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Monday, May 15, 2006
Reviewed by Zambonista.

GalCon 2006 is essentially a twitch reflect coffeebreak game with modest strategic elements. The gameplay revolves around ships and planets. Each planet produces ships and clicking on one of your planets, then double clicking on another, sends ships from the first planet to the second. Each attacking ship kills one defending ship; overwhelm the defenders, the planet is yours. Each short game has about twenty planets of varying sizes; larger planets produce more ships. The player always starts with a single large planet and a hundred ships. The number of planets (and seemingly of ships) that the AI possesses varies with the difficulty level. The players planets and ships are green; the AI's red. Any planet not belonging to the AI or to the player is gray and still produces ships, but never sends them out.

The filip to these simple rules is that planets have morale, which improves as other planets send ships and as that planet is surrounded by other friendly planets. The higher the morale, the higher the production. As a practical matter, morale never seems to play much role in the game.

At anything but the highest difficulty, the game presents almost no challenge. At the highest difficulty, matches vary from very challenging but fun to simply impossible, as some random configurations of planets, combined with the huge starting advantage the AI possesses, makes victory unattainable.

As a coffeebreak game, GalCon 2006 is hit and miss. It is perhaps too involved -- too much clicking, too many things going on at once -- to provide the peaceful zone-out of a break game. It is also frustrating to get unwinnable boards. Nevertheless, it is a fun timewaster and a victory of elegant design. Despite few rules, simple graphics, and brute force AI, GalCon creates fairly exciting matches and is easy to pick up and play. Definitely worth a run, and one hopes that it will be updated to improve balance issues.

Name: GalCon 2006
Developer: philhassey
Category: Strategy
Type: Freeware
Size: 5MB