New Mobile Game Takes Launch
Stellaris: Galaxy Command is a mobile spinoff of the PC game Stellaris, both produced by Paradox. While the mobile version is similar to the desktop version, the app isn’t quite as legendary as its PC predecessor.
Stellaris: Galaxy Command begins with an introductory sequence that tells the player about the end of an interdimensional space war. After the war, there is a need to rebuild the galactic civilization, delve deeper into space exploration, and destroy pirates and scavengers. You play as one of the people in charge of this new era.
Since Stellaris: Galaxy Command is an MMORPG, you can join alliances with other players from across—well, the universe—to build an empire. It’s also an RTS game, which means that when you declare war on other alliances, it happens in real-time.
My initial take going into this game was that there was simultaneously too much and not enough going on. This is probably because the tutorial phase explained not a whit. I had no idea how to research, trade, collect materials from the solar systems, or attack pirates.
It took me a couple hours to figure out that I needed to actually do research to make my base more profitable. The game also doesn’t bother to explain how to harvest resources. I still have no idea how trading works, but that could easily be a less of a problem for those more trade-minded than myself. Luckily, there’s an “auto-trade” setting for people like me who can’t be bothered to figure it out.
Stellaris: Galaxy Command is comparable in my mind to the real-life problem of becoming an adult: there’s minimal guidance and you are released into the world with the expectation that you’ll just know how to do things.
Of course, mission control helps you complete basic tasks, like building and upgrading your base, exploration missions, and defeating space pirates. Otherwise, Stellaris: Galaxy Command leaves players to their own devices to figure things out.
Not the Same
Admittedly, I’ve never played Stellaris on PC before, but I have done some research. Stellaris for PC was a gamechanger for Paradox, one of the most well-received games they have put out to date. If the gaming forum comments I’ve read are to be believed, Stellaris: Galaxy Command isn’t quite the same.
The biggest difference is also probably one of the biggest flaws in mobile games. These are the pay to play and pay to win features.
The most obvious pay to win scheme is the “pay to skip waiting” option. Now, to rebuild the galaxy, you’ll have to spend a lot of time building things, harvesting resources, and sending out space exploration fleets and defense troops. This all takes time, hence the RTS aspect. Wait times range from a few seconds to hours.
However, devices called time skips that you can purchase to speed up the waiting process. Time skips cost in-game money, which in turn costs real money. The game has enough “free” skips for basic building that you don’t really need to use time skips, at least in the beginning. But the temptation to purchase time skips gets stronger the longer you play, and soon you find yourself spending actual cash just to rebuild your spaceship armada faster. The going rate for a one-hour time skip, which is about how much time it takes to upgrade your station from level eight to nine, is about 200 Galactic Common Credits, or two American dollars to purchase. This doesn’t seem so bad as a one-off but consider that wait times only increase the higher your level is. For comparison, a ten-day time skip is 10,000 credits, and $100.
But That’s Not Bad
Understandably, people who’ve played and loved the PC version may feel cheated out of a great mobile experience. But speaking as a person who’s never played the PC game, I don’t feel cheated at all. Firstly, I resent spending real money for any game and can easily wait out the time it takes to craft a spaceship or harvest minerals from an asteroid. Secondly, I’m not constantly comparing it to the PC version. Computer games and mobile games can never truly compare to each other in terms of graphics, audio and even gameplay. It’s easier to appreciate and criticize each game in accordance with its respective console.
The game features an array of pleasing beeps and boops and cool futuristic space music in the background. There’s also a JARVIS-like computer voice that tells you when a task is complete.
Stellaris: Galaxy Command isn’t the same as its PC counterpart, but that’s not a bad thing. While it can be slow and push you to make in-app purchases, it features interesting music, decent graphics, and a fun and interesting take on MMORPG gameplay. Ally with players from all over the globe, as you build your base and explore the unknown depths of space in Stellaris: Galaxy Command.
Is It Hardcore?
While the in-app purchases and the slow pace subtract points, the open world and amount of interaction between players makes Stellaris: Galaxy Command hardcore.