The iPad is the perfect platform for real time strategy, what with its enormous screen and responsive multi-touch controls. Sadly the genre can be extremely nuanced and nigh-on impenetrable for the majority of gamers, and recognising this fact, Galcon have trimmed down the concept into something akin to a fast-paced puzzler.
You'll take over the galaxy... one finger swipe at a time.
Each solar system (read: level) is represented by a number of planets on a single screen. Each player starts with a home base that houses their initial fleet - with the objective being to dominate the entire map and crush your enemies in the process. The population of each planet is represented by a slowly-increasing number, and to take them over, you'll simply swipe your finger from one of your territories to the world in question.
Doing so unleashes an armada of ships that wears down the population of the target whilst depleting the population of your first planet - and upon hitting zero, you'll claim ownership. Your enemy will be doing the same, and since each celestial body regenerates with time, the gameplay is marked by periods of rest and recharge punctuated by intense staccato skirmishes over weak targets.
The singleplayer mode is nothing more than foreplay. You can square off against some tough AI opponents and get a feel for the simple mechanics, but after a little practice, you'll soon realise that the meat of the experience is to be found in online multiplayer battles. The streamlined gameplay makes for swift, accessible and frantic matches - and when three or more players vie for control over a single system, the in-game chat allows you to forge desperate alliances and set up your erstwhile comrades for a ruthless, inevitable betrayal. Muhahaha!
Sharp, uncluttered visuals let you take stock of the situation at a single glance, and the planet-hopping gameplay is a perfect fit for the iPad.
- Simple yet effective gameplay mechanics
- Fantastic diplomatic multiplayer
- Easy on the eye
- Weak singleplayer value
Summary: Galcon Fusion is a streamlined, slick and hectic strategy affair that uses its simplistic gameplay to devastating effect. Loners and singleplayer fans needn't apply - but Machiavellian armchair generals will get a huge kick out of the multiplayer.
Compatibility: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.
Price: £0.59 - App Store