Moonshot Galaxy was previously released as Galaxy Golf on the Vive, Oculus Rift and for OSVR. Now it’s available on the Playstation VR, giving us our first opportunity to test this physics-enhanced puzzler/golf hybrid.
It’s great to see that the stream of new Playstation VR games has been fairly constant – every week there seems to be at least one new game available for the platform. Lately, we’re also seeing more and more re-releases of existing VR titles as well. Perhaps this doesn’t bode well for Playstation VR in terms of original new content, but it’s helping in building a good sized software library – something notoriously missing for the likes of Kinect and pre-VR Move.
Originally titled Galaxy Golf, Moonshot Galaxy has been re-titled but retains its golf influences. There’s a spot where you tee off and there’s a hole where the ball needs to end up, and although courses are plastered onto the sides of spheres (or small planets) their use of green suggests a strong link to the real sport as well. That’s where the comparison ends though, since you’re not using golf clubs and you won’t see a ball rolling across the green either.
Instead, you’re launching the ball into a trajectory and relying on gravity to bring it back – hopefully in or at least near the hole. There’s a bit of Angry Birds and Worms here in that sense, as you’re making educated guesses as to what your best shot angle is all the time. This is fairly straightforward initially, but later levels introduce a variety of obstacles that make nailing the perfect shot harder and harder.
The concept is great, and it’s actually a lot like the many minigolf games that have been coming out for over twenty or even thirty years. That “I can make it one less shot!”-feeling is really what drives the experience, but there are also a few things holding the game back. Camera and control issues can cause frustration when they get in the way of your attempts at improvements – as obstacles are sometimes hard to see prior to taking a shot and you don’t feel in control of your shot when this happens. Move controls are highly recommended over gamepad controls though, since dual Move controllers allow you to direct your shot with one hand and turn the planet/level with the other. It’s a much more direct way of interacting with the game, and a slingshot effect like this is always more fun when you’re physically mirroring it.
Getting through all of the game’s courses won’t take you much more than an hour or two, but there’s plenty of replay value in trying to beat your best scores by going back. This is especially true if you’ve completed the latter levels and go back to the initial ones – they’ll seem like a challenge at first but will prove to be a cakewalk once you’re past some of the much harder levels. In those levels, you’ll also have to contest with gusts of wind and other physics-based difficulties – there’s nothing like that in the initial levels.
Moonshot Galaxy is another budget title for the Playstation VR, so don’t expect Robinson-like visuals. Instead, you’re getting a nice twist on a familiar genre that works quite well as a time-waster despite a few small control and camera issues. Its low price point certainly helps in forgiving some of its shortcomings.