Galacide’s story is a pretty straight forward, shallow affair. After selecting a specific ship, players are thrown into an inter-galatic ward against a strengthening alien invasion. You (and your friends) are tasked into finding the source of it all and exterminate it once and for all.
Galacide is a unique take on the shmup genre; while one of the game’s goals is to annihilate everything in your path, the game also adds a bit of puzzle to the typical formula as you will also have to destroyed colored blocks blocking your path; it’s a bit reminiscent of Lumines where you need to use a colored pellet to destroy the blocks.
When killing enemy ships, you’ll be able to pick up colored pellets which have to be used in order to destroy the blocks blocking your path. Once you have managed to have four blocks of the same color, they’ll be destroyed in order to let you through a bit further. You have to be quick because it is possible to miss the colored balls; you can suck them closer to your ship as well. You can also drop the ball if it doesn’t match the blocks’ color or switch its color. The way to change is if once you’re next to a block, firing it will create a block of the same color; bringing you one step closer to clearing four blocks (or more).
Much like previous shmups before it, players can select between various ships; although the selection can feel a bit shallow compared to others in the same genre. Mining Ship with a solid balance of agility, strength, and firepower, and is equipped with a powerful tractor beam used to pull in enemy Scrap. There’s also a Freighter which isn’t the fastest or strongest, but it makes up for it with its durability and its ability to store and retrieve enemy scrap.
The Phase Ship is a top-secret military experiment which moves extraordinarily fast and temporarily phase through the Bitwall, while dodging enemy attacks. And finally, there’s the military Ship which boasts huge strength and firepower. Homing missiles lock on targets, and the ability to burst through the Bitwall, carving its own path.
Killing enemies not only drop colored balls but also additional firepower. Picking them up will allow your ship to increase firepower; giving you a better chance at survival. And what would be a shump without boss fights. While not as impressive as other shumps, bosses in Galacide are a test of patience and survival as you eat away at the boss’ health.
Once you’ve successfully cleared the campaign on Normal, hardened players can try and tackle two additional, harder difficulty settings where things are cranked up to eleven as the auto-scrolling goes faster and more enemies will attempt to blow you to smithereens.
The game’s main problem with Galacide stems from the control schemes. While simple enough like most shumps, the developers have set it up so the fire button is the same one that you need to throw the balls into the Bitwalls. Given that at times things can get pretty freaking hectic, it’s easy to make mistakes, back yourself into a corner by creating non-matching ball patterns; leaving you to get crushed to death.
Aside from the giant colored balls, not much make Galacide stand out from other games of the crazy shmup genre. Your ship travelling a bland space inspired backdrop as you shoot down generic enemy ships and find ways to overcome your blocked path. The soundtrack is okay-ish. As you do your best to stay focused as the level is slowly crushing you while you scramble to create a path, you’ll easily drown out the soundtrack. Interestingly enough, the game features voiceovers where characters will give their two cents during short break periods. The acting is cringe-worthy that you’ll want to mute the sound to avoid it.
Galacide is definitely a great and unique entry in the intense shmup genre as it mixes the typical formula and adding a layer of puzzle to add a layer of strategy. Fans of the genre will definitely revel in this unique game, while puzzle fans might be turned off by the shmup mechanic of it. More companies should take chances like this. Fans of shump or puzzle games should definitely give this game a try.
- Intense boss battles
- Unique concept that works
- Abrupt difficulty curve
- Questionable controls