Galactose: Sweet, Sweet Potential
One of the best things about this gig is learning about games that seem to come out of nowhere. One of those games is Galactose, a space combat game in which you fly laser and jet-equipped food. No, I’m not kidding. Cupcake and burger fighters, waffle and broccoli bombers and turkey motherships are just some of the ships that make up the cadre of craft in this game. It sounds like a wackadoo concept, but stick with me, it gets better. ;)
See? Cupcake fighter. This version I played was an early alpha (Playtest Build 0003a), but it still had plenty to keep me occupied. There’s a campaign which starts off with a simple tutorial. The controls are pretty simple, and they feel right for the insanely fast pace of this game. Mouse moves and fires weapons, left shift for afterburner, left control to lock target, that sort of thing. It’s good the controls are simple because holy cats this game is intense.
The graphics have a cell-shaded look to them that’s not only cute, but even at this early stage allows for an impressive frame rate. While I was playing there were several dozens of ships all whizzing around me, and the frame rate never slowed down once, which I found impressive. You get a taste of combat fairly quickly, as the campaign ramps up in intensity and difficulty. As you continue, you face larger and larger waves of ships, which is fine because it keeps the pace insanely fast and fun. Even though the game has some incomplete elements (such as the tactical/command view, which looks VERY promising) and the AI is very rudimentary at the moment, the sheer numbers kept me literally sweating.
Talking about the gameplay, as I said it’s intense, but it never was frustratingly so. As long as there are friendly ships on screen, you have a chance to fight. When your ship is shot down, you’ll be instantly transferred to another one. If your ship is the last of its kind on the field, like a bomber, you’ll be transferred to a fighter, for example. It keeps the pace swift and engaging, and it’s only when you run out of small craft that you run into evidence of how early this game is. For example, I’m not sure if, when you lose all of your small craft, you just sit there and watch your mothership all alone, that’d be depressing. Also, in the campaigns I ran, I was still receiving orders after all my small craft were gone, which I’m sure will be fixed in later versions.
Right now the game offers a bit of variety too, like a taste of what’s to come. There’s the campaign which offers scenarios of increasing difficulty, followed by (at the time of this writing) four scenarios focusing on cruisers, dogfights, major battles and so on. There’s also an “All You Can Eat” mode, which is exactly what it sounds like. Waves and waves of fighters just going an it in an amazing spectacle. Even at this early stage, there’s plenty of burgers to shoot down. ;)
I’ve already touched on the graphics, but graphics don’t make the game, in my opinion. While they’re perfectly created for this game, the sound is also excellent. Weapons sound right, and explosions feel meaty (pun intended). Even at this early stage, this game is coming along just splendidly in the presentation department, and again, without any slowdowns. This seems to be a pretty impressive engine overall.
Overall, even at this early stage, with whatever issues it has (and it has some, which will hopefully fixed as development progresses), I had a blast playing Galactose, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. You can learn more about this game at the official website linked above, or their Steam Greenlight page, where I believe you can also find links to download the playable alpha and check it for yourself. Enjoy, thanks for reading, and please check out the gallery of screenshots I took for this article below. :)