Galcon Fusion

Galcon Fusion is the essential real-time strategy game--the genre boiled down to it's essence. It's a simple game that remains addicting and fun despite being able to count the rules on one hand.

The game screen is set up as a randomly generated bunch of planets. Each planet is randomly sized, and the size determines how fast it can produce ships. You start with one planet and 100 ships and move about the game board conquering neutral planets, which produce more ships, which can conquer more planets. Simple, huh? But there's another player (or 2 or 3) which has the exact same setup and is trying to conquer planets on that other side of the screen. It's a race for the planets.

Galcon Fusion exposes the fundamental dynamic of RTS games: Expand, get resources, repeat. To beat an opponent, get more resources faster than your opponant does. It's a beautiful simplicity and is a primer for the mechanics of any RTS game out there: No matter how complicated the game, they all boil down to these basic mechanics. These core mechanics also obsessively fun. For a game that can be completed in less than a minute, I can't count how many hours I've spent at my computer and iPhone sending little ships to their doom.

Such a simple game allows for many variations. There's a mode called “Assassin,” where you're given a target player and the first player to wipe out their target wins. Another called “Stealth,” where you can't see enemy ships moving in space. There are tons of gameplay modes available and they all work in multiplayer.

Multiplayer is really lots of fun and it opens up a world of strategy and tactics unavailable in the single player game. It works great and it's a blast to play. It doesn't support using your Steam account--you need to create an account specifically for the game--but it's still a ton of fun, and I'd recommend it if you buy the game (it's not available in the demo).

There's also an iPhone version that is probably one of the best iPhone games out there.

Why You Should Check This Out: Galcon Fusion is the distilled essence of real-time strategy games. The latest update has way more multiplayer options than before; new, higher resolution graphics; several interface improvements from the iPhone version; and Steam support with achievements. A game of Galcon can take less than a minute, yet it's addictive, simple and loads of fun.

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Comments

Also if you want to try and break your brain, hit F10 to enter "retro mode" and try to play. Just amazingly painful.

My sister and I used to play the old text-based GalCon on our 386 when we were knee high to grasshoppers. I always loved the text ads that scrolled by on the top of the screen for things like used TIE fighters.

Steam demo installed! I'll check it out over the weekend. I liked the Flash demo of the original a lot.

Switchbreak wrote:

My sister and I used to play the old text-based GalCon on our 386 when we were knee high to grasshoppers. I always loved the text ads that scrolled by on the top of the screen for things like used TIE fighters.

I did not realize "retro mode" modeled an actual text-based version of this game. The crazy interfaces we used to put up with ....

Man, I want an iPhone so bad to play this stuff when I should be doing work!

I have this on the iPhone, although this looks much more robust. It's tons of fun and can become incredibly difficult. The iPhone version includes a ton of game modes and plenty of customization options depending on your play style / preference.

Definitely worth it- I'll likely check this out because of that!

Just a word of warning, Comodo antivirus popped up a warning shortly after I downloaded the demo. The antivirus caught a file called Gamepark as malware. I don't know if it piggiebacked in with the demo or not, just a heads up.

I've been looking for smallish, simple games to throw on my netbook and play while passing time between work and school. This seems pretty darn close to perfect! Quick games, simple to grasp, and fun! Thanks for another great find!

Great game. My four-year old loves it too.

PyromanFO wrote:
Switchbreak wrote:

My sister and I used to play the old text-based GalCon on our 386 when we were knee high to grasshoppers. I always loved the text ads that scrolled by on the top of the screen for things like used TIE fighters.

I did not realize "retro mode" modeled an actual text-based version of this game. The crazy interfaces we used to put up with ....

It was the same interface, but the game was pretty different. It was turn based, and it was all stealth mode. So you would select any two planets and order ship movement, and then the other player wouldn't find out about it until several turns later when the ships arrived. Also the planets all had different production rates, and morale. If it got too low they could revolt (when this happened to the high production planets it usually lead to the keyboard being thrown at the other player's head.)

My butt fell asleep while playing the demo... fantastic game. Any idea when a "Sorry pal, buy the game now!" is going to pop up? (I'll definitely be watching for a [bigger] Steam sale on this one.)

JC King wrote:

My butt fell asleep while playing the demo... fantastic game. Any idea when a "Sorry pal, buy the game now!" is going to pop up? (I'll definitely be watching for a [bigger] Steam sale on this one.)

I think you're limited by modes for the demo. So no multiplayer (which is a blast) and I'm not sure which other single player modes are restricted

The one thing the multiplayer really needs is a way to play with your friends. I was trying to get a 1on1 game of this going earlier and it seemed like the only option was to just grab an empty server and go. Every time some random dude showed up we just ditched and found another empty one. They need to let you local host a game and invite someone to it.

Switchbreak wrote:

The one thing the multiplayer really needs is a way to play with your friends. I was trying to get a 1on1 game of this going earlier and it seemed like the only option was to just grab an empty server and go. Every time some random dude showed up we just ditched and found another empty one. They need to let you local host a game and invite someone to it.

Yeah matchmaking is pretty frustrating to me, because all the good players are really bad about just camping forever. So 75% of the populated games are people just sitting there waiting to outproduce someone else.

A GWJ Galcon clan would be pretty awesome.

This article definitely convinced me to purchase Galcon Fusion. I downloaded the demo available on Steam, yesterday, and found it very amazing.

I really don't understand why I had not bought yet, but I am going now to Steam website, to buy this fantastic game!

Thank you for this excelent article!

Ah... Thanks for this. A year or so ago I had a nasty Galcon addiction for a month or so. With dwindling personal time, I find it difficult to commit gobs of time required of many modern AAA games (although I did finish Borderlands recently). I love little bite-sized bits of gaming and Galcon excels at that. I'm glad to hear there's a new version. I'll be checking it out.

Here's my current guilty pleasure:
http://superherosquad.marvel.com/gam...

I think that kind a small, tidy games can be simply brilliant some times! And I think its because you don't need to have a huge game studio, dozens of designers, expensive publishing, etc. Galcon Fusion is the great example of how good can small games really be.