Tag Archives: Fishlabs

Galaxy on Fire 2 Review: Tough to Get Into, Totally Worth the Pain

Galaxy on Fire 2 is a type of game that has plagued me for my whole gaming life. It’s a very complex, technically challenging, and wide open sort of game that, to a certain extent, makes the more linear individual wonder what the hell you’re supposed to do.

Even after several hours of play (spread over a good number of days) I don’t feel like I’ve gotten very far. In fact, it took me ages to feel comfortable enough to write this review and even still I don’t really feel like I’ve plumbed the depths of the game.

This should be a pretty darn encouraging thing for those of you who love and adore these types of experiences. There will be no shortage of stuff to do. I promise. My sister has played a total of 7 hours so far and hasn’t yet tired of it or felt like she was nearing the end.

So, I’m going to focus on the mechanics of the game. Once you get used to them, they’re pretty great.

At first I was put off by the simple fact that you don’t get to control the speed of your ship. That’s tough for me. I like to really feel like I’m driving the thing and at first I didn’t at all. Of course, I feel the same way about EVE Online so…

What you do control is your weapons and all other aspects of piloting which, is not at all easy. You will very quickly be glad you don’t have to worry about the throttle. You have a choice accelerometer control or onscreen d-pad control. Personally I find the onscreen d-pad more rewarding and I feel less self conscious using it on the bus. It’s totally a matter of personal preference though.

Navigation is done through a nifty system of target and then jump which I find quite fun and further eliminates that nagging desire for a throttle. As Douglas Adams said, ‘space is big’, so there’s no real need to vary your throttle.

Combat is as expected although you have the ability to set your weapons to auto fire which is more helpful than you can know. Mining is one of the chief ways you make money in GOF2 and this I find to be the most frustrating element. It is TRULY DIFFICULT. It takes practice and has made me put the game down more than once in frustration.

Still, it is worth pushing through it and learning. Don’t forget to play with your control sensitivity. This will help…a lot!

Galaxy on Fire 2 is so big and complex I could just sit here and ramble. Instead, just do yourself a favor and buy it. You won’t regret it. It’s one of those epic games that even if you don’t play it right away, you won’t be sorry to have so you can pick at it. That’s exactly how GTA: Chinatown Wars is for me. Like Galaxy on Fire 2, my iPhone is never without it.

Likes

Gameplay: Perfectly rock solid gameplay makes this game one of those ‘Holy crap this is better than the PSP’ kind of games. There is nothing lacking here.

Graphics: Just absolutely gorgeous top notch visuals that all by themselves will make you happy you bought it. It REALLY shows off what iOS and it’s devices are capable of.

Depth: There’s no end in sight. It just keeps going, and going, and going.

Dislikes

Gameplay: I wish it was a little easier to get into at first. That first hump is really hard to get over and there was serious danger of losing me there.

Galaxy on Fire 2 is a must. Even if you don’t normally play these kinds of games, you should buy it. It proves that your iPhone IS a gaming platform and perfect to show of to your unbelieving friends. There’s more than enough fun here for the most demanding player and still fun to be had if only as a novelty. This is all not to mention that the game is universal and looks AMAZING on the iPad.

Galaxy on Fire 2 is developed by Fishlabs and is available on the iPhone/iPad for $6.99. It was reviewed at version 1.0.3 on my iPhone 4.


‘Burning Tires’ Now Free… Well… Sort Of

Burning Tires was an old, old racing game that was birthed in the first days of the App Store.  It was a bit before I even got into iPhone gaming, and I always looked at it as “cool” but “not good enough”.  Still, the lite version was downloaded over 2.5 million times over however long it has been since the release, and the full version was probably download somewhere within the 100Ks.

But with that said, Fishlabs has released a free version of Burning Tires, but it’s actually the full version for free.  Of course, there’s probably a catch such as advertisements and whatnot, although advertisements don’t bother me as much as they used to.  It’s an quirky-looking game that some of you may enjoy, and it doesn’t hurt to try it out.

Burning Tires is available for free on the App Store, and be sure to download the one with the title “Burning Tires Free”.  Also a side note, Burning Tires Free will only work on iOS 4, so those who haven’t updated, you won’t be able to download this.

‘Galaxy on Fire 2’ Officially Announced for iPad and iPhone

Saddle up your bags and let’s take a trip to space!  A new space shooter is about to enter the realms of the App Store, this time a sequel to an already existing space explorer on the App Store.  This space shooter has a name like most games, and Fishlabs has currently named it Galaxy On Fire 2 (name isn’t official).

