App Review: Galcon Fusion 8
Gaming on the TouchPad has been a major talking point for HP since ThinkBeyond back in February. Certainly we here at PreCentral have had our fill of Armageddon Squadron videos from YouTube. Now with the TouchPad finally available, it’s good to see that there’s a healthy representation of games already on tap. Among them, Galcon Fusion is definitely one of the standouts. People familiar to webOS handsets may recall hearing about Galcon around this time last year, when developer Phil Hassey, with zero webOS experience, ported the app from iOS to webOS in less than three days and blogged to tell the tale.
It should come as no surprise then that Galcon Fusion; the tablet optimized version of the app with improved graphics and sound, already exists for the iPad. The webOS version is a full featured, (and highly entertaining) port of that.
For those unfamiliar, Galcon and Galcon Fusion are fast-paced realtime strategy games where players compete against one another for full control of all planets on a given map by occupying them with spaceships.
Once a planet is occupied, the planet becomes a production site for more ships, with larger planets producing ships faster than smaller ones. A player loses control of a planet if attacked by a larger squadron of ships than they have present there. It’s similar to the board game ‘Risk,’ but much faster: games typically are won or lost in under a minute. Even the most drawn-out battles seldom take more than a few minutes to play. The premise is simple, but gameplay is fantastic. It has just the right mix of strategy and action to keep you coming back time and again, and the pace is fast enough to easily play a few rounds during those off-minutes while riding on a bus or waiting for a meeting to start.
Galcon Fusion has ten different levels of difficulty, eight gameplay modes, and a thoroughly enjoyable online multiplayer mode with scorekeeping, chat, and a host of other great features. As part of this review, I played for a good half-hour online against a group that consisted of myself on a TouchPad, a person on an iPad, and a few people playing on desktops. I got schooled by the other players virtually 100% of the time, but they could see by my ranking that I was a total noob, and offered up lots of pointers between rounds to help me get competitive. Great stuff.
In these early days of the TouchPad, it’s terrific to see a ton of fantastic apps already available. If mobile-minute strategy games are a big-ticket item for you, Galcon Fusion is definitely a must-have. It’s available now in the App Catalog for $2.99.