Puzzle Quest Galactrix is a sad puzzle videogame in the line of other great Puzzle Quests. It’s core gameplay is perfectly fine, mind you, but it is ruined by abysmal controls between fights and poorly designed UIs and quests. I enjoyed my time solving puzzles and fighting, but everything between that was painfully boring.
The map system is a disaster, you move painfully slow between solar systems and then you need to move your ship to planets using the mouse and it loads between each transition and you have no idea what’s in a solar system before you enter. If you want to mine certain resources (that you can sell for credits) you’ll have to manually enter all places until you find one with the resources you want. Or if you want to shop, or sell things, there is no info on the overworld map, you just need to try everywhere. Why not make you warp instantaneously to your destination? And then just make you visit the shop/planet when you click instead of having to wait for your little ship to move around?
And even then, if you manage to oversee that, the quest system is poorly explained and leaves much to be desired. Not telling me what items I need for a quest nor where I can find them, giving me the name of the planet is nice, but a button to go there would be even better. That annoying mission where I had to mine 20 of three resource type was the worst, because I never knew how many I had and what the resources were anyway, this can be fixed by changing the UI a bit.
Otherwise, the game is pretty much good old puzzle quest with a few twists. You match bombs to deal damage, but you match blue gems to restore your shield, there’s experience and PSI energy, then there are red, yellow and green gems you match to power up abilities you get by equipping certain items. Instead of falling straight down, gems fall in the direction you’ve matched them. It takes a while to get used to, but it’s a nice change over the original. Of course, the dubious randomness is hard to be seen as fair, sometimes enemies will do poor moves that trigger massive chains and you can’t stop wondering if that was planned all along, and a bit unfair.
All the mini-games are based on the same concept as the core game, and they’re okay. No matter if you’re hacking star gates or mining minerals, you simply have to match three gems. Making them hexagons changed the core concept a little, but sadly it was bogged down in poorly implemented systems, and I’m not interested to play it any more.