Galcon – Masters of the Universe, but definately not He-Man

Today I’m reviewing the desktop version of Galcon by Phil Hassey. Galcon is pretty much like everyone says it is. If Risk were in real-time and in space, then it would be called Galcon.


I fired this baby up for the first time and went to options. I attempted to change the resolution, but if you go higher than 640×480 it gets a little choppy at times, so I decided to leave it at 640×480. I then went to the tutorial mode. There are 5 levels that tell you how to play. Although on the whole I think you could just start up a real game and not ever look at the tutorial.

There are a ton of different styles of game to play, but as I only had a cursory glance over most of the games and modes, we’ll start with Galcon classic. (I played classic for a couple of hours, which is why I don’t cover everything this game has to offer). In classic mode, you start with a board made of different sized planets. With single player it’s just you and the computer, and your home planets are one of two colors, red and blue. Player starts with blue, computer with red. Your goal is to basically take the board by sending fleets of your ships to other planets and conquering them. Most planets are neutral until you or your opponant conquers the planet. This is pretty simple, you click on a planet and right click to send ships there. You can alternately left drag the mouse to a planet and it will send ships there. Changing the amount of ships is easy too, you simple use your mouse wheel. You can also select several planets at the same time by dragging a selection box over them.


The Parker Brothers (now owned by Hasbro) game of Risk has a little more complexity to it, but it can get away with that because it’s turn based. With real-time games some things have to be smoothed out, and refined, and simplified. Galcon is the game that would come from that. When I played for the first time I sort of didn’t understand it, so I got pwned (for those not in the know, pwned is a commonly misspelled word owned, as in you were beaten, and has since become somewhat of an internet meme I guess you could say).  Second time it all clicked (both literally and figuratively). And then I kept playing, and playing, and playing. To say this is addicting is an understatement. The fact that each game doesn’t last very long means you’ve got to play it just one more time, and keep doing so until you find the time has just flew by.

There’s alot of extra content too. There is the classic version which has 8 skill levels (I’ve only been able to make it to medium but haven’t beaten that), then there’s one with 15 “missions”. For instance there’s one called ‘Goliath’, where the enemy planet has twice as many ships as you do. There’s ‘Siege’ where there are 3 enemy planets to your one. There’s ‘Massive’ which, as far as I can tell, is a lot of planets on screen. I haven’t looked at all the missions, but there’s enough there to keep anyone happy for a long time. There’s also another set of single player missions. One of which is “Wormhole” in which the enemies come out of a large hole in the center. Something called rebellion which means one of your planets can rebel and become their own color which means you have two enemies instead of one to deal with. There are several more there too.


The game also has an easy to use map editor where you can find instructions when you hit F1. There are also a ton of game play mods, presumably made from the map editor, although some of them seem to have options that I couldn’t see you make in the map editor. I didn’t play the multi-player because I don’t tend to play multi-player games. I will eventually try it, however.  One more little thing is a little “snake” type game where you hit a target and the snake grows longer and longer.  Although a neat little diversion it doesn’t seem to reset you to the beginning or lose lives.  It just seems to keep going, and changes board layouts after a certain amount of points is reached.  All-in-All there’s a wealth of extra game play to discover.

The graphics are decent and adequate. I mostly can’t say that the graphics are amazing because the ships are represented by triangles, and the planets use the same images somewhat scaled. It’s more like a representation of the galaxy. They are far from mediocre though.  It does, however, have some neat particle effects.  To their credit the ships look like vector graphic games of old (a little thicker lines though).


Sound effects are “cute” and I say this mostly because it sounds like someone used their voice. The music is ok, with the exception to seem to only have one tune that plays repeatedly. Thankfully it’s not really intrusive or annoying. In fact you’ll find the game compelling enough that you’ll sort of forget about the music and sound.

Let me stress that even if real time strategy games aren’t your thing, it’s very easy to get into this, and it’s very fun and addicting.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone.

It comes in pc, mac, and linux flavors, as well as iphone/ipod touch versions.

Name: Galcon

Final analysis: Addicting casual strategy game, like risk in space!

Price: $19.95

Where you can get it: Download the trial at The Galcon Homeworld or Buy it now HERE.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Galcon – Masters of the Universe, but definately not He-Man”

  1. Review of the game Dyson | Uhfgood's Game Reviews says:

    […] in a level, by sending seeds over to destroy the enemies then plant more trees.  Sound like Galcon […]

  2. […] Galcon – Masters of the Universe, but definately not He-Man […]

Leave a Reply