I love shumps, and I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t at least enjoy a decent match game. Never in my life time would I expect to someone merge the two, and even further I wouldn’t expect for them to do it successfully. That’s exactly what the creators of Galacide have done. In Galacide, you pilot a ship through scrap fields, clearing the fields by matching four scrap of the same color. Simultaneously you’ll have to fight off various enemy ships, sentry turrets, and bosses. You should also know that the developer does not give two shits about your feelings or self-esteem. They present challenges and you are either successful or not; there is no cheese in the game. You are given the tools you need to succeed, and it’s your responsibility to use them properly.
Galacide has seven campaign missions to battle through. While that may not seem like a lot, each mission takes between 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Between the matching and fighting off hordes of enemies that 10 to 15 minute battle can be grueling, and a failure devastating. Players will need to strike the right balance of fighting and puzzle solving as focusing too much on fighting will leave you buried in scrap, and focusing too much on clearing scrap will allow enemies to overwhelm you. One of the more challenging things I dealt with were sentry turrets that I was unable to shoot at since I didn’t clear enough scrap to get an angle on them – I had and enemy or two firing at me that I had no chance of hitting, while simultaneously trying to clear the scrap ahead and dealing with new enemies appearing on the screen.
The game can be a great challenge, but it’s also enjoyable. Completing levels gives a great feeling of accomplishment because, even on the normal difficulty, it’s a challenge that requires you to be sharp. There are also two additional modes: Endless and Puzzle. Endless mode is the main game, but it just keeps going and ramping up the difficulty until you run out of lives. Puzzle mode feels like it’s in the game to help you learn how to deal with scrap efficiently. It plays like a training mode, with a bonus level available after each section.
I had a great time playing Galacide, even though losing can be a bit demoralizing. It may not be for players that just like match games, and it may not be for players that just like shumps, but if you like to mix your chocolate and peanut butter with these two genres and are looking for a fulfilling challenge, I think you might have a winner here.