It's been nearly 30 years since Galaga stormed onto the arcade scene, delivering to fans of fixed shooters an arguably better version of Galaxian.
Galaga 30th Collection is a celebration of that upcoming anniversary, which hits on July 23, bringing a free version of Galaxian to iPhone owners and a chance to pick up Galaga, Gaplus and Galaga 88 for an extra $7.99.
For better or worse, not much has been done to change they way the games play from their original. (It's for better) They all play with the phone held vertically on a tiny field floating on a background of 80s laser lines.
Three control schemes let you move the ship by tracing your finger along the bottom of the screen, the right or left side of the screen or by moving around a tiny joystick in one corner and tapping a tiny button in the other.
The one major overhaul, the one I'm not a huge fan of, is the new look of the games. The ships all look more like the cartoonish enemies and protagonists from Galaga '88 then they do like the almost skeletal, minimalist graphics found in Galaxian and Galaga. It's disappointing. More so that there doesn't seem to be an option to play the game with the original look.
The game does include the ability to earn Galaga points, which are based on the score you receive while playing all of the games, and use those points to upgrade your ship or the look of the backdrop you play on. It doesn't appear to include the ability to unlock those original graphics, but maybe that's something they can add down the line.
The collection also includes a new score attack mode for each of the games and the ability to share scores over Twitter and Facebook.
It takes a bit of getting use to, playing the game with a touch screen, and with such tiny graphics, but I came to enjoy it. I especially like playing Galaxian with the iPhone resting on a table in front of me, tapping away at the fire button as I glide my ship back and forth on the starry sky backdrop.
At $8, the full collection feels a bit pricey for all but the hardcore Galaxian fans, but the free version is something everyone should check out.
Galaga 30th Collection [Apple App Store]