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Galaxy Pirate Adventure

For:   Also on: iPhoneiPad
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Not worth pirating

Product: Galaxy Pirate Adventure | Publisher: Sunfish Studio | Format: iPhone | Genre: 3D, Action, Shooter | Players: 1 | Networking: on one device | File size: 233MB | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.2
Galaxy Pirate Adventure iPhone, thumbnail 1
Space has played host to some of the greatest gaming moments. Be it barrel rolls or star collection, epic colonial wars or small moments of narrative and companionship amidst the stars, that twinkly black backdrop up there is a ripe setting for video game fun.

Of course, there have been some missteps along the way, games that take the infinite majesty of space and manage to make it dull and narrow, squeezing all of the enjoyment out of something most of us have fantasised about.

Galaxy Pirate Adventure sounds like it should fall into the first camp. Just look at that name. Say it out loud a few times. Imagine the endless adventures that a galactic pirate could have. Then get ready to be disappointed.

Star wreck

The game casts you in the role of a young pirate prince, ready to take the reins from his father and start doing piratical things the length and breadth of the galaxy. After a brief introductory mission, you set out on your life of crime with your butler Alfred. No. Really.

You'll fight battles, upgrade your ship, build your fleet, and work your way up from pirating boy to pirating man, possibly cackling and drinking space rum as you do.

So far, so good, but here we wade into Galaxy Pirate Adventure's glaring problem.

It all sounds great on paper - a rip-roaring space expedition with you at the centre, stood on the bridge with your space cutlass barking out orders to the scurvy space dogs under your command - but in reality it's a detached and dull procession of screen-tapping tedium.

Fire photon borepedoes

The combat at the heart of the experience is tragically dull. Your actions are controlled by on-screen buttons - arrows control your distance from your opponent's ship, and different icons control the weapons and shields.

Battles entail rapidly hammering your weapons before moving out of range to recharge. It's rinse-and-repeat of the slowest order, and it's representative of the strange pace of the game as a whole.

When you're not fighting, you're selling and refining the spoils of war, or watching cut-scenes that flesh out the flimsy, uninteresting plot. There's too much tedium and repetition. Space is squished down into bite-sized chunks for you to hammer through, making for an experience that sours quickly.

Lazy beams

It's a shame, because Galaxy Pirate Adventure is a joy to look at. The ship models are interesting and well-built, and the backdrops hint at a galaxy far beyond the restrictive corridors of battle and commerce that the game forces you down.

But hints are all you get as you blast between supposedly different, almost empty regions, killing the things you find there and stealing whatever they leave behind. You feel less like an important and swashbuckling pirate and more like a straggler caught in an infinite space-time loop.

There are brief moments of fun in Galaxy Pirate Adventure, but not enough to save it from the yawning black hole of monotony that lies at its heart.
Galaxy Pirate Adventure
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 15 November 2011
Proof that you should never judge a book by its cover, Galaxy Pirate Adventure's sumptuous visuals can't make up for its shallow, repetitive gameplay
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