This Galaxy Ain’t Big Enough For the Thousands of Us
For a game about the vastness of the universe, Infinite Galaxy sure does make space seem a little bit crowded. What once starts off with a handful of plucky, rag-tag space jockeys quickly turns into a sprawling hive of space stations, blood-thirsty armadas and hapless space pirates.
Developed by Camel Games, Infinite Galaxy is yet another base-building RTS mimicking the Clash of Clans formula. Players build their bases, form Alliances with others, raise fleets and send them off against rivals to kill or be killed–all in the cold, unforgiving void of a turbulent galaxy far, far away.
A Pretty (Mediocre) Space Opera
Infinite Galaxy presents space quite beautifully despite it being the most hostile, inhospitable frontier known to man. People don’t expect mobile game graphics to hold up against titles running on high-end machines with powerful GPUs. Still, Infinite Galaxy takes full advantage of available hardware, bringing life to what could have easily been a mess of 2-D sprites.
Ships are detailed and fully rendered in 3-D, even in combat. Engines produce jets as they move; light reflects off the hulls as ships maneuver against each other–even derelict wrecks and stars are meticulously detailed. However, graphical fidelity does suffer during the more enclosed sections. Even so, Infinite Galaxy raises the bar for what mobile games can do when it comes to visuals.
Infinite Galaxy features fully-voiced cutscenes complete with their own animations. However, not everything is voiced, and it can be jarring when characters suddenly start nodding in silence while you read along. While voice acting is usually a welcome addition that adds dimension to narrative beats, the quality can make or break a situation’s gravity. Unfortunately for Infinite Galaxy, it’s usually the latter. Performances can vary from passable, if a little stilted, to down-right laughable. It isn’t all the actors’ fault; they can only do so much with the lackluster material they’re given.
That’s No Moon…
At the center of Infinite Galaxy’s gameplay is the Spaceport. From here, players launch fleets, build ships, recruit crew members, and conduct research and expeditions. There isn’t anything here that mobile RTS fans haven’t seen before. Use resources to upgrade buildings, which unlock new features, leading to more abilities to garner more resources to invest into your Spaceport. Thankfully these additions aren’t in name only; they also alter your Spaceport’s look as it evolves with you over time.
You can send your fleets out in the overhead map for minor engagements as auto-resolve dice rolls. Fortunately, the other half of combat offers players some tactical agency. Your fleets automatically engage targets as you direct their positions and call in special abilities like a swarm of missiles or nuclear munitions. Players can call in support vessels varying from small Frigates that keep enemy ships at bay all the way to behemoth Cruisers that obliterate swathes of enemies from a distance.
You cannot order ships individually; instead, they follow your Flagship and move as an entire unit. Ships pick out their own targets, and players can only sort of direct fire. Flagships do come with special abilities on cooldowns, but all other weapons fire automatically once in range. But worst of all, even though Infinite Galaxy takes place in the tactical nightmare that is space, all combat takes place on a 2-D grid-plane. Even though it’s a fun distraction for a while, combat quickly becomes repetitive. The tedium of which rarely challenges players outside of timing how fast they can spam their abilities.
So Many Currencies, So Much Time
Infinite Galaxy is relatively tame when it comes to monetization. Most mobile RTSs mercilessly squeeze the patience out of players until they finally cough up a few bucks to skip egregious wait times. While floating offers are on screen, they aren’t anywhere near as obnoxious as most mobile games. Almost every task generously hands out currencies of all types. Infinite Galaxy regularly doles out the arbitrary freemium gem/crystal/gold currency used to reduce wait times and purchase unique items. If anything, having good coordination with your Alliance almost always proves as fruitful in securing your position as shelling out can.
In the end, Infinite Galaxy is a generic base building RTS that you’ve seen dozens of times before. The core mechanics are almost cookie-cutter for this genre. Combat offers some modicum of depth, but it doesn’t take advantage of the unique gameplay a 3-D environment like space can facilitate. Pretty to look at, easy on the wallet and fun for a while; Infinite Galaxy is pretty finite when it comes to what can actually be done.
Is It Hardcore?
Yes, for those who like base-building RTS titles that do the basics well.
It’s generic and relies on established mobile RTS fundamentals, but it executes those fundamentals to a tee. There’s a fair bit here for RTS veterans, many of whom will be glad to know just how far you can go without spending a dime.