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Galaxy Warfighter

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC
Genre: Shoot-'Em-Up
Publisher: JoyBits
Developer: Qplaze
Release Date: April 16, 2020


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PC Review - 'Galaxy Warfighter'

by Cody Medellin on June 29, 2020 @ 12:00 a.m. PDT

Galaxy Warfighter is a classic space shoot’em up game with a modern twist.

Some games feel more at home on specific platforms. Regardless of the genre, there are a few titles that feel better on one platform over another, either due to controls or mechanics or lack of options. Galaxy Warfighter is a PC game that feels like it would be better suited to another platform.

Unlike a number of retro-inspired titles, Galaxy Warfighter doesn't bother to have a story. Instead, the game concentrates on the classic shooter formula where you go from left to right, mowing down enemy ships that come toward you before you reach the boss. Defeating both regular enemies and bosses produces green coins, which can be collected and spent on ship upgrades, including things like shields, extra ticks on your life bar, more firing drones, and increased gun power.

Right away, you'll notice some unusual quirks . For starters, levels are short. On average, it'll take about three minutes to get from the beginning of the stage to the boss. Movement is fine, but none of the buttons on a controller will perform any of your expected actions. You have no screen-clearing bomb, and your primary weapon is always firing. The extra weapon pick-ups automatically fire instead of letting you use them at your leisure.

All of those things can be answered by the fact that Galaxy Warfighter was originally a mobile game. Once you learn that, some of the decisions make sense. The level length feels perfect for quick gameplay sessions. The automatic firing makes sense because it frees up visibility to not have a thumb constantly holding down the fire button. Since you only have to worry about movement, that makes it rather accessible, a trait often associated with success on iOS and Android.

Then again, the fact that this game had mobile roots doesn't excuse some of the other design decisions. The level backgrounds get recycled quite often, and with such a small number of them available, déjà vu sets in quickly. That goes double for the enemies and bosses, who get used so often that they present the player with no challenge after a while. The difficulty curve is nearly flat, so don't be surprised if you can sleepwalk through huge swaths of the game without realizing it.

Perhaps the big sin that Galaxy Warfighter commits is that there's no end game. There's an achievement for hitting 100 levels, but the game continues for much longer after that milestone. There's no leaderboard because there's no scoring system in place. The whole game is dedicated to the grind of getting more coins to further power your ship, but with no final reward in sight and no scores to chase, there's just no satisfaction.

The overall presentation leans on both sides of the quality spectrum. Graphically, the game is quite clean, and while some elements (like asteroids) might not stand out well against the small variety of backdrops, everything else is painted in bright colors, so it's easy to tell bullets from coins to enemies. Audio is where the game falters, as the music for the title screen doesn't fit the theme, and the lone music track for each level gets tiring rather quickly. Only the sound effects save the player from placing the game on mute.

Galaxy Warfighter is a better game if you're on iOS or Android. It wouldn't necessarily make it a masterpiece, but it is a more tolerable experience on devices that are made for your pocket. On the PC, however, the litany of issues plaguing the game design are too much to make this worthwhile when the platform has a near-limitless supply of better titles in the genre. Unless you really need Steam Achievements, pass on this one.

Score: 4.0/10

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