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The classic game: Galcon

A game of intergalactic conquest so swift and total it’d even impress the Borg

Our latest classic game invited you to a bout of GALactic CONquest . (There’s a tiny hint there about how it got its name!)


What was Galcon?

Risk in space, in fast-forward, rethought for the touchscreen. Each level began with players lurking on their home planets. Your planet would have a number, showing how many ships it had available.

Neutral ‘gray’ planets would also have numbers, denoting how many ships would be required to conquer them. Larger planets had more resources and so once captured would replenish your fleet more rapidly.

Strategy largely relied on you sending enough ships to the right places, at the right time – all without leaving your planets vulnerable to attack. Naturally, everyone else was doing the same thing, leading to constant, chaotic battles.

Why was it a classic?

The average game of Risk takes approximately 37 months. Or at least, it seems to. Galcon matches could be over in seconds. They were exhilarating, not least during bouts where you’d be blasted almost into nothingness, only to cunningly build your way back up and win – or during do-or-die confrontations where you decided to take your entire fleet and have it swarm on a single planet, in a desperate bid to survive, which could then turn into a tidal wave against an unsuspecting opponent.

Visually, it was great – all tiny ships and neon colors. The touchscreen was the perfect surface for deftly directing craft with precision. And along with multi-level single-player challenges, Galcon was an iPhone multiplayer pioneer, with four-player battles that were enormous fun.

Galcon iPad

Where is it now?

The original Galcon is long gone from the App Store, as is sequel Galcon Fusion. Galcon 2 clings on, but hasn’t been updated in years – and you’ll be lucky to find too many people lurking in its multiplayer servers. But even if they’re empty, you can get a taste of what the game offered by way of the single-player practice mode. All that while you peruse the intriguing Galcon 3 website and wonder if this excellent concept is going to make a welcome return.

Visit the Galcon 3 website or get Galcon 2 (free) from the App Store.