One game release that slipped through the cracks during GDC week was Fish Labs' Galaxy on Fire [App Store].

The game is an impressive space commerce shooter that takes place in a massive galaxy with hundreds of planets and space stations. The game has generated a lengthy discussion thread since its release with a mixed reaction from fans. Many gamers (including our reviewer) had issues with the high level of difficulty in the story mode of the game which must be completed before moving onto the "open galaxy" portion.

Some other 1.0 issues appear to have crept in as well, including some display and control bugs. The developers have been quite responsive and have various fixes in the works for a 1.0.1 release which is pending.

As a result, we are holding off on a full review until we have time to test that version. The overall game is very impressive for an iPhone game and we've quite enjoyed what we've seen so far, but it's hard to recommend the 1.0 release due to these issues.

A 1.0.1 release is due to be submitted and should address many issues brought up by our forum members.

App Store Link: Galaxy on Fire, $5.99

  • http://www.myspace.com/moonsofjupitermusic RM imagery

    This is good. My game has been crashing upon startup recently. Hope that gets fixed...

  • http://www.myspace.com/moonsofjupitermusic RM imagery

    This is good. My game has been crashing upon startup recently. Hope that gets fixed...

  • Aidan

    I finally got this game, and I'm loving it so far. Although it did crash once, I blame that on myself for not restarting first.

  • Aidan

    I finally got this game, and I'm loving it so far. Although it did crash once, I blame that on myself for not restarting first.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    I've never seen a crash but it's a bit too hard in v1.0.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    I've never seen a crash but it's a bit too hard in v1.0.

  • Kumulus

    Why should the difficulty be an issue? There are many, many people in the forum which complete the missions easily (including me). If you can't play games, which require some skill in terms of control than tetris, you should stop reviewing games imho.

    • arn

      Because we arn't catering to only hardcore gamers and if the game is too hard for the vast majority of the audience then we can't recommend it.

      arn

      • kirothak

        sorry to say but you can't blame the game for you sucking so bad. the so called "impossible" missions where3 a cake walk and i am not very good at space shooters so wow some of you must really be bad

      • arn

        Guess so :)

      • spiffyone

        This just goes to show how different this market (iTouch/Phone gaming in particular, but the mobile gaming market as a whole) differs from that of dedicated game systems (which include portable game systems like PSP and DS).

        For gamers in the mobile market, likes and dislikes as far as difficulty progression, ease of use, gameplay time ("deep", long or quick, pick up and play) and other such factors are concerned are almost the exact opposite of those held by consumers in the portable game market (which, again, is considered separate from mobile platforms like iTouch/Phone that a viable for gaming). DS and PSP owners expect a good, long, challenging game. No, not as deep and challenging as their home console counterparts, but longer and more challenging than iTouch/Phone, Google Android, nGage or even PocketPC gamers.

        It's a different market. That said, while I hope they include an "easy" difficulty option for the less "hardcore" among us, I hope they don't gimp the difficulty of the game as a whole, because, for me...it's pretty easy.

      • arn

        I actually suspect it could be a tuning issue between the iPhone and iPod touch but haven't had time to investigate (based on some comments). Anyone who thinks it's easy play it on an iPhone? It's possible portions are actually impossible or much harder on iPhone.

        arn

  • Kumulus

    Why should the difficulty be an issue? There are many, many people in the forum which complete the missions easily (including me). If you can't play games, which require some skill in terms of control than tetris, you should stop reviewing games imho.

    • arn

      Because we arn't catering to only hardcore gamers and if the game is too hard for the vast majority of the audience then we can't recommend it.

      arn

      • kirothak

        sorry to say but you can't blame the game for you sucking so bad. the so called "impossible" missions where3 a cake walk and i am not very good at space shooters so wow some of you must really be bad

      • arn

        Guess so :)

      • spiffyone

        This just goes to show how different this market (iTouch/Phone gaming in particular, but the mobile gaming market as a whole) differs from that of dedicated game systems (which include portable game systems like PSP and DS).

        For gamers in the mobile market, likes and dislikes as far as difficulty progression, ease of use, gameplay time ("deep", long or quick, pick up and play) and other such factors are concerned are almost the exact opposite of those held by consumers in the portable game market (which, again, is considered separate from mobile platforms like iTouch/Phone that a viable for gaming). DS and PSP owners expect a good, long, challenging game. No, not as deep and challenging as their home console counterparts, but longer and more challenging than iTouch/Phone, Google Android, nGage or even PocketPC gamers.

