Review – Manticore: Galaxy on Fire

The Switch has received lots of PC game ports, lots of console game ports, and sadly, a lot more mobile ports than it deserves. While some of them turned out to be terrible free-to-pay cash grabs, others surprised me. Most notably Implosion, one of my favorite games released for Nintendo’s newest system last year. Manticore: Galaxy on Fire, a port of a mobile title called Galaxy on Fire 3, is the newest game to come from the dark pits of the Play Store and App Store straight to Nintendo’s eShop. Thankfully it’s good enough in its own right.


“Do a barrel roll!”

Manticore is the closest thing to Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, an all-time favorite of mine, that I’ve played in a looooooong time. The game is a space shooter that is both objective-based and somewhat plot-heavy, focusing on quick action rather than an overwhelmingly complicated simulation, like X-Wing or Wing Commander. Most missions are pretty short and revolve around blowing stuff up. While the gameplay is pure Rogue Squadron bliss, the game is a lot slower than the frantic insanity that was Factor 5’s franchise. Compared to other shooters out there, Manticore isn’t very challenging. Due to the fact I was almost exclusively playing it on handheld mode in short bursts, lack of difficulty didn’t ruin the experience. Manticore‘s gameplay, progression system and level structure are all reminiscent of its mobile roots, are perfect for a handheld system.

Manticore looks and sounds good enough, if you compared it to a premium mobile game. The visuals aren’t exactly the flashiest. As a matter of fact, I’m sure Rogue Squadron II looks as good. But it’s decent enough while maintaining 60 frames per second, no matter how many lasers and ships are onscreen, especially on handheld mode. I’ve noticed a few hiccups when playing it on docked mode. Regarding the sound design, the soundtrack and the the sound effects are very good. The voice acting, on the other hand, isn’t so great. The best way I can describe it is that it’s “cheap”.


“You’re becoming more like your father.

While nowhere near as complex or challenging as it thinks it is, Manticore is an enjoyable title for those who miss spacecraft fighter games like Rogue Squadron on a Nintendo platform. It’s easy, its missions are short, but the perfect length for a portable system.

Graphics: 6.5

Manticore boasts a solid framerate and some nice ship designs. It looks very good… for a mobile game.

Gameplay: 7.5

A little bit slower paced than a game like Rogue Squadron, but still sufficiently easy to learn and trouble-free for the most part.

Sound: 6.5

While the soundtrack and sound effects are decent, the voice acting is underwhelming.

Fun Factor: 7.5

It’s a very easy game with some short missions, but that fits well with the Switch’s portable nature. It’s a fun pasttime in short bursts.

Final Verdict: 7.0

A copy of Manticore: Galaxy on Fire was provided by the publisher.