Galcon Fusion is the latest in the growing line of casual strategy games from Hassey Enterprises. Following Galcon Classic, the original desktop version of the series, and borrowing a ton of tricks from the iPhone incarnations Galcon and Galcon Labs, Fusion pits you against the rest of the galaxy as you fight for dominance. Featuring high-definition visuals, loads of interesting modes of play, and several fun bells and whistles, Galcon Fusion is a respectable successor in the Galcon line and a captivating casual Risk-like strategy game.
Your job is to take over the universe by spreading your ships from one planet to the next. Each planet has a population number on its face that slowly goes up over time. If you want to take over a world, you have to reduce that number to zero by sending wave after wave of your own ships. To attack, simply click on one of your planets (or drag to select multiple planets), roll the mouse wheel to select what percentage of the population you'll send out, then click the target. Your ships immediately go forth and smash into your foe's world, reducing its population by one for every one ship. Maniacal laugher shall ensue.
Not content to confine gameplay to "conquer 'em all", Galcon Fusion features a number of modes, some of which are quite interesting. Vacuum, for example, drops you in an enemy-free universe with a ticking timer, challenging you to occupy every world before the clock runs out. Assassin sets one of the players as "it" and the game is won by whoever destroys that player. Crash makes it so in-flight ships can collide, adding a whole new level of strategy to the game. To top it off, you'll find ten selectable levels of difficulty in Galcon Fusion, enough to give you as much challenge as you desire.
But here's the real reason you'll pick up Galcon Fusion: online multiplayer. Now you can take on your friends as well as complete strangers in chat-enabled matches right from the game's main menu. Not all modes are available in multiplayer, but it's great having flesh and blood opponents who can think and react to your strategies like only humans can do. Meaning, you know, betrayal and sneakery and all that fun stuff.
Analysis: Galcon Fusion is one of those games you'll play over and over again. It's as casual as a strategy game can get, reducing everything to a simple game of numbers. Despite its simplicity, you won't find a shortage of challenge or variety, just a nigh infinite amount of quick galaxy-conquering games to play.
Brevity could also be Galcon Fusion's main drawback, as the short, 90 second nature of each round lends itself better to a browser or mobile game. The program itself is lightweight, though, so it's not like you have to fire up dual video cards and overclock your processor to get things done. A quick round or two is never a hassle, and if you're a casual gamer, you don't want to sit in front of the game for hours on end anyway.
Galcon Fusion carries with it a delicious little secret: Retro mode. Are fancy visuals too much for your 1980s-accustomed eyes? Hit [F10] during a single player game to toggle the keyboard-controlled ASCII-only retro mode. Now you're playing a real "color computer video game".
Galcon Fusion keeps things casual and makes a surprisingly successful leap from the iPhone back to the desktop computer.