The App Store will soon be seeing an iPhone version of Fish Labs' highly rated mobile handset title Galaxy on Fire. A 3D space shooter in the vein of Elite, Wing Commander, and Star Fox, Galaxy on Fire challenges the player pilot to complete a series of missions, ranging from safely arriving at a set destination to seeking out and destroying enemy ships to escorting and defending allied craft, all set against the backdrop of an expansive space commerce system.
The mobile handset version takes place in a game universe featuring 10 different species of life forms, 20 different kinds of spaceships, and a commerce simulation between 500 planets and space stations. A mere arcade shooter, this is not.
Enhancements in the iPhone version:
- Cinematic graphics with realistic, real-time lighting
- Extremely high-quality in-game and menu sound effects and music
- Improved AI
- New survival mode with high scores
- New interface design
- Two control modes: Touch with virtual analogue stick and sensor controls
- 180° rotatable display depending on the preferred orientation of the headset connection
Fish Labs indicates that the iPhone version of Galaxy on Fire has seen a major overhaul compared with the mobile handset original.
The majority of the game has been completely revised so that this milestone in mobile gaming can display its full glory on the iPhone. Thus, all objects, textures, and backgrounds have been completely reworked and harmoniously staged with realistic, real-time lighting. The soundtrack has also been recomposed with elaborate instrumentation. Dozens of sounds have been integrated for various weapons, explosions, and many other effects.
Mobile Game Faqs' review of the mobile handset version was glowing.
Could this be the best mobile game of 2006?
The graphics are absolutely stunning. Some of the best graphics I have ever seen on a phone and the 3D rendering is gorgeous. There are little cut scenes of your fighter flying in and other ships milling about space stations and planets. The space effects in the background are really well done and you get a great sense of detail when you fly close to explosions or coloured cosmic dust and you see the screen brighten quite a bit. The care taken on animating the ships is stunning and the animation is some of the fastest I've seen on a phone yet.
The playability is amazing. The game is a really really really really enjoyable space action sim. ... The ship flies really well and you can upgrade the ship after earning money through missions. In addition to this you get loot from missions which you can sell and later on, when the galaxy becomes pretty big, there's a definite trading element involved. You meet a really large array of characters all with their individual personality traits. ... The game excels on the action front as the space battles can be very fast and frenetic. There will be times you're flying through asteroid fields and trying to get a decent shot on and others where it's full Return of the Jedi action with loads of ships and cruisers flying around.
See Fish Labs' gameplay video for a glimpse of the iPhone game in action.
Galaxy on Fire looks to offer a truly impressive combination of white-knuckle shooter action and the sort of depth, thanks to the game's commerce system, that should provide ample replay value to iPhone gamers. Could this be the next Elite?
We're quite anxious to get our hands on this one and will provide a full review when it hits the App Store. The game is currently being enthusiastically discussed in our forums.
Galaxy on Fire is set for a release release towards the end of this month and is expected to debut at $5.99.