Space Run Galaxy

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Space Run Galaxy Game Poster Image
Repetitive space strategy shackled by shallow gameplay.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Players rewarded for successfully completing missions with coins that allow them to upgrade their ships. There's also verbal commendations for good runs, timely delivery of shipments.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players undertake role of a space runner, flying cargo through opposing pirate forces to deliver it on time. Longer runs mean more pirates encountered, but faster delivery equals better rewards. 

Ease of Play

Simple controls, but difficulty ramps up quickly, which may lead to frustration for younger players. 

Violence

Ships explode, fall to pieces, then fade away, leaving behind collectible elements that bolster resources. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Space Run Galaxy is a downloadable space strategy game where players build ships to protect the cargo they're assigned to transport through hostile space. With four solar systems and more than 50 zones to travel through, there are more than 100 missions available, and players can also take on contracts from other players. The game is the sequel to Space Run, although enemies are much more random and the difficulty ramps up fairly quickly. Violence is limited to exploding ships with limited detail. The game itself isn't that difficult to understand or play, although it may prove frustrating for younger players due to the challenges delivered.

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What's it about?

Set 20 years after the events of the original, SPACE RUN GALAXY expands the universe and places the player in the role of subordinate to Captain Buck Mann. The concept is relatively simple: Pick up a cargo and deliver it through hostile space to another planet. Because there are those who will attempt to intercept your ship, you can build it up with thrusters and weaponry (energy shields, laser turrets, and missile launchers), expand the size, and overpower the ship to take on all manner of enemies. The game features more than 100 missions in four solar systems with 50 zones and random enemy deployment. Multiplayer is tossed in as well, with players being able to offer contracts to other players.

Is it any good?

Repetitive gameplay in a colorful side-scrolling title can only intrigue for so long before it simply becomes boring. While Space Run Galaxy tries to spice up the action with a minor ship-construction element and tosses in the concept of offering missions to other players, along with a player-based market, the game still can't get past the simple formula that makes up every mission. Players take on a contract, load the cargo, chart the course to the delivery point, and then fly through space on a straight line with enemies coming in from the front and sides. This necessitates having weapons covering all potential attack angles, having shields to reduce damage, and having the thrusters to move through quickly. Exhibiting an understanding of what's expected and then outfitting the ship for any eventuality is vital. Of course, if a ship is damaged, players can visit the mechanic for repairs and upgrades -- assuming that players have the coin and resources while in port.

The graphics are very serviceable, and the characters are different with a lot of unnecessary attempts at humor, usually left to the robot helpers onboard the ships. But Space Run Galaxy isn't a bad game by any means; it's just not a very deep game. Yes, there's an offline component, but online interaction isn't that strong, because it's restricted only to the player market and player-offered contracts. Having other users create challenges that are so difficult as to be borderline frustrating doesn't add to the enjoyment. Space Run Galaxy would've been great if it were deeper, but it's just so shallow and repetitive that it's hard to enjoy after only a few missions.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the fantastical violence in Space Run. Do you think this title is violent? Is the content justified? Does it have more or less impact than violence in other games? Why?

  • What other games do you play that require a great deal of strategy? Can you see those skills being applied in real life?

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For kids who love strategy

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