CNET Editors' review
Via Galactica is a space-themed strategy game in which users travel between intergalactic destinations while trying to increase their status via trading with merchants, fighting off pirates, and tackling other missions. Although we can see how this type of game might appeal to some people, we found it rather boring.
If you're into games with graphics of any sort, Via Galactica is not for you. Instead, the game's action plays out as a series of textual descriptions and choices. For example, as you travel to your destination, you may receive a message stating that you're being attacked by a pirate ship. A series of buttons presents your options: flee, fight, surrender, etc. There's no real visual action of any sort, aside from a system chart that maps the user's intergalactic travel. Users must monitor their resource, such as fuel and food, and attempt to trade with other merchants for valuable items such as weapons. We get the sense that this game could becoming quite long-running and involved, but frankly, it didn't hold our attention for very long. Users who enjoy text-based strategy games and the careful management of resources should find this game enjoyable. The built-in Help file is quite detailed and is a necessity for anyone who is serious about playing this game.
Via Galactica is free. It installs desktop icons without asking but uninstalls cleanly. We recommend this program with reservations; it didn't appeal to use, but functions just fine, and may be well-suited to other users.
From Orange Tree Software:
Via Galactica - an exciting space exploration and trading game. Starting the game as a downtrodden merchant with a small ship and a minimum of equipment, it's your task to become a rich galactic explorer. Navigate your way across the huge galaxy, fulfilling ever more demanding tasks, kitting your ship out with special equipment, avoiding pirates (or even becoming one) and recruiting a crew to help you out. Three difficulty levels.
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All versions:3.8 stars
out of 4 votes
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Version: Via Galactica 1.2.3
"A response from the publishers to Critical Mick"
Version: Via Galactica 1.2.2
We're grateful to Mick for giving us four stars for Via Galactica despite his misgivings. Thanks Mick! That said, we're a bit surprised he didn't find it more rewarding. We wonder whether he tried playing it on the Hard level, which we find pretty ferocious! We're also not sure whether Mick found all the tasks that do exist: they are not all apparent on day 1. We'd be happy to hear from him to see how we can improve the game.
"Fun for a while......"
Version: Via Galactica 1.2.2
This game is like a cut down version of Elite, the old space sim. Start off with a small ship, trade goods between star systems, do missions for governments, buy bigger a ship and fill it with weapons and then use it to go pirate hunting. Hire and fire crew, fight space monsters that are attacking planets. This game seems to have quite a bit of depth. However...
Not a huge amount of longevity. Once you've got yourself a powerful ship with lots of weapons the few missions there are become too easy and there's not a lot else to do. Three or four hours play should be enough to do pretty much everything in the game. A few more missions in future updates should fix this.