        It's a different market. That said, while I hope they include an "easy" difficulty option for the less "hardcore" among us, I hope they don't gimp the difficulty of the game as a whole, because, for me...it's pretty easy.

      • arn

        I actually suspect it could be a tuning issue between the iPhone and iPod touch but haven't had time to investigate (based on some comments). Anyone who thinks it's easy play it on an iPhone? It's possible portions are actually impossible or much harder on iPhone.

        arn

  • mike

    so is it just a crazy coincidence that this developer's logo looks very similar to NetDevils? ...or are these guys affiliated with NetDevil - the devs who made Auto Assault, Jumpate, Lego Universe and Warmonger

  • mike

    so is it just a crazy coincidence that this developer's logo looks very similar to NetDevils? ...or are these guys affiliated with NetDevil - the devs who made Auto Assault, Jumpate, Lego Universe and Warmonger

  • http://whaleslayer.com Mchart

    I'm what you could call a hardcore gamer on the PC, and usually have no problem with the difficulty of games. However, the story missions in this game were impossibly difficult at times. It doesn't help that there are control issues to boot, either. I did eventually pass Mission 9 - But as I stated before; I did absolutely nothing different. The game is very random (A good thing), however, this would mean that some elements in a mission like friendly AI helping you out, sometimes would not happen. Mission 9 is a breeze assuming the friendly AI actually helps destroy the enemies for you. The majority of the times I tried the mission, that little alien dude wouldn't be doing anything, and the enemy ships would spawn right on top of the cargo ships and even though I was in their target range - They would focus their fire on nothing but the cargo ships destroying them instantly. Then other times when I played through the exact opposite happened and the mission worked.

    The game definatly isn't hard when things work out the way they are supposed to, but as stated, many times the AI makes weird decisions that don't even coincide with what was stated in the mission briefing. Hopefully the update improves the touch controls, thats my only real gripe.

  • http://whaleslayer.com Mchart

    I'm what you could call a hardcore gamer on the PC, and usually have no problem with the difficulty of games. However, the story missions in this game were impossibly difficult at times. It doesn't help that there are control issues to boot, either. I did eventually pass Mission 9 - But as I stated before; I did absolutely nothing different. The game is very random (A good thing), however, this would mean that some elements in a mission like friendly AI helping you out, sometimes would not happen. Mission 9 is a breeze assuming the friendly AI actually helps destroy the enemies for you. The majority of the times I tried the mission, that little alien dude wouldn't be doing anything, and the enemy ships would spawn right on top of the cargo ships and even though I was in their target range - They would focus their fire on nothing but the cargo ships destroying them instantly. Then other times when I played through the exact opposite happened and the mission worked.

    The game definatly isn't hard when things work out the way they are supposed to, but as stated, many times the AI makes weird decisions that don't even coincide with what was stated in the mission briefing. Hopefully the update improves the touch controls, thats my only real gripe.

  • http://jessewonderclark.com Lankershim

    Wah-hay-hay-hay-hait a second here... does the game really look like that? And play like that? Zee Oh Em Gee!

    This might be a don't-wait-for-the-price-drop game, once that update clears.

    • Crim

      Yes, the game looks and plays that good! This is one game that was well worth the price of admission. Once you get past the initial story mission and the galaxy opens up, it is freaking HUGE!!!

  • http://jessewonderclark.com Lankershim

    Wah-hay-hay-hay-hait a second here... does the game really look like that? And play like that? Zee Oh Em Gee!

    This might be a don't-wait-for-the-price-drop game, once that update clears.

    • Crim

      Yes, the game looks and plays that good! This is one game that was well worth the price of admission. Once you get past the initial story mission and the galaxy opens up, it is freaking HUGE!!!

  • Akira01

    @Spiffyone:

    "For gamers in the mobile market"

    There isn't Gamers in the mobile market. There is gamers.

    This just goes to show how different this market (iTouch/Phone gaming in particular, but the mobile gaming market as a whole) differs from that of dedicated game systems (which include portable game systems like PSP and DS).

    No. The Iphone market differs less from a dedicated game system (far less) than from the mobile market.
    There Isnt any difference between the best Iphone's games and the best Conoles's games...Rolando is in the same "quality zone" than locorroco, Zen bound two, Or Orions, Fatslane etc...
    The Iphone isn't a mobile...it's an OSX platform...Nokia vs Apple ? non sense...

