Science Fiction Strategy
STONE3’s Nova: Iron Galaxy a casual science fiction strategy title that grants players their own space station to upgrade and defend. The booming voice-over in the introductory cutscene emphasizes the importance of your role in the galaxy, while leading you into a game featuring beautiful graphics that unfortunately never takes the time to explain detrimental game mechanics.
After the miniature movie, the game introduces you to a small cast of characters. Now you can start building your first fleet. These fleets take down intergalactic threats and collect materials to upgrade and build ships, as well as earn the currency needed to upgrade your space station.
There is also a narrative slowly unfolding in the game. You discover that in the past you lost some of your memories during a battle. There is a small group of characters, mainly intergalactic generals and people of similar stature over the character. They mainly serve as exposition and have no impact on the gameplay whatsoever.
Most of the game plays out as a repetitive cycle. Send out your fleet to battle, and use the spoils to upgrade everything. Then it’s time for you to repeat. And repeat again. And again. As I moved up in the ranks during the story, I didn’t notice much difference between my first battle and my thirtieth and beyond. They all looked the same as the last battle and had the same results as each other. The repetitiveness is especially egregious since you cannot do anything in the battle other than watch it happen autonomously.
Speaking of battle; simple mechanics like zooming in are not explained. The more important features that you need for progression are not explained nor are they shown to the player. Nearly half of the accessible menu is not explained even twenty levels into the game; this is by far enough time for the game to explain important game mechanics like alliances.
Completed Objectives Behind A Paywall
By far, the most negative feature is the game’s push to purchase premium currency. Game developers deserve to make money off of their products; however, I kept receiving notifications within the game for completed objectives. These completed objectives cannot be seen without purchasing premium currency. You also don’t need these objectives to complete the storyline. However, it was rather irritating that I was receiving in-game notifications about completed objectives and rewards I cannot access.
In the end, Nova: Iron Galaxy is a beautiful game. However, that is the most I can say about it. The gameplay isn’t gameplay but instead boils down to you idly watching the same actions play out over and over again. The constant notifications for objectives are misleading and many game mechanics are never explained. There are better science-fiction strategy games out there, but if you are in the market for science fiction visuals and nothing else grab it at Google Play or follow development news here on their Facebook.
Is It Hardcore?
The repetitive gameplay and unexplained mechanics overshadow the world-building and grandiose graphics. Pushing loot-box mechanics that hide completed objectives until purchased is also not Hardcore.