Galactic Gunner

from , originally released 31st December, 1969


Previews:

Galactic Gunner Hands-On

We got our hands on the first release candidate of Ezone’s upcoming space shooter, Galactic Gunner, a few days ago. After we gave it a thorough playthrough, its unique game experience had us impressed with this early build.

Rather than copying the formula of almost every space shooter, Galactic Gunner takes you out of the cockpit and and into gunner’s turret to protect mankind from an alien race called the Trepidoids. The ship is piloted by a computerized captain, which allowed the developer to make the game into one huge collection of interactive cinematic cut scenes. We had our doubts initially, but the twist on the gameplay actually works well.

The graphics are exceptional so far, on par with those of other space shooters including Galaxy on Fire. Each level has a distinct look and feel. The special effects, such as exploding asteroids and whizzing lasers, also bring a surprising level of realism–or at least what we imagine “real” space combat to be like. This early build sets expectations pretty high for the final release.

The controls are simple–tap to shoot–with precision and accuracy essential for success. Each of the game’s seven missions, as well as its survival mode, include cut scenes, witty voice acting and plenty of challenges, such as blasting your way through a meteor field and destroying the alien mothership equipped with layers of turrets… to say the least, it can get pretty crazy.

Galactic Gunner has seven missions to complete, as well as a survival mode that can be unlocked after you complete the story, 15 ranks and three save slots. Developer Simon Edis said that before the final build, Ezone plans to work on optimization to squeeze some better performance out of the device.

Ezone hopes to submit soon and have their game out in early June, according to Edis. It seems like a realistic mark, given that the game seems like it’s relatively complete as is. The current price set for the game upon release is $0.99, Edis said.

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Reviews:

Galactic Gunner Review

We like to play games with personality, and while the names of the characters in Galactic Gunner are uninspiring (it’s just you and Captain, Wingman A, and Wingman B), their voices alone carry a lot of charm.

Captain is a catchphrase-blurting Aussie, a sort of Steve Irwin in space, who even makes wisecracks on the level select screen. Wingman A is a Gomer Pyle dunce, constantly flying in front of your view. And Wingman B plays it totally straight, in a supporting role that could just as easily be Red 6 from Star Wars.

These screenshots haven’t learned humility.

And speaking of Star Wars, the gameplay in Galactic Gunner is just like the on-rail shooting we remember from the Rebel Assault games of the early 90s, except with Trepidoids instead of TIE fighters. You just tap the screen to fire your ship’s lasers at asteroids and enemies, and we had no issues with the game registering our accuracy.

A few levels also have you skimming the surface of massive space structures. In Galactic Gunner they’re a space station called Colossal 4 and the Trepidoid Mothership, but they might as well be Star Destroyers.

This is a good thing’ā€¯instead of waiting for a proper licensed Star Wars shooter on the handheld, the Edis brothers have gone ahead and made their own homage. Even the music is appropriately Williams-esque, although we don’t think the hilarious closing credits song by the band “Puke In Your Spacesuit” will be Oscar-nominated any time soon. Sample lyrics: “He’s a galactic gunner/ Space has never been funner.”

As much fun as it is, Galactic Gunner is a bit on the short side. It contains just six main missions and one bonus mission. The game forces you to replay each level until you have a high enough score to proceed, and you’ll probably play each mission at least twice to get a high enough accuracy and percentage of targets destroyed. At least you can skip ahead temporarily if you end up dying too many times in one session.

For a buck, Galactic Gunner is a solid buy. It’s a tightly focused and memorable shooter with a lot of clever humor. This game owes a lot to Star Wars, but then again, what sci-fi action entertainment doesn’t?