction sends intergalactic adventurer and war hero Keith T. Maxwell tumbling through space and time. Awakening 35 years later at the far end of the galaxy, he quickly finds himself fighting for his life against a mysterious alien armada that is wreaking havoc on the warring races occupying this volatile sector of space.
The story is just interesting enough to keep me motivated to see it through to the end. The developer boasts that game has 10+ hours of gameplay and that is no lie. I have passed the 10 hour mark, have not completed the main storyline, and there are still more side missions left than I know what to do with.
You spend the majority of the game in a third person view of a spaceship and the only exception is when you are docked at a space station. In these stations you will experience text based conversations with other characters. Through conversations you will acquire more missions and receive money for successfully completing them. You can also get money by mining astroids for Ore and then selling the materials in the space station’s Hangar. Money can be used to buy more powerful spaceships and weapons, hiring wingmen, or purchasing components to build your own weapons. Different planets will have different prices for all items so there is definitely an element of economic strategy to the game. There is a Space Lounge on every planet and it is the place to go when you need a mission or want to earn some extra money. The types of missions vary from transporting cargo or passengers across the galaxy to being hired security for other citizens. Overall the gameplay is entertaining and it makes it hard to put the game down.
The real selling point of this release is the stunningly enhanced visuals. All the 3D models used in the game have been completely rebuilt and many elements such as asteroids and jumpgates are four-times the original resolution. The developers have added additional light sources for incredible realism which can be truly appreciated when taking an “Action Freeze” — it is like a screenshot except you can spin the camera around in any direction to find the best angle, utilizing the light sources to enhance the quality of the freeze frame. New textures and enhanced backgrounds all equate to an amazing visual representation of a living, breathing universe that is so immersive I guarantee you will lose track of time while playing.
Galaxy on Fire 2 HD also brings integration with Apple’s newly released iCloud service. Players have the ability to save their game to their iCloud account and it works extremely well. I was able to effortlessly jump between the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S while playing this game. I felt the experience was a little better on the iPhone 4S because the graphics seemed a bit more crisp than on the iPad, likely because of the Retina display.
There are a couple of things I would change about Galaxy on Fire 2. First, I would have the game load my most recent game save after I get killed instead of taking me all the way out to the main menu. This is a waste of time and slightly irratating. I would also like to see Apple’s AirPlay properly supported so I can play the game on my TV using the Apple TV. Real Racing 2 HD perfected the implementation of AirPlay and I think Galaxy on Fire 2 HD could really benefit from having a similar feature — possibly have a map of the galaxy on your device while you pilot your ship on the TV.
That being said, I do love Galaxy on Fire 2 HD. I don’t think I have ever been as addicted to an iOS game as I am to this one. I usually get bored with games after a day or two but there are so many missions to complete, people to talk to, weapons to build, systems to explore, ores to mine, aliens to destroy… I just can’t get enough.
Galaxy on Fire 2 HD is available on the App Store for $9.99.
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