Orion Arts has released version 1.1 of Galerider on the App Store, which fixes the UI scaling issues on newer iPhone models. The game should now be fully playable on modern iPhones (6S and above). With this fix released, I’ve been able to play through the game on my iPhone 8.
It’s no secret that Galerider borrows from Panzer Dragoon in many respects, particularly the lock on laser shooting mechanics (complete with an ultimate “berserk” attack). But Galerider isn’t entirely a Panzer Dragoon clone either, taking inspiration from endless runner games that include dodge mechanics and gem collection in a three lane system. It’s this three lane system which differentiates Galerider from Panzer Dragoon the most. Whereas in the Panzer Dragoon rail shooters movement and targeting enemies are both controlled by the left analog stick, Galerider splits these in two. Players lock on to enemy targets by sliding their thumb around the left side of the screen. Swiping left or right on the right side of the screen makes the dragon barrel roll into a different lane to avoid enemy fire. Tapping the right side of the screen also fires/releases lock on lasers, so the player often has to choose between barrel rolling and getting an extra shot in, creating an interesting trade off dynamic.
Being a mobile game made by a small team Galerider obviously isn’t going to be as detailed as the Panzer Dragoon rail shooters, but visually I think they’ve produced a game that is well presented. The music is solid too, and while the dialogue mainly exists to give justification for the missions, it does the job.
There’s a fair amount of gameplay to be experienced: a total of three area types, each split into three levels, so nine levels in total, each with boss fight at the end. iOS 12’s new screen time feature reported that I spent 1 hour and 40 minutes playing the game which encompassed a complete play through. The game can be challenging at times, but it never feels like you’re set up to lose, a welcome change from the plethora of pay-to-win mobile games. Given that there’s no in-app purchases, I think Galerider offers tremendous value (the complete game is only NZ$2.99 or US$1.99). The game ends with a message informing players that more content is on the way. If Orion Arts continues to monetise the game in ways that truly provide value, new content will certainly be welcome.
Galerider is the closest game you’ll find to Panzer Dragoon on mobile. If you own a recent iPhone and are a fan of the Panzer Dragoon rail shooters, there’s no reason not to try it.