GalaxIR Star is another game that follows suit with Archipelago and Galaxy Domination and while Archipelago is dismal compared to these games, GalaxIR is a worthy competitor. The game play consists of a galaxy of planets of varying sizes scattered across your touch screen. Some are under your control (indicated by color), some are enemy controlled (again based on color), and others have yet to be conquered (gray). Each planet has a strength or 'number of units' that grows at a rate based on the planet's size... bigger is better. You then attack other planets and ultimately seek to control the galaxy.
About the only thing Galaxy Domination might do better than GalaxIR is offer a campaign, but I'm not sure that's worth much. GalaxIR is packed with six difficulty levels and a choice of 1-3 opponents providing plenty of challenge. The difficulty levels make quite a bit of difference and while they must be unlocked by winning at easier levels that only takes a minute or two as a game is generally short and thus doesn't bother me.
GalaxIR has better graphics in that a fleet of pixels is replaced with graphics more representative of an invading fleet of spaceships and the sound of blips is replaced by music the has yet to become annoying. In fact, I had to try the game out to remember what the audio consisted of for this write up. Controls are similar... tap a planet or two and tap a target planet, but GalaxIR allows you to choose what percentage of units will be sent in an invasion. I'm not convinced that being able to control how many troops are sent is terribly useful especially in the heat of battle, but it's there and certainly doesn't interfere.
Some of GalaxIR's features are apparently buried in the difficulty levels... for instance, as I progressed enemy unit counts disappeared (i.e. kind of a fog of war). That adds significant challenge to this kind of game. Also, when battling multiple opponents it seemed their early strategy (in level 4 of 6) was to focus on beating the snot out of me. I was able to adapt and meet the challenge and am now stuck at level 5 playing against one other AI opponent. GalaxIR's crowning feature, however, is network play via bluetooth or via the Internet and while I can't say there are lots of Internet players waiting for you (1 is online now and it's not me) that does, at least, let you play against other Android owners. GalaxIR party anyone?
In summary, this is the new best of the 'Real Time Risk' games. The demo is called GalaxIR and the full version is called GalaxIR Star. 4.5/5 stars and a lot of fun.