41st Reality is a sort of mash-up between Asteroids and Space Invaders where you pilot a tiny craft against waves of incoming enemies (which happen to be aliens and geometric shapes). Power-ups appear from time to time to give you a hand, but otherwise its just you and your reflexes keeping you alive.
Controls are handled with a mouse/keyboard hybrid setup where the [arrow] or [WASD] keys move your ship and the mouse aims. Firing is done automatically, so all you have to do is direct the constant stream of bullets towards the enemy and avoid getting hit.
Enemies drop items that either immediately give you a new weapon (spread shot, double shot, or homing missiles) or send a power-up to your one-slot inventory. Click the left mouse button to use this stored item, with effects ranging from a localized "destroy everything around you" explosion to a turret that stays on screen and helps you out with some friendly fire.
Just like in the classic Asteroids, huge chunks of stuff comes flying at you from all directions of the screen. Blast them to break them down into smaller pieces, then take out the debris shards one by one. The Space Invaders slant sends rows of aliens marching in from the top of the screen. Put the two together and, well, good luck with that.
Analysis: The most surprising thing about 41st Reality is that it's inviting to a wide audience, not just twitch-happy arcade gamers. The low difficulty curve lets everyone have fun, but you really have to muster some sort of skill to survive in later levels. For this reason the game will come off as slow-paced, but give it a few minutes and things will pick up considerably.
I also really appreciate the retro feel the vector-based visuals convey. See the emulated CRT lines? Oh yeah, brings back fond memories of standing in front of an arcade machine with quarters lined up beneath the monitor. Good times!
A shmup for more casual gamers, 41st Reality keeps things on the simple side without foregoing too much challenge.