So, this game is fantastic. I think I like it ether than TLR. The only thing that bugs me is the difficulty curve. I feel like the game is harder at the very beginning than it is after a few hundred skulls (or whatever the timer thing is). As things speed up, it gets easier to judge if you're on a collision course with an asteroid, and you can stop worrying about whether a star will be in the right part of its orbit as you fly by.
A particularly extreme example of this is the initial trajectory of the ship, which quite frequently is lined up with the first asteroid. I don't see the point of killing off new players before they've seen even one core game mechanic.
Anyway, Shaun, if you're reading this, you might consider what the developer of the "Pew Pew" games did. Pew Pew 2 is a classic example of how to make a game accessible, without compromising the ultra-hardcore gameplay that seems to be so important to you. I look forward to seeing what you do next.