Galax-E-Mail isn't as startlingly original as Bog Turtle's earlier game, Spuds, but it's a nice little shmup.
It's arena-ish, in that impenetrable barriers (which cause some damage if you bump into them) partition each level; you appear at a "black hole" at one point in the level, and must make your way to another black hole someplace else. Before you exit, however, you must destroy all the "alien bases" in the level -- which are spawn points for enemy ships.
Movement is via arrow keys (or D-pad), with aiming via the mouse (or joystick), and fire with the left mouse button; the right button cycles through different ship types (as usual, one is normal, one is slower but more powerful, and one faster). There are quite a lot of power ups, the most interesting of one gives you a friendly ship that follows you about and fights the enemy as well; if you're careful, you can wind up with a substantial flotilla by the time you reach the level end.
The most original aspect of the game is the difficulty setting, which ranges from 0 to 100; at 100, this is an amazingly frenetic game, while at 0, even a useless wanker like me can play. At the end of each level, you're asked whether you want to crank it up or down for the next one, which is a nice feature. There are, however, no saved games.
The backstory, if you care, explains the name; apparently email transport actually involves routing email through transdimensional wormholes, where space fighters have to battle aliens to deliver it. Given that most of what our world generates is spam, it seems rather harsh on our allies to make them do this, but there you go. Some of the "powerups" are email which you need to pick up, and your score is mostly dependent on "delivering" it to the next black hole.
Galax-E-Mail is shareware, but the full game is a very reasonable
4 bucks$2.50 (or 200 whatsis points for the Xbox version). Nothing hugely original here, but it's well implemented, and we can hope that, having now mastered XNA, the Bog Turtle folks will take a little more creative risk with the next title.