If you’re a fan of mobile gaming you’ve probably heard of the Manticore games. Manticore: Galaxy on Fire is the newest installment in the series and was made exclusively for the Nintendo Switch by developer Deep Silver. The game is definitely a step up from its predecessors, just because of the higher resolution and the addition of having an actual controller to play on. But is this futuristic, sci-fi shooter really worth your time? Let’s find out.

The story doesn’t get too deep, which is fine by me. The game begins with the mercenary group Manticore investigating a destructive force called The Shattering. It could eventually destroy the galaxy if it’s not taken care of post haste. The player takes the role of a new recruit, on your first mission with Manticore. You will progress though a linear storyline of missions, fighting off gangs of space pirates. As you take down more and more of these ruthless enemies, you’ll discover the secrets of their organization and learn how to take them down once and for all.

Gameplay-wise it’s very similar to the Star Fox series. You’ll fly around in a spaceship, usually accompanied by a few allies. The one thing I didn’t really like was being confined to one area in a level. There aren’t any free-roaming missions. Still, the gameplay is fast-paced and makes for a great title to play on the go. There are 35 locations to visit and a few side missions that you can acquire at the player’s aircraft hangar. You can also revisit previous levels to collect things like spaceship blueprints. You can use these in the hangar area to upgrade your various spaceships’ offense and defense, as well as performance and speed. There’s a good sense of customization here, and it’s fun to try out the different spaceships that are available.

I also thought the controls were easy to get the hang of. The analog sticks respond well and you can pull off some pretty tight aerial maneuvers whilst flying around. Which I’m sure is a huge step up from its mobile predecessor. I also liked all of the visual detail. My biggest compliment goes to how great it looks on the Nintendo Switch, docked and in handheld mode. Manticore: Galaxy on Fire is a really beautiful game overall.

Difficulty-wise, I didn’t have a really hard time getting through the gist of the game. There are a few tricky missions but nothing too challenging. You’re usually just protecting an ally from being shot down or taking down a big group of pirates. But, like I said, the simplicity of this game is something that I enjoyed. You can adjust the difficulty settings which is a huge plus for veterans of this genre, otherwise you’ll blow through it pretty quickly. The load times are also a bit lengthy. It could just be me, but I found it a little irritating when everything else is so fast-paced and smooth throughout the experience.

Manticore: Galaxy on Fire is a good step up for the series. While it does feel a little short, and I would have loved to see a multiplayer mode, it’s a good experience for anyone looking to play a quick, on-the-go shooter. The missions are a little repetitive but the action-packed gameplay, beautiful graphics, and ship customization had me coming back for more. If you are a fan of shooters, sci-fi games, or you enjoy the Starfox series, I definitely recommend checking out Manticore: Galaxy On Fire.