Galaxy Force 2 logo

ACTIVISION £24.99 * Joystick and Keyboard

In a distant Galaxy, the villainous Forth Empire has invaded the five planets of the once-beautiful Junos system and generally made a mess of the place. Junos itself has been reduced to ashes and is now a construction site for a huge battle fortress, from which the empire intends to dominate the Galaxy.

Faced with impending doom, the rest of the Galaxy's inhabitants call upon the Space Federation to do something about it. The result is Galaxy Force, a one-man attack craft of disturbing potency, with a certain person in the driving seat.
Flying over the surface of each planet, you must penetrate the Forthian defences and destroy each of five outpost fortresses. Only once these have been wiped out can you take on the giant enemy fortress and rid the Galaxy of the evil-doers once and for all.

The Galaxy Force ship fires lasers which hit anything directly in front of it, and seeker missiles which automatically lock on to enemy targets and home in.

Enemy ships approach from the front and sides firing missiles, and danger is also present in the shape of natural obstacles like asteroids, volcanoes, and huge streams of fireballs.

Survive the airborne's defences and you enter the planet's fortress where you fly along a twisting corridor, avoiding the walls and blasting the gun emplacements on floor and ceiling. Reach the end of the tunnel in one piece, and the fortress blows up sending you onto the next level.

The ship's energy level is shown by a countdown timer which constantly ticks away during each mission, and is accelerated by contact with enemy ships, missiles or tunnel walls, once the protecting shields have been depleted. Once the counter reaches zero, your single ship explodes and the game ends.


Unlike its coin-op parent, Galaxy Force II is a little sparse on the visual side, with some rolling rasters and small moving graphics attempting to emulate several Megabytes of expandable sprites of the coin-op. The poor frame update and general scarcity of graphics provides little impression of forward movement, and there's no real atmosphere.

The tunnel sequence is more effective: though somewhat lacking in detail, it succeeds in providing a convincing environment of twisty tunnels.

A reasonable rendition of the unusual coin-op soundtrack clanks away during play, although the explosion spot effects are weak. By contrast, a nice snippet of sampled speech warns of upcoming bends in the fortress interior but is only heard when no effects are playing. This is somewhat annoying since it's useful to have some indication of how to approach the next turning.


Once all five scenes have been played a few times, any urge to continue rapidly fades. The ability to select a starting level only serves to dampen the enthusiasm even more: there are no real surprises in store, and presuming the final sixth mission to merely be a longer and more difficult version of the first five, there really isn't much to look forward to.


This is another case of 'keep moving, last like crazy and hope you survive'. You don't need to worry about strategic positioning of the ship, since your homing missiles know what's going on better than you do, and the rather chaotic graphics means that it's difficult to follow the action anyway.

Negotiating fortress tunnels is the more entertaining of the two sections, but the ship's sluggish response means that it's too tricky to be taken at speed, and therefore too slow to get the adrenalin flowing. It's also necessary to regulate your speed so that you don't smash straight into tunnel walls, but can still reach the end of the level before your energy runs out. So it's fiddly to have the speed control located on the keyboard.

Galaxy Force is an ambitious project, but in the light of Activision's success with the equally impressive Power Drift, it really looks like a half-hearted conversion attempt. Galaxy Force has little to recommend it.

Schon wieder Zoff im Space!

Galaxy Force 2 logo

Raus aus dem Federn und ab ins All! In "Activisions" neuestem 3D-Action-Game geht's gegen eine fiese Weltraum-macht, die den schönen Planeten Junos ruiniert hat, und dort eine Basis aufzustellen.

Immerhin fünf verschiedene Welten müssen per Raumgleiter durchforstet werden, bis man im sechsten Level zum endgültigen Show Down gegen das feindliche Imperium antreten darf. Wo man beginnen mag, bleibt dem Spieler selbst überlassen - in einem Anfangsmenü hat man die Qual der Wahl.

Doch für welche Welt man sich auch entscheidet, der Spielablauf bleibt stets der gleiche: Was immer man unterwegs trifft - wenn es sich bewegt, muß es abgeballert werden!

Zunächst flitzt man über eine dürftig gestaltete Oberfläche und schießt auf gegnerische Objekte, die in wahnsinniger Geschwindigkeit herandüsen. Sodann geht's in ein dreidimensionales Labyrinth, wo zunächst Energie nachgetankt und dann die feindliche Festung zerstört werden muß. Wer viele Abschüsse vorzuweisen hat, erhält auch entsprechend mehr Energie für den kommenden Level.

Galaxy Force Erinnert stark an "Afterburner": Nicht eben schön, aber dafür höllisch schnell! Wer sich nicht daran stört, da" die gesamte untere Bildschirmhälfte den (nur mäßig sinnvollen) Kontrollinstrumenten vorbehalten ist, erhält ein unterhaltsames Action-Spektakel mit ansprechender Sound-Untermalung. Perfektionisten sollten das Game jedoch vor dem Kauf probespielen. (ur)

Galaxy Force 2 logo

Price: £24.99

This interesting little disk appeared in our office seemingly from nowhere. No fuss, no hype, nothing. Funny that, especially when you think that this was one of the hottest coin-op licenses of last year. You'd think it was blatantly obvious that Activision haven't bothered to promote this because it's not very good. Not true.

Galaxy Force is technically mindblowing. The most realistic 3D sprite based graphics yet, combined with one of the largest cabinets ever to grace my local arcade - an entire pod. Not only did you see that very sharp right-hand bend in the corridor, you felt it too. If I was to tell you that Activision have got the game as close to the arcade version as they possibly could whilst retaining the speed, you'd say I was mad. If I then said it was even better than that, you'd take away my dog licence.

The idea behind the game is the same old song and dance everybody else uses. Some alien force has taken over a small system of planets, and you have to fly over each planet, killing everything you come across, and then fly down a tunnel network, killing everything you find down there until you reach the main reactor and destroy that too. Destroy all five planets and you live to tell the tale to all your disbelieving friends.

The only thing the programmers seem to have sacrificed is the amount of background objects. Rather than having a ground surface completely covered with interesting features such as waterfall and volcanoes, you are now presented with a two tone scrolling plain, with ground objects dotted about sparingly. Everything else has been kept the same. All the enemies are there, including my personal favourite, a massive snake-like thing that looks like a piece of wavy carpet appearing from level three onward. Even the main ship is identical to the arcade.

The conversion plays brilliantly too. The weapons system is an upgraded form of the Afterburner missiles, only now you can look on to all the enemies on screen at once and fire a death dealing volley of missiles with one click of the fire button. Can there be anything this satisfying?

The fact that there are only five levels, and that you can start on any one you want means that the fun might be a bit short lived, but at the moment I don't care - I'm too relieved!