    • spiffyone

      It is in the mobile market whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.

      Check NPD analysis data, or any other game industry analysis data. Portables and mobiles are separate, and iTouch/Phone as a platform (it is not exactly full blown OSX, btw, but a variation of OSX just as WinCE is a variation of Windows but not full blown Windows XP as you find on desktops). Hell, check the reports of iTouch/Phone making up to 16% of the mobile gaming market.

      And it is significantly different than the portable game system market as it is not a dedicated game platform (that is, not designed or developed primarily with games in mind). It is a mobile platform, point of fact it's basically a mobile computing platform. It isn't dedicated to running one type of software (games) but a variety of software, and due to that has become a viable platform for games. But it is not a dedicated game platform, and thus the market is different. That's the way the industry (not me, but the INDUSTRY) has ALWAYS seen things. I'm not going by personal opinion here: I'm going by things you can go and research yourself if you wish.

      And there are "gamers in the mobile market" btw. There are differences between consumers in the market for games on mobile, home console, PC, arcade, and portable game systems. Different platforms carry with them different consumer demands and interests. Yes, there is crossover in the consumer base, as anyone who owns a PC, a Wii and a DS knows, but even those folk expect different experiences with each platform. Understand?

  • Akira01

    @Spiffyone:

    "For gamers in the mobile market"

    There isn't Gamers in the mobile market. There is gamers.

    This just goes to show how different this market (iTouch/Phone gaming in particular, but the mobile gaming market as a whole) differs from that of dedicated game systems (which include portable game systems like PSP and DS).

    No. The Iphone market differs less from a dedicated game system (far less) than from the mobile market.
    There Isnt any difference between the best Iphone's games and the best Conoles's games...Rolando is in the same "quality zone" than locorroco, Zen bound two, Or Orions, Fatslane etc...
    The Iphone isn't a mobile...it's an OSX platform...Nokia vs Apple ? non sense...

    • spiffyone

      It is in the mobile market whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.

      Check NPD analysis data, or any other game industry analysis data. Portables and mobiles are separate, and iTouch/Phone as a platform (it is not exactly full blown OSX, btw, but a variation of OSX just as WinCE is a variation of Windows but not full blown Windows XP as you find on desktops). Hell, check the reports of iTouch/Phone making up to 16% of the mobile gaming market.

      And it is significantly different than the portable game system market as it is not a dedicated game platform (that is, not designed or developed primarily with games in mind). It is a mobile platform, point of fact it's basically a mobile computing platform. It isn't dedicated to running one type of software (games) but a variety of software, and due to that has become a viable platform for games. But it is not a dedicated game platform, and thus the market is different. That's the way the industry (not me, but the INDUSTRY) has ALWAYS seen things. I'm not going by personal opinion here: I'm going by things you can go and research yourself if you wish.

      And there are "gamers in the mobile market" btw. There are differences between consumers in the market for games on mobile, home console, PC, arcade, and portable game systems. Different platforms carry with them different consumer demands and interests. Yes, there is crossover in the consumer base, as anyone who owns a PC, a Wii and a DS knows, but even those folk expect different experiences with each platform. Understand?

  • El Stupido

    so it's like Elite or Frontier right???? Right??!!!!

    Someone say it please!?

  • El Stupido

    so it's like Elite or Frontier right???? Right??!!!!

    Someone say it please!?

  • Sn7ke

    Honestly, this is one of the only games i'm actually sitting down for and play. (Rather then just get my iphone and play on it while im in the bus)
    This game is well worth the money!

    • Bless ya

      yes it is..
      I used to play it on my old SE w810i and I notice the same bug in the iphone version -> you cant buy all ships that are in the game. And all planets in this 'freaking huge' galaxy are identical.. However i checked dev page (fishlabs.net) and there is Galaxy on Fire 2 for mobile so i expect some updates in summer ;-)

      sorry for my english

  • Sn7ke

    Honestly, this is one of the only games i'm actually sitting down for and play. (Rather then just get my iphone and play on it while im in the bus)
    This game is well worth the money!

