Galaxy Online Review
Free to play with no monthly subscription, frequent updates with new content, flexible research and ship design offers almost limitless customization of ships and empires, small file size makes for quick download.
Mall Points allow players who choose to pay to have special perks, learning curve can be steep and support is mostly provided from community sources, currently no music or sound effects.
Galaxy Online allows players to enter a sprawling milky way universe with thousands of other players as the leader of a fledgling world taking flight into the cosmos. Players in Galaxy Online will colonize new worlds, research an array of new scientific technologies and build massive fleets to capture new worlds from their enemies.
Players begin with a single colonized planet in their own home solar system. Each home solar system has 5 available worlds which are identical and are open to colonization by the player. Unlike many online games which offer only temporary protection to new players, in Galaxy Online players homeworld system is permanently safe from attack. No ships from any other player can enter a players home galaxy, however as an added twist, any fleets that the player sends outside of the system can likewise never return.
The home system itself is fairly limited in both resources and space, so eventually each player will turn outward to colonizing the expansive universe with the thousands of other galaxy online players. As a player grows they will begin upgrading their planets with factories, defensive weapons, shipyards and then massive star fleets.
Players accumulate four separate resources in Galaxy Online, Alum, Gas, Population and Science. By building factories, and science institutes on their worlds they are able to extract these resources which are added to their resource pool every 60 seconds. This trickle effect of resources means that the gameplay speed of Galaxy Online is slower them so online games when first starting out, but also allows players to spend less time micromanaging their empire. It’s entirely possible to login once per day for an hour or two to spend the resources you’ve collected over the last twenty four hours, or to play the game all day if you choose to do so. This flexibility is one of the greatest advantages of Galaxy Online.
Galaxy Online really starts to shine when you dive into it’s expansive technology tree and options for ship customization and design. Each new technology and level adds new modules and components that can be used in designing star ships in nearly limitless configurations.
Faction Based Combat
The real intrigue of Galaxy Online comes with the different factions, or races in the universe. Each player chooses a faction when they begin playing that gives different resource bonuses and advantages. There are a total of six separate factions each of which vie for control over the galaxies in the universe. While players cannot engage in combat against their own faction, combat and political maneuvering between different factions is fast paced and cutthroat.
In addition to faction based warfare Galaxy Online has a seventh pirate faction which is computer controlled. The pirate faction holds many powerful galaxies of it’s own which players can raid for resources, points and special fleet commanders that cannot be found anywhere else in the game. Fleet commanders have special abilities which enhance the ships they are leading in combat often making the difference between victory and defeat.
Free to Play with a Twist
Galaxy Online is touted by the developer IGG as free to play which is in effect true, but with a twist. IGG offers a system called “Mall Points” which allows players to spend money to purchase points that can be spent on bonuses inside the game. For a small fee players can upgrade resource or ship production, build more colonies, increase the size of their build queue’s and more. This advantage of paying players is somewhat offset by a “Getpaid” program that IGG offers which allows free players to complete trial offers with their partners in exchange for free Mall Points. So players who don’t necessarily have or want to spend money in the game can still remain competitive with those who choose to pay.
Galaxy Online offers all the political intrigue, galaxy smashing fleet combat and 4X excitement you would expect from a 4X strategy game in a well balanced and designed package. It’s straight forward graphics are clean and to the point and while they do not impress, they are sufficient enough to draw you in for hours on end. In the end for the price, it would be difficult to find a massively multiplayer real time strategy game like Galaxy Online that offers so much for so little.