Price: Free   Score: 8/10

Developed by Tap4Fun, is a harvest-build-conquer style strategy game set on a distant space colony. There are a lot of similarities in gameplay elements and visual style between Galaxy Empire and Starcraft, and Starcraft fans will immediately be at home with many of the structures and units available in the game.

Like Starcraft, in Galaxy Empire you start the construction of your base by building crystal and gas production facilities which form part of the game’s unit and research currency. You will also need to build metal mines and power production facilities in order to run all of your buildings.

The final in-game currency is Dark Matter – which must be bought as an in-app purchase. The cost varies based on the amount, with 10 units setting you back $0.99 and up to $99.99 for 1500 units. This purchase is not a necessity, as the Dark Matter is only used to speed up build times/upgrades, buy resources etc, but these wait time can often be prohibitive and send gameplay speed rolling to a halt with no ability to queue tasks.

When you first start Galaxy Empire, you will be guided by Aries who provides a number of missions which will familiarize you with the interface, buildings and units available. There are pre-allocated building ‘zones’ which are identified by a metal hatch on the ground – after tapping on one of these you are able to place a resource or production facility, depending on location.

All of your buildings require power, which is obtained from solar power facilities. If you begin to run low on energy at any point you can upgrade your solar plants or downgrade the production at one of your facilities in order to conserve power. This, and other adjustments in the rate of production can be adjusted in the resource menu.

As you advance through the game you can access more advanced units and technology through upgrades, with both defensive and offensive units available. And, as your empire expands you will inevitably clash with other players, who occupy their own planets in the same system as you. Ultimately, it’s the interaction and competition with other players that makes Galaxy Empire a winning title.

Bottom Line: More than just a StarCraft clone, is an original and exciting strategy game in its own right.

Galaxy Empire is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.