by Lord Badger
Galacticon is the brand new 8-bit arcade shooter from Spanish indie developer Radin Games and published by Flynn’s Arcade. There is no denying the inspiration behind Galacticon. If you are a fan of 80’s classics such as Defender or Joust then this could very well be a game for you.
Has with the classic games it hopes to pay homage to, Galacticon doesn’t really have much of a story. To be fair it doesn’t need to have one. I think it would be fairer to call it a set-up than a story, but here it is:
Humans are tiny creatures of an outer belt planet that thanks to their biomechanical monstrosities have invaded, exploited and enslaved most species in the galaxy.
The interstellar council has met for the first time in aeons and has determined that there is only one option left to exterminate this plague… an option that has always been feared because it could be as powerful as dangerous:
Invoke the Galacticon, a deadly legendary creature -half God, half-machine- and pray everything goes well…
An interesting set-up really, humans are a plague on the galaxy and must be eradicated but is the Galacticon gonna stop at just humans? Are the council unleashing a greater threat on the galaxy? Desperate times call for desperate measures but what is the cost of freedom from humanity?
The graphics in Galacticon are exactly what you would expect from an 8-bit arcade shooter. Extremely reminiscent of 80’s arcade machines yet incredibly colourful.
Galacticon perfectly encapsulates that feeling of nostalgia that only arcade gaming can bring. The frenetic pace of the gameplay, the chipset soundtrack, contrasting colours and pixelated graphics come together brilliantly. The fact Galacticon is the work of a solo developer is amazing!
I have mentioned a few times throughout this review how Galacticon is a nostalgis inducing 8-bit arcade shooter. While that is the most accurate way to describe Galacticon there is more to it than that. As the galacticon you have to shoot and destory all manner of veichles that the humans throuw at you. Whilst collecting humans and putting them in cages.
Collecting humans isnt as simple as it seems though. There are 3 types of humans. Red, blue and brown. Each cage can only hold 4 humans. Put 4 humans of the same colour in the same cage and you will recieve a bonus. Put 3 humans of one colour and another colour in the cage…the 3 humans will kill the odd one out! mix it up, say 2 red, 1 brown, 1 blue… the brown will turn red and kill the blue! Humans really are scumbags! Even when facing armegaddeon they still cant get along!
When you manage to complete the level it is time to fly back to your ship. This involves a quick up-scrolling level that has objects coming at you from every direction. Just surviving and getting back to your ship will begin the next level. However, each one of these bonus sections hides a secret bonus! For instance on one level you you achieve the secret bonus by being non-violent. Yep. You gotta dodge everything flying at you without shooting anything to get your bonus.
Anyone who remebers playing arcade games in the local takeaway or arcade will know the main aim of every game was to sit on top of the high score table. Well Galacticon has something a little different for you here. At the end of each game you are presented with your final score and a QR code.
Scan the QR code with your phpone or tablet and you are taken to a site were your score is instantly added to a worldwide high score table! You even unlock hints for the game everytime you you upload too!
Galacticon is a great game. It is fun, nostalgic and incredibly difficult in places. I was never the best at arcade shooters as a kid. That hasnt changed as an adult! But I did have a hell of a lot of fun with this.
I do like the inferred story that the humanity is evil and must be destroyed but in doing so the council have released something much worse. Unfortunatley I dont have the required gaming skills to complte Galacticon so I have no idea if this is built upon or not. My own thoughts are it would be a great way to line up a sequel.
Galactacon is prefectly suited to the switch as well. I have spent plenty of hours playing in docked mode on the TV as well as quick 10 min blasts while sat on the bus. Radin Games as done an absolutley superb job in bringing the nostalgia of the arcades and putting it right in my hand on the Nintendo Switch