Space Sim First Look: Galaxy on Fire (April 25, 2009)


The Galaxy on Fire space trading sim has been available on a wide range of mobile phones for a couple of years now. Just recently, a version with upgraded graphics and motion sensor controls was released for the iPhone and iTouch. PC World ran a piece on it:

I forget how many space sorties I've flown over the years. Elite, Privateer, Wing Commander, X-Wing vs. Tie-Fighter, Freelancer....but those days are long gone. Then I saw Galaxy on Fire 3D for the iPhone, and all those memories came racing back.

Here's a title with a pretty impressive 3D engine-for a cell phone game. I hate to have to even throw in that qualifier, but hey, I want to point out that I'm playing a game that looks on par with the last Wing Commander games - in the palm of my hand.

Original update published on April 25, 2009
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That is pretty darn awesome. Sure it looks like just about every other generic space sim/freelancer rip off we've seen - but it's mobile, and apparently fairly cool. I'd really love to see a wing commander style engine game on the Iphone. Wishful nostalgia on my part, sure, but it still could be cool.
I bought it a while ago but I'm still only a couple of missions in. The unresponsive controls are what's preventing me from really getting into it so far, well that and my general apathy towards iphone games, hell games in general at the moment.

It looks absolutely brilliant though and despite the aforementioned control issues that game does have an element of depth to it that will make me revisit it.

The story is typical space shooter stuff. You're a former captain turned merc that...blah blah blah, it's not really important in the long run. Apparently after the missions are through the galaxy opens up and you're then able to become a free-roaming privateer (which is why I bought the damn thing). That means you can buy/upgrade ships, explore the galaxy, trade goods and make friends and enemies along the way.
You're able to buy ships and upgrade during the story however as the missions you take are for clients that are ready to splash some cash.

Well thats what they've advertised anyway. I'll find out myself when I eventually give a rat's ass.

As it stands its just too hard to be precise enough with the controls. Oh and just be aware that you have no control over the speed of your ship, apart from a boost that is, you'll always be traveling at the same speed which means a pursuit during a dogfight won't always be easy, though the game does compensate somewhat with the flight patterns of enemy ships. No barrel-rolling either....

Is it worth the purchase? Hard for me to say at the moment. It's cheap, I guess for a game that can potentially provide quite a few hours worth of entertainment....
After reading the snippet of how the graphics reminded the reviewer of the last wing commander game, but in the palm of his hand (I assume he meant WC:p), I got excited and clicked the thumbnail for a bigger shot.

Then I saw there was no bigger shot. Now I'm reminded why I stopped playing handheld games years ago - because I can't squint enough to make out the images. I'm getting old.

I'm going to wait and see if there are any really positive reviews (thank you, btw, Manboy) before I purchase it. But it's on my list of games to buy, along with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and the remake of The Oregon Trail.
Do a Barrel-roll!!!

Sorry, I just couldn't resist. These days, I imagine Vince from ShamWow yelling at you over the com. "You following me, camera guy? Do a f***ing barrel-roll."
It's a shame we can't have games like this on computers and, you know, actual video game systems anymore.
It's a shame we can't have games like this on computers and, you know, actual video game systems anymore.

I just got the game last week. Its incredible! So far I've been disappointed by the games that came out for Itouch, but this one was actually decent!