    • Bless ya

      yes it is..
      I used to play it on my old SE w810i and I notice the same bug in the iphone version -> you cant buy all ships that are in the game. And all planets in this 'freaking huge' galaxy are identical.. However i checked dev page (fishlabs.net) and there is Galaxy on Fire 2 for mobile so i expect some updates in summer ;-)

      sorry for my english

  • ConraDargo

    @El Stupido, yes and no. It's just as big as Elite (the galaxy consists of 100 sectors with a total of 500 planets and space stations), but not quite as open. For example - there's not much trading going on because you can't buy/sell goods, only sell the loot you've collected. And the open space is only available during missions, not for roaming - traveling between locations is instant and only consists of a loading screen and short intro of your ship entering the new location.

    Galaxy on Fire 2 is so much bigger and greater in every aspect. I do hope that Fishlabs doesn't wait too long before they port it.
    Still, I've played for 8 hours now and completed more than 200 missions. The game is still good and should provide you with hours of fun. If you don't suck, that is (j/k) ;)

  • ConraDargo

    @El Stupido, yes and no. It's just as big as Elite (the galaxy consists of 100 sectors with a total of 500 planets and space stations), but not quite as open. For example - there's not much trading going on because you can't buy/sell goods, only sell the loot you've collected. And the open space is only available during missions, not for roaming - traveling between locations is instant and only consists of a loading screen and short intro of your ship entering the new location.

    Galaxy on Fire 2 is so much bigger and greater in every aspect. I do hope that Fishlabs doesn't wait too long before they port it.
    Still, I've played for 8 hours now and completed more than 200 missions. The game is still good and should provide you with hours of fun. If you don't suck, that is (j/k) ;)

  • Jonathan Lang

    The game is amazing and well worth the money. I can't agree with the difficulty being lowered. The story missions are easy enough as long as you buy the right laser on around mission 4 or 5 --- **SPOILER ALERT** if you get the Onyx then completing the rest of the story missions is quite easy. It's an obvious choice as well because you get stats on all your equipment. I do wish ppl would play and examine games thoroughly before telling the world on the internet that the game is flawed. Fishlabs deserve awards for this game and indeed have recieved many. Lots of ppl don't realise it was out for symbian phones in about 2006 ! Despite it's age it plays like a dream on the iphone and is absolutely massive ! I've done 64 missions and had 281 kills in just over 5 hours total playtime. I've only explored 18% of one quadrant, the other three remain unexplored at the moment, but discovering them is great because they have different alien races with different technology and ships to buy. If you're in doubt just buy the game because you won't regret it.

    • Don

      I've checked the price on the onyx and was 900 creds short even after selling everything. Unless there is some trick to getting more creds which isn't obvious.

      • Don

        Ok, there is a trick in that in mission 3 you need to keep replaying the scenario until you get the right combination of loot to buy the onyx laser. This only took me about 10 tries.

  • Jonathan Lang

    The game is amazing and well worth the money. I can't agree with the difficulty being lowered. The story missions are easy enough as long as you buy the right laser on around mission 4 or 5 --- **SPOILER ALERT** if you get the Onyx then completing the rest of the story missions is quite easy. It's an obvious choice as well because you get stats on all your equipment. I do wish ppl would play and examine games thoroughly before telling the world on the internet that the game is flawed. Fishlabs deserve awards for this game and indeed have recieved many. Lots of ppl don't realise it was out for symbian phones in about 2006 ! Despite it's age it plays like a dream on the iphone and is absolutely massive ! I've done 64 missions and had 281 kills in just over 5 hours total playtime. I've only explored 18% of one quadrant, the other three remain unexplored at the moment, but discovering them is great because they have different alien races with different technology and ships to buy. If you're in doubt just buy the game because you won't regret it.

    • Don

      I've checked the price on the onyx and was 900 creds short even after selling everything. Unless there is some trick to getting more creds which isn't obvious.

      • Don

        Ok, there is a trick in that in mission 3 you need to keep replaying the scenario until you get the right combination of loot to buy the onyx laser. This only took me about 10 tries.

  • iphloris

    This game looks a lot like the PC game Freelancer

  • iphloris

    This game looks a lot like the PC game Freelancer

  • galaxyisburning

    Where is the update?!?!?!?! They need to update this drastically, and its supposed to be here!

  • galaxyisburning

    Where is the update?!?!?!?! They need to update this drastically, and its supposed to be here!

  • Brian

    Yeah where's the update? Wasn't this posted ages ago? Even longer than it takes for the average game to be approved, by my count.

  • Brian

    Yeah where's the update? Wasn't this posted ages ago? Even longer than it takes for the average game to be approved, by my count.