A friend of mine was playing this. His impressions was that it had too much of a "mobile" feel
The game isn't bad, but there isn't really much to it and I can't quite shake the mobile feeling I am getting from it.
Personally I like the simplicity. The game is definitely leaning more towards delivering a frenetic visual spectacle than deep shmup gameplay, and in that regards, the catch-and-release mechanic works in its favor.
Well, it's an arcade game. Kind of bugs me that people associate that with "mobile" now, but oh well. That battle was lost several years ago.
That said, the lack of complexity is something of an issue for me at the moment. The game basically does exactly one thing ("build-build-build-release" sense of climaxing tension), and tries to do it as perfectly as possible. I know it's fun; I've been playing it for a year and still enjoy it, so that's got to mean something, but I can't decide whether the lack of depth will ultimately lead to a lack of player engagement.
I'd like to add some kind of larger-scale mechanic so the game doesn't feel like you've seen everything in a single round, like how Super Hexagon uses different patterns for difficulty levels, or Luftrausers' ship variants. Thus far I've been unable to come up with anything that doesn't just feel like complexity for its own sake, though.
tl;dr: game design is hard.
In other news, I've been thinking about maybe adding more environments to the game. Don't really want to add too much more art without solving the problems mentioned above, but I did some sketching:
(I love how this paper makes anything drawn on it look super classy)