It can be very hard to evaluate games that exist outside of your comfort zone. The last 'shmup I played, for example, was Life Force on the NES. I never really got into the genre, and because of that I don't have a grasp of the more intricate mechanical aspects of the genre. On the other hand, I quite enjoy colour matching puzzle games. To my surprise, there exists a game that combines these seemingly distant genres. Galacide, by Puny Human, which recently left Early Access and is now on full release, is that game.
This rather unique combination takes some getting used to, but the introductory level guides you through the quirks of the mashup nicely, though at times it can feel a bit slow. Still it's useful to give you a good handle on the controls, because the game gets intense quickly. You have to learn to manage shooting and dodging your enemies while collecting bits to match up against obstacles and in doing so removing them. You can't collect bits while you're shooting, and until you release the bit you're holding, you can't shoot, so you need to constantly adjust your attention between the enemies and the obstacles in front of you.
While not visually spectacular, the game has a fair amount of bright, colourful detail to it. Your ship is rather large, though it has a much smaller hitbox, which I assume 'shmup fans will appreciate, as it makes dodging projectiles easier. And there can be a lot of projectiles on screen, especially during boss fights. For someone unfamiliar with the genre, I think this can be a little overhwhelming, especially if you're coming out of curiosity from match games.
The controls are tight and responsive, and it's easy to get yourself accustomed to managing the matching gameplay with the 'shmup part. With a little practice, you begin to flow between the two without much trouble. There are times when you need to focus on one significantly more than the other, and you'll be hindered if you haven't gotten used to it yet. Ma...