Also available on Android, iOS, and OSX
Galaxy on Fire 2, the second of three games so far in the series, was originally released as a mobile game for Android and iPhone before being remastered for HD and released on PC and Mac. When I first started the game, I expected it to be something similar to Rebel Galaxy, and in some ways, it was, but unlike Rebel Galaxy, Galaxy on Fire 2 lacks a lot of polish and refinement, clearly showing its roots as a game for cell phones.
The game follows the events of the first Galaxy on Fire - which I never played - and has your character, Keith T. Maxwell, finding himself suddenly 35 years in the future and on the other end of the galaxy thanks to a hyperdrive malfunction. From there, you're picked up by a wandering miner, you do a little work for him, and then you're off on your own to find the Terran fleet and try to figure out what happened since you traveled through time. Like Rebel Galaxy, you do missions (or mine and/or pirate) to gather money and upgrade your ship as well as buy larger and more powerful ships. Whereas Rebel Galaxy was very much large scale naval combat in space, however, Galaxy on Fire 2 is exclusively small fighter combat. That in itself isn't bad, but the controls and physics all feel like a budget game.
The game is touted as "Full HD" (as opposed to the first HD remaster before this one and the original SD release before that), and while the screen resolution does go up to 1080p, it never really looks much better than a mid-tier PS3 game. It doesn't look bad, certainly, but it's not going to impress any PC gamers. The visuals are probably the highlight of the game, though; the music and sound effects range from boring to annoying, and the story and voice acting are downright bad. While not sharing any actual common events, the story and atmosphere of the universe have a bit of a Firefly feel...if Firefly had featured horrible writing and worse acting. Travel in the game suffers from the same problem that Star Trek Online did at launch - it takes forever to get anywhere, and half of your experience consists of just staring at your ship go in a straight line. Is it somewhat realistic for space travel to be monotonous like that? Yeah, sure, somewhat. Does it make for a fun video game mechanic? No, not at all.
The game does pick up a little bit when you start to accumulate some money and can buy a new ship and upgrade your equipment. Once you can get around faster, have the strength to start dabbling in piracy, and have the capital to experiment with different types of weapons, things start to get a bit more fun, but it's extremely slow and dull in the beginning. It also ends pretty abruptly; the story's climax comes way too fast, and you're left feeling a bit disappointed and thinking "Wait, that was it?" Lengthy pun 100% intended.
All things considered, Galaxy on Fire 2 is a decent game when you consider that, at the end of the day, it is just a spruced up mobile game. If you're into space combat games, then it's worth checking out if you find it on sale, but under no circumstances would I ever pay more than a maximum for $5 for this game. The quality just isn't high enough to warrant more than that. It's not a bad game, though, as long as you go into it with modest expectations. It's not Rebel Galaxy, and it's sure as hell no Star Trek: Bridge Commander.
My Rating - 3 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.