Nintendo Switch

Galak-Z: Variant S Offers A More Succinct Take On Galak-Z




Back in 2015, 17-Bit brought an indie game named Galak-Z: The Dimensional to the PlayStation 4 and PC. A shooter inspired by anime series, it was notable for having a ship that could transform into a mecha, enemy AI that could be genuinely challenging sometimes, and an open-world area with physics that made you think. Galaz-Z: Variant S scales things back in a major way. Some may find it acceptable and suitable, given this is a free-to-play game this time around, while others may long for the days of the original game.


Galak-Z: Variant S follows much of the same cast, beginning with two members of the Axelios science vessel: A-Tak the pilot and Beam the captain and chief scientist. The Empire is still the big bad enemy, with A-Tak and Beam fighting against them. But this time, there are also Bots. These are new, robotic buddies that offer an opportunity to improve A-Tak’s vessels, battle in arenas against other players, and give people an excuse to perhaps spend real cash on more and possibly better characters. The goofiness remains the same, with little segments advancing the story.




Galak-Z: Variant S can feel more compact and streamlined. There are over 100 available, each one only lasting a few minutes and typically having a rather straightforward path through it. While the original game allowed an opportunity to switch between the ship and mech, A-Tak does not have that option here. Before you head into a mission, you choose which one you want to use. I found the mech to be easier to control, with the trade-off being you only have access to short-range attacks. The ship gives you ranged attacks and the ability to hold down a button to endlessly shoot, but it it has less precise movements. Considering navigating these brief levels can be as dangerous as facing enemies, due to spikes, enemies that pop out of walls, debris that can temporarily slow down A-Tak if they are disturbed and touch his vehicles, and such, I was happy to give up the security of attacking from a distance for the comfort of knowing I would not go careening around a screen.


There is an opportunity to make things more manageable for yourself. As you play, you might be able to Relics from specific enemies. When opened by a bot after a set amount of time, you can get Bot Parts, Crash Coins, Resources, and Salvage. All of these can help you get more Bots, consumable items, and equipment for the fighter ship or mech. Stats can be boosted, making you more capable of survive missions where more or stronger enemies appear. Putting together a team of Bots for the arena, to use as a defensive team or attacking group, can allow you to earn more points. If you try hard, you may be able to manage, though it is likely you could reach a wall that will require level grinding or daily log-ins for a long time to earn enough materials for improvements.




The nature of being free-to-play means Galak-Z: Variant S introduces a lot of elements designed to make the game easier or more manageable for money. While there are daily rewards and it is possible to enjoy things at a slower pace, there are lots of things to buy with Crash Coins. This is the currency that can gradually be earned or purchased in the eShop, then put toward a Luxury Bot Capsule, packs that provide Bot XP, Salvage and Ship XP boost packs, more Bot Slots, opponent list refreshes in the Battle menu, and the option to revive if you fall during a mission. All of these can make the game quicker or easier. Considering some Bots make it easier to acquire materials or do well, it can be quite tempting.


Galak-Z: Variant S is a more basic game. The plus side is, it is quicker to play. It is also easy to understand. The downsides are, it can feel like you may need to spend money to make headway at a better pace, it sacrifices some of things that made the original Galak-Z unique, and it does not quite have the same depth. Still, for a freemium experience, it may be worth a try.


Galak-Z: Variant S is available for the Nintendo Switch.

Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.