Battlestar Galactica is one of those sci-fi sagas that never seems to totally disappear from relevance. That’s partly because the 1978 series was reimagined in 2003, satisfying old fans and creating new ones in a younger generation. But even now, both versions of the series retain a kind of cult-level popularity, albeit with a very broad audience.
What’s somewhat surprising, or at least surprises me, is that there haven’t always been great Battlestar Galactica video games available. This is actually true of a lot of top-of-the-line sci-fi series (if you can name me a great Star Trek game without using Google, I’ll buy you a cupcake). But where Battlestar Galactica is concerned, we went many years without a legitimate gaming release. There were a few way back in the day for old school consoles and there have also been some fan-made games over the years. But in terms of modern or even relatively contemporary video games, the choices have been few and far between.
Nearly a decade ago, Superscape (a division of Glu Mobile) released a mobile game based on the Battlestar Galactica series. Designed for smartphone and tablet play, it was a fairly straightforward space shooter that was nonetheless satisfying for fans. You had the ability to choose from a number of ships to take on Cylon vessels through more than 20 different missions. It was nothing special, but was still a nice treat for fans of both versions of the series.
Fans have also had the ability to enjoy a Battlestar Galactica title that exists as part of a broad selection of pop fiction slot games on the internet. The developers in charge of supplying online casinos with dynamic slot arcades frequently make use of established characters and stories to connect with audiences and the Battlestar game is an example of the types of titles that this collaboration produces. For all intents and purposes it’s a slot reel with ships and symbols reminiscent of the series, but there’s also a bonus game in which you have the chance to shoot Cylon ships (via point-and-click action) for bonus rewards.
There are also a few other examples that might be considered to be slightly more mainstream. One was an Xbox Live Arcade game based specifically on the newer version of the series and released in 2007. The other is an online free-to-play MMO, also based on the newer series, which is a relatively modern gaming experience. Like a lot of MMOs based on major series or films it takes a lot of creative liberty, but it nevertheless exists in a world based on Battlestar Galactica that will feel familiar to dedicated fans.
But now there may be a new Battlestar game heading our way, and if things go well with a soft release it could become the most impressive and accessible example yet. Evidently, Ludia has soft-launched a new mobile game in Canada. It’s a character-collecting RPG that’s been called a “polished, loving homage” to the series, which certainly sounds promising. It’s an accurate run through the plot of the 2004 series filled with recognizable characters you can bring on board your team (like Starbuck and Colonel Tigh), and from the look of things it’s a pretty sharp, modern experience.
Let’s just hope that it makes a bit of a bigger splash than the previous modern Battlestar games if and when its release goes beyond Canada.