Feb 20, 2010


Back in the early 80s my first arcade game was Space Invaders. Next it was Galaxian. Then came Galaga... it wasn't a breakthrough concept, but it was so beautifully done that it became my favorite classic arcade game of all time. Blasting away at aliens as they dance on the screen into formation... trying to get the dual canons... and the catchy intro music made it a memorable game to play. XGalaxy tries to recreate that experience and fails miserably. How this game has 4/5 stars in the Android Market is a mystery that I'll never solve.

I've mentioned in the past that I'm a fan of emulators and preserving the past's arcade goodness. One of the big reasons I steered clear of an iPhone was the lack of freedom to run emulators on the device without Apple's blessing. A benefit of emulation is that it creates a base standard for games and this game is one that is clearly put to the test against Galaga for the NES from the late 1980s. A test that it does not pass.

First, everything is so incredibly small on the screen. I feel like I'm shooting at dots and not aliens. I have to squint while I play this game. Fortunately the squinting didn't last long before the Application Uninstall tool came to the rescue.

Second, I have to almost cover my canon with my finger as I move it back and forth. I like to be able to see what my enemy is shooting at. Yes, I can place my finger slightly below the canon. But then there's the autofire that I so loathe in games like this. I've rarely seen that done well. Autofire makes me feel like the game is playing me. All I do is drag back and forth trying to get under the oncoming invaders.

I don't think this game would have been enjoyable even if I didn't have Galaga already, but when pitted against this game that's over 20 years old it falls flat. Apparently there's an XGalaxy 2. Maybe that's better... a lot better... one can only hope as the original isn't even worth a dollar.


  1. There's a reason why all the shooters on android that are touch controlled don't have a seperate fire button: Multi-touch on all currently available android phones is not working correctly. This is due to the device manufacturers being idiots and using cheap touch screens that report wrong coordinates when two fingers are touching down. The more you know... :)

    Great site, keep the reviews coming. You've become my number one gaming review site for android.

  2. The multitouch pong seemed to work ok on the Droid? But that would only need the x-axis to work properly and y to be able to tell which side is being touched. Does this problem you speak of apply to the Droid, other models... ?

    I know most of the Android phones don't even have multi-touch so I guess I'd prefer to be able to use a key on the keyboard for it if I have it. You have me curious now as I've not heard this before.

    I do recognize that developers do have challenges trying to please everybody using every device type available.

  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glNWToF6aOI a video of multitouch pong going crazy on my droid. The problem applies to all currently available android phones and is well known among the google engineers. http://groups.google.com/group/android-developers/browse_thread/thread/d0aa3eea8fd9a2b8/759be0f1e29abfd7?lnk=gst&q=multi+touch# Dianne Hackborne stated in there that this is how things work currently :/

    I love developing for android but some things just aren't there yet. But as you said, as a developer you have to code for all devices, so multi-touch might not be a good idea in the first place.

  4. Thanks for the detailed followup and links. Good info!