UPDATE: This game has been shutdown and is no longer available
Galaxy Online Overview
Galaxy Online is a space-based game where players must piece together a galactic empire one planet at a time. Start out in your own sheltered solar system dubbed ‘home’ and build up your resources until you’re confident enough to send forces to the rest of the universe. Gameplay involves building up the infrastructure of each colony by constructing factories, refineries, depots and other resource extracting buildings. While the game does provide several default warship templates, players are free to mix and match modules and create their unique vessels. Combat is done in a turn-based fashion, and is generally decided by the strength and number of the opposing fleets. While not very involved, it’s a bit more exciting than the battles in the browser-based competitors of Galaxy Online. There are six factions at constant war with one another – players must decide which to join during character creation.
Galaxy Online Screenshots
Galaxy Online Featured Video
Galaxy Online Review
By Erhan Altay
Galaxy Online is one of the more recent additions to the popular IGG gaming portal. IGG has been expanding its market rapidly, and now has ten games either released or in development. Galaxy Online is not the most exciting of these. It closely resembles browser-based space sims (like Space Invasion and Astro Empires), and is nothing like the several traditional client MMORPGs that IGG hosts. This doesn’t mean the game can’t be enjoyable, but potential players should understand what they’re getting into or they run the risk of being disappointed on a massive scale.
Something that has always confused me with IGG is the fact that even after creating an account, you must ‘activate’ each game separately from the official site. After this step, it won’t be long before you’re playing Galaxy Online. With a client download of about 20 mb, and an additional patch around the same size, this is one of the smallest client MMORPGs yet released. Character creation is a simple process – players chose one of six factions: Kadry, Eir, Bakran, Rofilla, Maya, or Rayman. Each faction controls a different area of the Milky Way galaxy, and based on their current strength, offers either a negative or positive ‘yield bonus.’ If you plan to play with friends be sure to pick the same faction, otherwise go with the one offering the highest yield bonus at the time. The only other step to the character creation is choosing a name and a portrait for your commander. There are forty-five portrait options, but they have no effect on gameplay, and more may be added in the future.
Welcome to the Homeland
All players start their galactic adventures in a special solar system inaccessible to all others. This homeland contains five planets, a sun, portals, and two quest objects. The first of the five planets start out under your control, and it is here that you’ll begin construction. Tip menus do pop up from time to time, but these are not the best way to learn the game. Instead, click on the swirly object titled ‘beginner quests’ and complete the task it displays. The first of these asks players to construct several resource-generating buildings, which is done by clicking a planet under your control and hitting ‘build’ located on the bottom right of the screen. By now, anyone familiar with browser based games should notice how familiar Galaxy Online feels. There are five resources which are required to build and maintain your expanding empire: Alum (used to construct buildings and ships), Gas (used in the production of industrial buildings), Population (determines degree of prosperity and size of empire), Science Points (used to unlock new skills & techs), and Supplies (represents fuel, ammo, & energy required to keep your fleets flying.) A different building produces each of these resources, and each planet has a limited number of building spots.
Expanding Your Empire
If a particular planet runs out of building slots, players can continue to upgrade the buildings already on it to make them more efficient, but should also start colonizing new worlds. Colonization vessels are required to claim new planets. Luckily, all players start with one, but should start constructing a second right away. The process of claiming a planet is simple if it is uninhabited – move the colonization vessel next to it, click ‘colonize’ and select the planet. While the five planets in each player’s homeworld are theirs for the taking, the rest of the galaxy doesn’t have such easy picking. Large-scale wars can break out for control over solar systems between the various factions. The homeland area should keep new players occupied for several hours, but once they start exploring the wider game world, the limitations imposed upon free users becomes more evident. Not only do paying members receive benefits such as faster resource accumulation, but they can also colonize more planets than free users.
Combat in Galaxy Online is handled in a unique, turn-based fashion. The first step is to construct fighter planes – there are pre-made models, but its more exciting to piece together your own by selecting from an available hull and attaching various modules. Modules come in three types: offensive, defensive, and other. Offensive modules include things like rocket launchers, lasers, and gun torrents. Defensive modules are things like shield generators, armor plating, while the broad ‘other’ category covers storage modules, boosters, and so on. New players won’t have many options, but researching new technologies with the science points you earn will unlock new parts. After ship construction, fleets must be formed. Fleets contain 1-9 ships, but are controlled on the map as a single unit. Each fleet is led by a commander. Your main character acts as a commander, but many more must he hired to lead your fleets. Commanders have different strengths and weaknesses that effect the performance of the fleet they head. Stats like Accuracy, Speed, Dodge, and Electron are randomly assigned to commanders you hire, but can be increased as each commander levels up through time on the field.
The game introduces players to battle through a beginner quest that involves taking out a few AI pirate fleets. Battles take place in special boxed-in areas, and each side takes turns either moving or attacking. When two opposing fleets meet, they exchange fire automatically, with no further player interaction. This may not sound exciting, but the fact that there is any combat and variables such as commanders makes Galaxy Online much more interesting than the games it directly competes with (which I listed earlier). Of course, fighting NPC pirates is not the main attraction here. Forming guilds and working within your faction to conquer the galaxy is. Even paying members have a limit on the number of planets they can claim, which makes teamwork a necessity, not a luxury, if you want to survive outside your homeland.
Final Verdict: Fair
Galaxy Online received a Fair only when compared to its browser based competition. If you’re looking for a traditional MMORPG with a space theme, you will likely be disappointed. But if you’re looking for more of a strategic game with slow-paced gameplay that required planning and large scale cooperation, Galaxy online is worth a closer look.
Galaxy Online Videos
Galaxy Online Beginner Video
Galaxy Online Combat Trailer
Galaxy Online Gameplay Footage
Galaxy Online Character Creation
Galaxy Online System Requirements
OS: Win 98 / 2000 / ME / XP
CPU: Pentium 3 800MHz
RAM: 512 MB
HDD: 300 MB
Graphics Card: 32 mb video memory
OS: Windows XP or Vista
CPU: Pentium 4 or better
RAM: 1024 MB or more
HDD: 500 MB
Graphics Card: 32 mb video memory