Don't be fooled by the bragging, wisecracking pilot, the soaring Saturday morning cartoon soundtrack, or that evocative scarlet spaceship - the kind that has flown through countless boyhood dreams, turning aliens to green mush and asteroids to fine space dust. All of that can be found in 17-Bit's anime-inspired heroic space shoot-'em-up, Galak-Z: The Dimensional. But beneath the paint, this is, in Christian Donlan's enviable phrase, a catastrophe game. In other words, it comes to life not when you're laying waste a squadron of Imperial fighters to the sound of a Joe Satriani-esque guitar solo, but when you're trembling in the nook of some space cavern, health bar blinking on a sliver, wondering how the hell you're going to make it back to the Axelios mothership in one piece.
Galak-Z: The Dimensional
Publisher and developer: 17-Bit