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galactic reign

If there is one thing we don’t like about Microsoft it’s when they put an end to good ideas that seemingly didn’t get a fair chance.

Such is the case with Galactic Reign, the distinctive space-battle and strategy game that co-launched on Windows Phone and Windows 8 just a few months ago. The game allowed people to play online against other Xbox users and to continue the game on their phone or tablet, seamlessly. The game’s real unique feature was the custom rendering of space battles, giving users a new way to appreciate war.

Now in their support forums, Microsoft has announced that the game will no longer be available after August 15th, which is in just three days. The game’s online servers which power the system, will be taken offline December 31st.

Color us crushed.

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Galactic Reign was quite the revelation when it appeared on Windows 8 and then Windows Phone 7 and 8 last month. Here was an exclusive strategy game for Windows platforms with cross-platform asynchronous multiplayer, and Microsoft basically forgot to tell anybody about it before release. But it’s definitely worth playing if you enjoy competitive strategy games. Check out our review to learn just how the game works.

One of Galactic Reign’s most unique aspects has to be its large-scale space battles. See, the fleets of ships that clash against each other in the game can number in the thousands. Instead of rendering these battles in-engine, the details about each side’s armada are sent to the cloud. From there, a cinematic video gets constructed and sent back to the game for players to watch.

The technology for those cloud space battles comes from Canadian developer Slant Six games. Last week at GDC 2013, we chatted with Paul Martin, Director of Technology and James Ricker, Cinematics Director about Galactic Reign’s videos and Slant Six Games’ experience working with Microsoft. Head past the break for the full video interview!

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Galactic Reign is a Microsoft game that was co-developed with Canadian developer Slant Six Games that pretty much came out of nowhere when it appeared on Xbox Windows Phone 7 and 8 and Windows 8 and RT last week. For gamers who have yet to upgrade to Windows Phone 8, another Xbox game that runs on the previous OS is always a blessing. And cross-platform multiplayer is something we can all appreciate, regardless of which Windows Phone we carry.

Last week, we posted an extensive impressions piece about the Windows 8 version of Galactic Reign. This week, I’m back with a full review that covers both versions. Read on to find out whether or not this sci-fi strategy game has universal staying power.

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In a one-two punch, Microsoft has published both Galactic Reign for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 with full Xbox integration. The game itself is a somewhat typical space-conquest game, whereby users take turns to advance a strategy. But it’s the details in the game, customization and sheer massive gameplay that is really intriguing.

Throw in the fact that you can continue your game on our phone once you leave your desktop and now we’re really intrigued.

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In a recent editorial, I complained that Microsoft has largely stopped announcing or publicizing Windows Phone games in advance. Well, this week we have a prime example of that. Galactic Reign from Slant Six and Microsoft Studios has just showed on Windows 8 and RT with Xbox features and will appear for Windows Phone 7 and 8 devices (also with Xbox features) later today.

Microsoft teased the game back in October but made absolutely no mention of platforms, so nobody really knew it was coming, and especially not as a multiplatform release with connectivity features. But other than the lack of proper PR, a new game showing up on Windows Phone and Windows 8 with cross-platform asynchronous multiplayer is always good news, so we’ll stop complaining. For now.

Since the Windows 8 game launched ahead of the mobile version, we’ve already put several hours into it. Head past the break for our full impressions, plus details about buying the game on one platform and playing it from another!

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