We’ve promised more indie coverage, and that includes reviews of PlayStation Mobile and budget PSN games. For these reviews, we’re introducing a new format for these ‘smaller’ titles, which you can see in action for our first review – Switch Galaxy.
Who Made It?
Atomicom, a studio made up of some ex-Psygnosis (WipEout) devs.
How Much Is It?
What’s The Story?
There’s a few text filled screens at the beginning that basically tell you to travel to different worlds in the Evolver, go fast, and as a result, you’ll collect Tantalum to help complete the Jump Drive.
What Do You Do?
The best way to describe Switch Galaxy is WipEout on rails. Much like Frequency, or, more recently, Rock Band Blitz, your ship travels automatically and it is up to you to switch tracks (using the touch screen, d-pad, or shoulder buttons), avoiding obstacles and gaining power ups across the levels, all while trying to beat each level under a given time limit.
As you progress, the obstacles get tougher, faster speeds come in to play, and enemies who switch lanes without warning are introduced.
How Does It Look?
There may not be much happening outside of the track, usually just starry space that is passing by too quickly to admire, but your ship is colored and designed quite well, with the enemies, hazards, and tracks themselves very pleasing to the eyes.
How Long Is It?
I completed the 25th and final ‘galaxy’ after about 45 minutes, and that includes restarts and the long 10 – 15 second load times before entering each world. After that, you can jump around to the previous worlds you’ve beaten, trying to get a gold star in each, or completing a handful of challenges that pop up in the bigger worlds. Sadly, there’s no local or online leaderboards, so you never know if you’re improving your time unless you keep track manually.
Outside of that, you also have Survival mode, which is a never-ending track where you try to survive for as long as possible, but a single hit kills you, making it a true challenge to get very far.
Is It Hard?
Survival mode aside, not really. If you do find yourself having trouble getting through some of the tougher stages, you can purchase ship upgrades to make you go faster, recover from crashes quicker, or increase your acceleration.
As for the learning curve, it is handled perfectly. You start off on some short, easy levels (each is about 50 seconds on average), but quickly progress up to break neck speeds with boosting, warping, tougher enemies, and more obstacles.
Is It Fun?
Yes. When you get going a billion miles an hour (that’s what it feels like anyway) and things are zipping by, with hazards coming at you constantly, forcing you to react in a split second, it reminded me of the best moments of Burnout or WipEout.
Is It Worth The Money?
For $2.49, it does feel a little pricey considering how little in terms of fresh content you do receive, but the fun packed into the game does offset that quite well, and if you like Survival, this could last you hours.
Should You Buy It?
As I said above, if you like speed and breaking high scores, Switch Galaxy is worth the price of admission. I would have liked more levels and shorter loading times, but if spending $2.49 on a game that has about an hour of new levels doesn’t scare you, buy Switch Galaxy.
What Could Be Improved in a Sequel?
They have the sense of speed nailed down, so I would just suggest more. More levels, more enemies, more hazards, more upgrades, more modes, but definitely less load times. And a leaderboard of some sort would be a necessity.
If you have any feedback – whether it be positive or negative – about the set up for these reviews, please let us know in the comments below and we’ll take everything into consideration to make them better.