Features & Use
Test device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus S
Android version: 2.3.6
‘This game is for everybody who appreciates the beauty of the universe and takes pleasure in the idea of being a natural force beyond science’? So, basically if you have a soft spot for the universe it’s worth staying tuned? The app’s name Space Guru Full may have an esoteric ring to it, but let’s find out more before we compartmentalise. So, pip pip, on to the download and installation (8,38 MB, doesn’t take all too long). A quick scan of the required permissions (perfectly kosher) and we’re good to go, so let’s see what’s up with the universe.
The homescreen is not quite as scintillating as one might expect from a game entitled Space Guru; the musical score is of the techno trance variety.
Go to the main menu to start a new game, access constellations (more details about that in a little while), check out achievements and statistics and access the help menu. The help menu harbours brief gaming instructions, strategic tips and explanations re: constellations, rewards and something called Qi Schedule.
But what is Space Guru all about? Well, according to the developers, suns have to be fused together in order to create/release Qi, which is the power that illuminates the galaxy. Suns consist of up to five different elements and are created at the edge of the display. The five elements are blue, red, yellow, purple and green. Suns that can be fused:
- Suns that don’t share any of the same elements
- Suns that share exactly the same elements
If you try to fuse suns that don’t fit this scheme you will wind up creating chaos energy over the course of time, and this chaos energy can destroy the galaxy… So, yes, if that’s what you want to do, there’s your recipe for disaster. Sweet girl that I am, I prefer to create harmony and fuse compatible suns together.
The games main features:
- 48 beautiful hypnotizing galaxies, each one with its own challenge
- 8 difficulty levels for everybody
- many different suns - some will help you, some will annoy you
- constellations with which you can ask the gods for help when things get tough.
- countless achievements for which you will get reward points
- reward points with which you can increase your powers
When you first start off playing, there are four levels to choose from: Very Easy, Easy, Normal and Hard. As soon as you’ve managed to illuminate a certain amount of galaxies you four more levels are activated: Harder, Very Hard, Too Hard and Enlightened. I start off with Normal.
Understanding the game
The music changes from the trance-like sound at the beginning to a very pleasant ambient style. I like it and find that it compliments the Space Guru vibe.
Level 1: Fusing
In order to fuse two suns together (in the first level the two suns are yellow), draw a line between them using your finger. As soon as the suns have fused, Qi is generated and released into the universe. Qi is displayed as a number in the upper left corner of the screen. The number in the left hand corner indicates how much Qi is needed in order to illuminate a galaxy.
Level 2: Novas
When a sun gets four elements it transforms into a nova and the Qi is released. The bigger the nova (i.e. the more suns make up a nova), the more Qi there is. In order to create a nova you need to create suns made out of different colours. Easy.
Level 3: It’s getting serious
As mentioned, only certain suns should be fused together in order to ensure harmony. If you’re more of a dare-devil and wish to unleash a bit of chaos all you need do is combine suns that aren’t compatible. In order to restore a balance, simply add suns that counteract what you have done, i.e. same colours or opposite colours.
It’s all about using the four elements and how the different colours react.
Level 5: Supernovas
A sun with five colours turns into a supernova and unleashes even more Qi.
So much for the tutorial—now let’s start playing an actual round. It doesn’t take long before I realize that there’s more to it than combining colours. There’s a certain amount of strategy involved if you are serious about wanting to earn points. It makes sense to combine colours before trying to create novas or supernovas. If ever you destroy a galaxy by mistake (oops) or because you are drunk on power—never fear, you won’t have start all over again, you simply go back to the last successfully completed level.
Bit by bit you will be asked to do certain duties; this ensures that Space Guru Full doesn’t get boring, even when you play for longer periods of time.
Lastly, the constellations: gestures can be used to summon simple constellations, such as ‘The Tortoise’ which will cause the 'gods' to slow down the entire game. In order to activate a constellation, tap on the screen twice during a game; you will then be able to trace the constellation with your fingertip. Every constellation is only available a limited amount of times (more details are revealed as you play). Constellations can be improved using the points you earn when playing.
Despite the esoteric name and – if you’ll excuse the cheesy pun – spacey music, Space Guru Full is an amazing game, especially as it becomes more complex and challenging the longer you play. Don’t be fooled by my rather ample descriptions—figuring out how to play the game isn’t very complicated, especially because there are instructions every step of the way. So take a deep breath and get busy saving the universe!
Screen & Controls
The Space Guru Full display is very neat and sparsely adorned, meaning that most of the available space is free for the game. The game ran very well on the Google Nexus S (4 inches) I tested it on, but I could imagine it being even more fun on a bigger screen (read: tablet).
Speed & Stability
Space Guru Full performed well overall, but it did crash on several occasions (starting a new game, continuing a game that had been interrupted, opening the app).
Space Guru Full costs 50 Euro Cents, which is a steal for such a cool game. A free version – Space Guru Lite – is available for free, but it comes with less levels than the full version.