Features & Use
Browser games are, in a word, genius. All you need is an internet browser and an account and you can dive into a fantasy world and play with other people from all over the world. And while the dawn of the smartphone brought many advantages to playing browser game, it also came with some drawbacks: some games are very heavily based on flash, and often controls proved to be total kill-joys. The people demanded smartphone worthy versions of browser games—and Galaxy Empire (Ad-Free) stepped up to the plate. But before I say anything else that will sound misleading I should emphasise this: Galaxy Empire is NOT actually a browser game, but it's very similar to one. The difference is that it can only be played via the Android app and not via a browser.
There are always two deciding factors that come into play when it comes to evaluating browser games (or, in this case, browser-like games).
- The app has to have a certain functional volume
- The game itself has to be fun and easy to get into, as well as prove to be viable on a more long-term basis
The game's functions (resource management, etc.) and presentation are well done. Despite the overall solid feel to the app, we would recommend making a few small improvements here and there. For instance, we notice that a lot of time and effort went into the app's graphics. Possibly in consequence, we have found that micromanaging the fleet and building production can be a bit cumbersome. As an alternative to having to swipe across the map in order to expand buildings there, a list menu would make sense.
Speaking of the map, we didn't find it to be optimally integrated. Again, graphics are great but it doesn't lend itself that well when it comes to micromanaging.
Having said all that, we don't want to give you the wrong impression, because Galaxy Empire (Ad-Free) is a very well made game on the whole.
We were pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to start playing Galaxy Empire. When you first begin you will automatically be registered as a guest; if you like the game you can then sign up and create your own user name using your email.
Similarly, the tutorial really makes you want to start playing the game.
At the moment there are only 6000 users and one galaxy to choose from—and most of the 6000 players are currently protected or inactive. This means of course that there are less opponents to go up against, which takes away from the game's challenge appeal.
The more you advance in the game – and especially after you've lost your noob protection status – you'll find that there are a few big fish swimming around the galaxy. I assume these are gamers who've been around since zero hour and grown massively in strength and resources. As a result they will view you, a small newbie player, as a farm to be harvested.
These types of situations are typical for browser-like games, but other games offer other game worlds to escape to, which Galaxy Empire doesn't.
The app itself impressed us quite a bit. Playing the game is a bit less fun seeing as there's only one world to play in and some other gamers have already firmly established themselves, making it hard to go up against them.
In-app purchases options are another drawback of sorts for us: users can buy a lot of power this way, giving them clear advantages over gamers who don't want to spend the money.
Screen & Controls
The graphics are nicely done and underlined by an atmospheric score. Controls are easy to pick up and apply and overall we are happy with Galaxy Empire (Ad-Free) in this category.
Speed & Stability
Galaxy Empire (Ad-Free) performed well enough during the course of our test runs, but it did crash occasionally on the Nexus 4. Aside from these irregular occurrences everything was right as rain.
Galaxy Empire (Ad-Free) is free and available for download from the App Center. That said, users who opt for in-app purchases get tons of advantages which is why we're awarding the game three stars in this category.