Arcade shoot ‘em up games that feature planes used to be incredibly common at a time but then disappeared with the dying popularity of coin-operated games.
However, the genre found new life in the mobile gaming industry.
Transmute: Galaxy Battle is a futuristic shoot ‘em up that presents itself as a dynamically fun experience.
It looks to be a great addition to the genre with its pleasant visuals and a long list of game features – but of course, our job is to dig deeper and find out if that really is the case.
The gameplay of Transmute: Galaxy Battle is fairly simple.
Dragging the screen controls the movement of your airplane and there are buttons for your attacks.
Additionally, holding onto the plane and letting go unleashes its special ability, which ranges from things like a strong projectile or teleportation.
The early levels of the game are fairly balanced and offer a challenge without getting repetitive – but as you progress further, it becomes evident that the game suffers from never-ending difficulty spikes.
A well-designed shoot ‘em up allows you to dodge enemy fire if you are good enough at the game, but in the overcrowded nature of Transmute: Galaxy Battle that's not really possible.
And so the best course of action is to use one of the power-ups at your disposal. But while it helps in the immediate moment, it often ends up being a mistake because stronger enemies, later on, become even harder to fight off as a result.
Thus, the only choice you have is to spend a lot of time grinding in the game so that you can obsessively upgrade your ship and be stronger than the enemies. It burns you out quickly because of how frequent the difficulty spikes are, and you will always find yourself underpowered as you go.
Even without the difficulty issues, the level design is repetitive and most levels feel almost entirely the same due to how the enemy placement is. While the game has different types of enemies, it introduces them all too quickly and from that point on it feels like too much of the same.
To keep things fresh, the game features boss fights that range from normal difficulty to outright unfair, and require an even higher amount of grind compared to the usual progression.
Due to the purposeful focus on making the player grind, the experience ends up becoming more repetitive than it is enjoyable. The game even adds one-hit-kill enemies very early on which eliminates the entire point of having a health bar.
The game has a PvP mode which is basically two or more players fighting through the same level but not together. You simply see your opponent’s score and have to constantly beat it to remain number one. There’s not much to this mode besides that and it only exists as a scoreboard thing.
The graphics of Transmute: Galaxy Battle are fairly decent in terms of texture and animation quality, but it suffers greatly from repetition. Most of the backgrounds are extremely similar and don’t change for a long time.
The enemies are also quite similar in design and it kind of feels like you’ve seen them all after beating a few levels, as even the bosses share comparable colors and structures.
The background music is decent, but again, suffers from repetition. Most of the stages have the same music and it gets old hearing the same thing on repeat.
The sound effects are really good in-game, but the menu is missing a lot of sounds, such as the sound you’re supposed to hear when opening a loot box.
The UI of the game is pretty straightforward, and the polish of the game is good as I did not run into any technical issues.
Transmute: Galaxy Battle is not the worst mobile game to occupy your time with, but it gets tedious very quickly due to unfair tiers of difficulty spikes.
You’re better off playing something like Sky Force in the long term as those games at least feel rewarding for their challenging difficulty.