Galaga Review

If you're interested in pure Galaga nostalgia, Galaga for mobile is a perfect port.

With several comfortable control schemes and almost perfect mimicry of the original game, Galaga for mobile reminds us that often there's just no improving upon a classic. Simply put, if you want your Galaga fix, this is the game for you.

Three cheers for Galaga!
Three cheers for Galaga!

One of the earliest shooters in history and notably one of the great pioneers in video gaming, Galaga paved the way for all of today's different types of shooters. Despite its simplistic gameplay, it still demonstrates how powerful gaming fundamentals can be. Galaga for mobile is essentially identical to the classic arcade space shooter, which was the first to have enemies arriving onscreen only after you did (before Galaga, you would always just "happen" upon a cluster of alien ships). There's also the matter of the ships that can capture you in their tractor beams. When destroyed, these enemies release your ship back to fight side by side with its replacement, which is a great tactical maneuver. This move also comes in handy for bonus stages, which boost your score significantly if played correctly.

The gameplay is perfectly copied from the arcade version, including all of the original sound effects, which, although not arcade perfect, are a good simulation. The graphics are understandably minimal, but they still do justice to the original game without looking too dated. There is a pass-and-play two-player mode if you're feeling competitive, as well as a vibration function that can be turned on and off. In Galaga for mobile, you can select between three difficulty levels: easy, normal, and original. There are definite differences between the difficulty settings, and it makes finding one suitable for your abilities a very easy task. There are also several different control schemes, all active at once, so you can choose whichever feels the most comfortable on the fly. Although Galaga doesn't quite copy the feel of an arcade machine, having several different control options for the mobile game is a great start.

The one negative aspect of this version of Galaga would be that in almost 25 years there has been no update to the game whatsoever. This isn't a criticism, but rather a critique. While Galaga is a superior game on its own, it would have been nice to have seen a few added features, provided that they fit in with the schema of the original (perhaps the game could have offered "classic" and "updated" modes). Nevertheless, if you're interested in pure Galaga nostalgia, Galaga for mobile is a perfect port.

The Good

  • Great port
  • Familiar sound effects
  • It's Galaga!
  • Multiple difficulty settings

The Bad

  • Nothing new added

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