Children of the Galaxy has the smooth shine of modern polish, but sadly lacks the depth to engage in many ways.
Let me start by saying that i have high hopes for this title, but find their “6 months” (6+ minimum) in early access to be ambitious to a impossible degree. Currently, what is in the game works – but calling it fleshed out is a massive stretch. Also taking the currently missing features along with that – there is years of work here to rival other titles in the genre.
Lets break it down:
Exploration mostly boils down to “let it auto explore” with little to no influence you want to expand to doing – you just create a bunch of scouts and send them into the void on their own. Anomalies, unique finds, planetary exploration, systems and galaxies are mostly flat and have no depth in terms of unique elements in them.
Expansion is also… flat. Outside of a few research points that provide passive buffs here and there, most of your expansion is spamming all possible buildings on a new planet and building a ton of stuff floating in space to mine and defend it. There is no customization and depth in terms of expanding your planets, borders and supply-lines, adaption to different planet biomes or even differences in resources available outside of the hard number. Basically again – planets are fire and forget.
And these two already illustrates the issues with the game.
The building works, the expansion works, the exploration works, the production empire expansion works. There are no game breaking parts to the game in any of these. But they are so very limited in gameplay interaction. Most of the early to mid-game consists out of queuing a bunch of things and pressing “next turn” 20 times.
And while the research systems has hints of greatness in the way you can assign a % to a type of research to focus on – the nature of needing those pieces of tech to get anything done means that multiple search items at once doesn’t benefit you until the very late game stages.
I’ve not touched on diplomacy much, nor on combat and the fact is that these are… non existent in my eyes. Diplomacy they’ve said is still in development, so that aside – the combat is a rock-paper-scissors affair that mostly requires “lots of rocks” and little else, with balance being messy and combat interaction having little to no weight.
Again, the core idea is great and the “in world” combat that allows for smart movement and usage of the environment as needed is great – but its so damn shallow.
So with enough time in the oven – this could be great, and with the level of quality they have on display it is clear the developers care immensely about this product – but it’s not there by a long shot, even on systems they are already advertising as implemented, that are missing anything but the barest of bones.
For now i’d be hesitant to jump in with the current lack of content, but the game shows promise to keep iterating on good ideas down the line.