Nov 18, 2009


There's a game on the iPod Touch called Galcon and in a nutshell they've taken Risk and a) made it a battle between planets and b) made it 'real time'. It offers countless difficulty levels and options so that there's something for everyone. Archipelago clearly tries to emulate this on the Android.

In Archipelago you battle for control of islands (instead of planets) [they're all just colored circles anyways] and each island has a strength. Send units of a higher strength to an opposing island and you'll conquer it. Conquered islands build units for you based on their physical size (larger islands make units faster). Take over all of the islands and victory is yours!

One of the things Archipelago does right, and in my opinion every game should do, is offer a free demo in the App Store. How many great games are going to be passed by because I don't want to experiment and buy every game that makes its debut (although granted that's also the reason for this website)? In some cases, well recognized titles may be able to get by without a demo (i.e. Sims 3), but if I don't recognize it and can't try it for free then I'm probably not going to buy it.

That said, Achipelado offers a free demo for all to try. I tried it and although basic (walking me through 3 simple missions and explaining the controls to me) it got the idea across that this is a game I'd probably like. I like Risk... I like real time strategy... and especially with the unlimited maps/replayability promised  in the full version I figured I'd like this.

But that's where disappointment sets in and suddenly I realized that what could have been (and could still be... here's hoping) a great game falls quite a bit short. The countless options present in my beloved GalCon aren't even close to being here. Every game is just a random map... no speed differences (and the planes move kind of slow between the islands)... no skill levels... no options such as not seeing how many troops are present on enemy island in advance. These all add up to the game getting real old, real fast.

Here's hoping Second Gear Games isn't done with this one yet and will issue an update to add more game play options. After all, if there's one thing app developers have seen in the Apple's store it's that regular app updates increases exposure AND sale$.

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