We reported of the rumor such a long, long time ago, and I’m glad that rumor came out to be true.  Galaxy on Fire 2 isn’t exactly close to release though, as stated in the blog post, it will take some time for Galaxy on Fire 2 to be completed.  It also sounds like they are planning to add a lot more things compared to Galaxy on Fire, and just reading the little Q&A leaves me a bit jumpy inside.

Currently, we are working on 3D models of ships, weapons, asteroids, as well as various hangar scenes and the bar where you get new missions. At the same time, Marc Nagel, our art director, is making 2D concepts for new ship models. Then I try to bring it all together. Next, Marc and others will help me with that and deal primarily with the shader, so that everything looks right. And, of course, we mustn’t forget the sound. We’re still looking at a lot of work.

Well that’s it for now.  They’ve included two screenshots in their blog post, we’ll keep you posted.

New Life for Galaxy on Fire 3D

Rumor has it that Fishlabs is working on “something” that will expand the short story of their otherwise great space shooter Galaxy on Fire 3D. At the moment, there’s no word on whether the company is porting their Flash sequel to the iPhone or if they’re simply adding a new story driven campaign to the existing app in an update. Personally, I hope it’s the latter. If you haven’t picked this game up already, I highly recommend it, especially if you’re a fan of space dogfighters like X-Wing or Wing Commander. This great little flier already boasts a huge open world galaxy with thousands of missions. Now it may get the epic storyline the game has always deserved. We’ll keep you posted as more news becomes available. Keep your fingers crossed!

Rally Master Pro 3D Review: Dirty, But Gets The Job Done

Fishlabs hasn’t exactly been the most sophisticated developer in the App Store just yet, but two releases have made them become noticed by iPhone gamers, the games including Galaxy On Fire and Rally Master Pro 3D.  Both games have shown to harness the power of the iPhone, using fully 3D models and gorgeous environments.

Of course, graphics isn’t what it’s all about as we’ve seen games absolutely fail even though they did look quite nice.  If you’re a rally racing fan at all though, I think I can full-heartedly recommend Rally Master Pro, although there are some issues that you must face to get through it.

Likes

Graphics: These graphics are probably some of the best in the App Store, and the design is absolutely flawless.  The 3D environments are near jaw-dropping, and the car models are very well made.  I was surprised with how much Fishlabs decided to add into this game, and the look and feel is definitely seen through these gorgeous 3D models.  If it wasn’t for other gorgeous 3D games like Hero of Sparta, I would be drooling at even the sight of this beautifully made game.

Controls: Accelerometer controls not working for you?  Why not try out the analog controls, or the touch controls.  Maybe you don’t like the touch controls on the left hand side?  Maybe move the arrows to both sides of the screen.  There are so many options for controls that it’s hard to not chose atleast one.  While the accelerometer controls for me were way too sensitive, I found the touch controls to be the most accurate when racing.

Mini-games: Now normally, I wouldn’t be a huge fan of mini-games in a racing game, but Rally Master Pro implements them quite well.  They provide some sort of a relief from the actual game itself, and it’s a good time-waster when you’re looking for something else to play.  While the mini-games are good for only a few minutes of play, it’s still definitely a nice little break.  While some may find the mini-games disrupting, I found them to be well made and much needed for a game such as this.

Dislikes

No Multiplayer: I know that there is no AI in this game, and while that is somewhat pitiful, there should be atleast some form of multiplayer.  It would have been nice if Fishlabs included WiFi or even Bluetooth multiplayer to play against your friends and family, and this is a feature that should be on Fishlabs’s top priorities.

No AI: Realistically, this can’t be added in an update as you would have to fix all the tracks along with an AI itself, but it still would have been nice if Fishlabs added some sort of AI to the game.  The AI seems to get me more competitive in the game, and when I’m going at my own pace, it does become pretty slow.  An AI would have been a nice addition to the game, but the game itself is still not too bad at all.

Gameplay Balancing: The balancing in the gameplay still needs some tweaking as I’ve been able to pass the Amateur level with a gold medal, and I’m standing around 4th place in the Professional level.  The Amateur level was ridiculously easy, but the Professional mode seems to jump a little too much and it becomes too difficult to place in even the top 3.  Even a little mistake will drop you from the 1st place spotlight, and I believe this should be added into the next update.

While the dislikes seems to outweigh the likes, Rally Master Pro is surprisingly a very solid rally racing game.  While there are some major features missing like multiplayer, Rally Master Pro is still a blast to play, and I don’t regret the purchase at all.  Personally, I think it’s absolutely worth the $4.99 if Fishlabs choses to update the game regularly and respond to user feedback.  There are some flaws in the game, but for rally racing fans, this should be enough for you until another, more sophisticated version is released.

buy

Rally Master Pro 3D was developed by Fishlabs, and I played through version 1.1 on my iPhone 3GS.  The price is $4.99, and there is no lite version currently available.

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