I think the verdict on this one is save your money.
It plays and looks very much like a student's term project, rather than a fleshed out game.
As a bonus addon to a groupees bundle, it's right at home. But charging $7 for this, on sale, just seems unethical.
Boasts full controller support, but there's noticeable input lag with a 360 controller on movement and bombs. Bombs don't go off immediately when used, so you can still die after bombing (and it'll still use your bomb). It's also not clear what level of enemy they destroy, some will survive the bomb and instantly KO you, as there doesn't seem to be hit invuln while bombing. Maybe chalk that up as a "feature".
The soundtrack options are limited to a few songs, nothing autoswaps. When you pick a song, you're limited to that one song on repeat for the rest of your gameplay, until you start a new game and pick a new one. Gets old real fast.
Graphics, well.. you can see the screenshots. But instead of endearing retro, it just feels cheap. Not a major point of contention, but it's a little weird. Clash of styles.
Finally, the math system is wholly unnecessary. What demographic is this being marketed towards? The "Brain train twist" is elementary-grade addition, subtraction, and ohboy sometimes multiplication being thrown at you amidst the bullets. It feels poorly thought out to say the least. Various numbers will fall during gameplay, and you collect them to boost your power upgrades, forming equations + answers. 8+1=45 is totally mentally taxing, I think this game just might be too hard for me. Once you hit max power, it then becomes a game of dodging the numbers, so you don't accidentally downgrade yourself. During the 2nd stage's razor blade mode, you can't even see the numbers falling in the swarm of enemies that appears, and will likely eat a downgrade or two. The 2nd stage boss forces you to assemble these equations, if i may even call them that, while dodging bullets as your sole way of damaging the boss in the second phase of the fight. Just let me shoot stuff, please.
All in all, I think this is the first shmup I really disliked. The math system is an unnecessary dilution of what would be otherwise somewhat passable gameplay.
edit: In survival mode it does away with the math, feels much more coherent.
Posted: February 6th, 2014