Programming, Graphics, and Music by Peter Wagner? That is one insanely talented dude. I hope you all at OneManBand are open to a tough-love review, though:
Beautifully imagined game that falls short on execution, with wild variations in luck, and constant cutscenes that make progress laborious and slow.
A. The overall idea. The variety of weapons and strategies. The graphics (random planet imagery, random background imagery, planet detonation graphics). The music and variety of songs is excellent. There are great little touches too like the random planet names.
B. The apparent autosave that's happening in the background -- good thinking. My window crashed and I thought I had lost all progress, but I came back to see a "continue" button, which was nice.
How to make the game even better: in addition to addressing the below issues, consider creating a player-vs-player online multiplayer versus mode, which would lend itself VERY well to a game like this.
Now for ten opportunities to improve the game...
1. IMBALANCED -- Enemy planets feature weapons and upgrades that cost so far beyond what the player has at that point. I understand the AI sometimes horribly bad, but sometimes it performs eerily good. To be up against a planet with completely lopsided resources just isn't fair, especially when such a planet doesn't even have to be past the 'world council incentive' line.
How to fix it: Display the sell-value of Gaia's equipment and the sell-value of the enemy planets equipment. Do more testing where the difference makes more sense given how far out the planet is relative to the 'world council incentive' line.
2. LUCK-BASED -- How much luck plays a factor here. The strategic element would be awesome except players can only adjust their strategy BEFORE combat begins so it turns the game into essentially rock-paper-scissors, where luck can make or break the fight. Which would be fine, except for the slow and tedious crawl to get anywhere in this game, so having it blown up in the player's face just due to a poor roll of the dice doesn't make for a very fun game. What's worse is this aspect seemed apparent to the game developer based on the level-up-after-game-over mechanics, and medals are only achievable through frustrating failures.
How to fix it: Improve the game mechanics and do more through testing to make sure the random variations don't result in unplayable scenarios. Allow players the opportunity to change their planet's setup upon seeing the enemy planet they are facing. I also cleared the whole campaign without unlocking Mad Scientist because the enemy equipment didn't appear evenly enough for all equipment to be researched.
3. SCANNING -- There's a reverse-incentive where it's actually better to scan as inefficiently as possible (1 square at a time) in this game, since every time the player scans there's a random chance of getting quests (which is therefore maximized by revealing only one new square per scan).
How to fix it: Quests should be granted based on how many squares were last revealed, not just randomly between scans regardless of how many squares are revealed.
3. CUTSCENES -- Enemy planet discovery alarm and cutscene takes WAY too long to not be skippable or sped up. It takes at least 18 seconds from a scan that results in an enemy map to able underway in combat, and it takes at least another 12 seconds from achieving a victory to finally being returned to the map. So if the player has a scan that reveals two planets, between the combats the player is guaranteed 31+ seconds of sitting around waiting to be able to play. Every. Single. Time. Consider optimizing the game for the player experience, especially if you're marketing it for Google Play. Apps and constant, unskippable cutscenes that are the same every time is a recipe for disaster.
How to fix it: Make it so players can skip or at least speed-up the cutscenes. If it was like a few times the whole game or only in certain circumstances, it would be less annoying, but we're talking about the core combat system and the only way to progress in the game. It shouldn't be slow and clunky, no matter how great the graphics are. If you really want to make the game sharper, provide an option for the player to select the speed of battle (e.g. normal or fast).
4. SHIELD GLITCHES -- The shields sometimes don't block a bullet they should, or block a bullet they shouldn't. Not sure what causes this.
5. TUTORIAL -- The tutorial is good, but if the player starts the shield tutorial without any shields, the game just sits there with spinning planets asking the player to select a shield generator (which the player won't be able to do, and can only close and re-open the window / refresh and start over).
6. TYPO -- There is a typo on the Status screen: "Wepaon Research" (should be "Weapon Research").
7. INFINITE MONEY GLITCH -- There is a game-breaking glitch in the Upgrades menu that allows players to generate infinite money out of thin air. Namely, even before you place a piece of equipment, you can click the buttons for that equipment (including the tooltips which doesn't do anything in of itself, but more importantly you can select upgrades for equipment you haven't bought yet if you just click in the right area). How this is easily abused: On an empty parcel, click around the right-middle of the screen to purchase 5 upgrades for the equipment you haven't bought yet. Then buy the item, and turn around and sell it for instant profit, and repeat for limitless wealth.
8. GUN BEHAVIOR -- Is it deliberate that a gun that is destroyed or disabled continues to fire it's remaining shots so long as the attack was initiated before it was destroyed or disabled? I enjoy it when I get a series of shots off just in time but it's annoying when the enemy does.
9. THE MEDALS -- A number of the medals show up with 0 points and/or the wrong graphic when the player earns them, but when the player refreshes the page they do seem to be normal. Every time I load the game all the medals pop up in the top-left which is kind of weird.
10. THE CREDITS -- I really like the credits background, and the dialogue you try to have with the player. But references to Game of Thrones may be lost on some players, and here we have another example of a lengthy unskippable scene (which isn't abnormal for credits, but going on for 5 minutes on a game that already had a lot of forced cutscenes is salt in the wound).
I think this game is a diamond in the rough, it just really needs a number of material tweaks centered around the player's experience to make it something that players will enjoy and want to share with their friends. Thank you for sharing this, and I hope you find you're able to make the game really enjoyed by a lot of people.