Galaxy Life is a new space strategy combat game from Digital Chocolate. It launched on Facebook at the end of November 2011 and has seen steady growth in both MAU and DAU since then.
Gameplay in Galaxy Life revolves around the player acting as a protector for a band of small, cute creatures known as Starlings after their planet was destroyed. Tasks the player must take on include building up a base and its defenses; defending against attacks from rival players and enemy non-player characters; and attacking and looting rival bases.
The style of play is somewhat similar to Kixeye’s popular Backyard Monsters title. Players can upgrade buildings on their base, which in turn allows them to store more resources and currency, eventually enabling them to construct stronger and stronger fortifications. Like many other games of this type, the player is provided with a seven day grace period in which they cannot be attacked by other players, giving them a chance to thoroughly get to grips with the game mechanics and prepare their base for potential assault.
Social features in the game include a real-time chat facility, the opportunity to spy on or attack other players and the ability to form alliances with other players to cooperate. Posting game events to their Facebook wall allows players to share free resources and currency with friends, assisting with the viral promotion of the game.
Monetization comes through the sale of the game’s hard currency, known as Galaxy Chips. These can be spent on purchasing additional resources or soft currency, speeding up time-consuming construction projects, or on purchasing special “collection” items. The latter items, which can also be found by clearing debris from the play area and exploring, can be used to craft special weapons with which to assault other players’ bases, bonus experience point and coin packages and special decorative items.
So far, the AppData figures for Galaxy Life indicate strong, steady growth, with no signs of slowing down. Digital Chocolate CEO Trip Hawkins attributes the success of his company’s games, including Galaxy Life, to his belief in what he refers to as the “discovery business model,” offering a compelling experience to players for free with a robust monetization infrastructure underpinning it.
“New creations that have relevance will develop brand power at blinding speed,” said Hawkins, writing on his blog for Digital Chocolate in December. “As an illustration, when a great Digital Chocolate game like Tower Bloxx was only available on feature phones through the primitive merchandise systems known as the carrier decks, you could do a Google search for that game and would only get 10,000 page hits. Then we put out a free browser version of the game and later adapted it to Facebook and today it has over 2,900,000 page hits. That’s a brand. Our new game, Galaxy Life, is only a few days old and it has 270,000 page hits already.”