Ross is a writer, educator, and performer who lives and works in NYC. When he's not doing any of the aforementioned activities, he's playing video games.
Do you adore all things sci-fi, cute anthropomorphic cartoon characters, and challenging strategy games with user-friendly economies and fast-paced, turn-based combat? If so, then we’ve got the perfect upcoming title for you, Mini Gal4Xy, a gorgeous 4X light strategy game set in outer space. If you’re unfamiliar with the genre, it’s basically those games where you build and control an empire, the most popular of which is probably Sid Meier’s Civilization series. I had the opportunity to try out Mini Gal4Xy in early access and ask the dev, Jerome Bodin of Le Studio des Tenebres a few questions. Here’s what he had to say.
If you had to describe Mini Gal4Xy in just a few sentences, what would you say?
Mini Gal4Xy is a light strategy game inspired by the ‘4X’ genre and set in space. It features all the classics of the 4X genre: strategy, exploration, tech tree, fights… But we tried to twist it a bit to make it more accessible and with shorter play sessions.
What are some of your favorite sci-fi books, movies, and games?
I spent a good chunk of my late childhood reading sci-fi books. I was a fan of the work of Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick. I was really into Dune as well. As many people my age, I also grew up as a fan of the Star Wars franchise. Later, as a teenager, I spent too much time in front of strategy games, and amongst them were UFO (the 1994 version) and Master of Orion 2. Mini Gal4Xy is really a tribute to this older, maybe more naive, science fiction, but I’m also very attracted to modern ‘hard’ sci-fi, featured in series like Black Mirror and films like Gravity or Interstellar.
Did any of those titles inspire the creation of Mini Gal4Xy?
Mini Gal4Xy is directly and hugely inspired by two titles: Master of Orion 2 and Eclipse, a board game I love. As a fan of the 4X genre, I also drew some inspiration from other classics of the genre, such as Civilization, Endless Space, and Stellaris.
What made you want to make a sci-fi themed 4X game?
I’m a huge fan of the genre. I’ve always wanted to make at least one of those in my life. I’ve always thought sci-fi was the most fit theme for a 4X, and to be honest, as a tiny game dev team, being in space is also appealing because it simplifies things a lot!
How do you think Mini Gal4Xy sets itself apart from other 4X games?
My main problem with most 4X games is that a game lasts forever! I don’t have that much time anymore. What really sets Mini Gal4Xy apart is that you can finish a game in 30 minutes. I also think the game is more accessible than most of the 4X games, and I hope gamers that are not used to 4X can use Mini Gal4Xy as a gateway to more difficult and long 4X games.
Generally speaking, what is the universe of Mini Gal4Xy like?
It’s really a typical space opera themed universe. It’s very simple. Maybe the only big twist is that the “human” faction is not playable, and it’s actually the most random and dangerous enemy in the game.
How did you come up with the awesome art style and characters?
I’ve collaborated with a great French artist, Frédéric Simon. You can find his work here. He’s good! We really aimed for a neat and appealing style, that could help players understand what’s going on and also be intriguing and pleasant to watch.
Can you briefly explain how the game works?
It’s actually pretty simple. At the core of the game, there are three resources: Population, Science, and Material. Population allows you to settle on planets and upgrade them, securing incomes. Science unlocks new technologies, to improve your incomes or to open up more options. Material is used to build new ships and equip them with deadly weapons and useful modules. Your role in this is to explore new planets with your ships, defeat enemies, pick the planets you want to settle on, and choose the right technologies that will allow you to score the most points in a limited amount of turns.
Can you give us a few tips and strategies for playing the game?
Carefully read the specifics of the faction you choose, because it’ll deeply influence your options. The more you colonize new planets, the more expensive it gets, so carefully pick the planets you settle on. You won’t be able to set your foot on every planet of the galaxy!
Anything else you’d like to relate to our readers?
I’m really happy with how this project came out! I truly hope you’ll appreciate it as well.
Be sure to peruse our previous interview with Jerome about his survivalist card game, Frost. And make sure to keep an eye out for Mini Gal4Xy’s impending release. It should be out very soon. Having played a bit of it, I’ll just say that I think lovers of 4Xs and sci-fi in general will enjoy the game very much. And as someone who hasn’t dabbled extensively in the genre, I found it to be extremely accessible from a newcomer’s perspective. Check out the trailer below.