I had a really good time with Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords. Puzzle Quest: Galactrix is very similar, except for one game-breaking issue.
In Warlords, the gameplay is largely strategic, except for the fact that you don’t know which pieces are going to slide in when you make a match. This was the only real flaw in the game for me. I’d make a match, then a bunch of attack pieces would slide in and the computer would get a free strike on me. The good news was that you could mitigate this frustration a bit by matching pieces in areas where there weren’t attack pieces. As long as a full match wasn’t randomly inserted, you’d be ok. A bit awkward, but the rest of the game was so good I could overlook this little flaw.
Galactrix goes with hexagonal pieces instead of square. This make for more possible moves. The problem is that the pieces can now come into the board from all sides. With the board being so small, it amplifies the issue from Warlords. If there are attack pieces on the board, chances are any move you make will result in a random attack piece coming in and the computer getting a free strike. What interesting is the better you play (the longer your combos), the more random pieces slide in, and the more chance you have of giving the computer a free attack.
I played Galactrix for a few hours over the course of two days. My final 10 games were against the same ship that kept winning because of random pieces. After that, I quit and uninstalled it. I really really really wanted to like it but based on the number of swear words that came out of my mouth, I wasn’t enjoying myself.
I’m still in on the next Puzzle Quest, though. Hopefully they’ll come up with a way to remove the randomness so I can strategize a bit more.