Day 684: Pig & Bullet

Posted: 2012/09/23 in Indie Games

With some interesting features, and a healthy dose of personality, “Pig & Bullet” is an interesting foray into avoid-’em-up territory, and with an unusual pedigree.

It all began as a simple flash game, with even simpler graphics. It evolved into an iOS app, one good enough to be declared Kotaku’s “Gaming App of the Day” one day. And now it’s come to Xbox Live. The basic premise is inspired by so-called “bullet hell” games, but the twist is that you’re not in a position to defend yourself. For those who love bullet hell games for the dodging and the tactical positioning of your ship, there’s a lot to enjoy here as you can do so without having to worry about fighting back. It reminds me a bit of classic 8-bit games where you were skiing down a slope or something of that nature, only 1000 times more difficult.

There are other wrinkles here too, such as levels where the tables are suddenly turned on you and you have to do your best *not* to avoid the incoming bullets. There are several different backgrounds which offer much-needed graphical variety, and there are several features unique to the Xbox version the developer indicates (having not played the iOS version, I’m not in a position to say exactly which ones those are though). I do like that there are levels where you have to dodge most bullets, but must collect ones of certain colour, and collectibles such as turnips (which act as a “screen bomb” turning all bullets into delectable turnips). There are bullet trains (get it… ‘bullet’ trains) and other odd-ball items thrown at you every now and then to make your avoiding job more difficult, as well.

While I wouldn’t pay XBLA or retail prices for something that evolved out of a flash game, I am willing to part with 80 Microsoft Points. For those who loved the “Pacifism” mode in Geometry Wars 2, this is a nice title. There’s something very zen about non-stop dodging that I appreciate, something that would be lost if there were enemies, or if I were shooting back. I really appreciate the way a title like this can get you “in the zone” and keep you there, in a way a traditional bullet hell shmup can’t for me. Look at this game on that basis and download the trial; you might be surprised how much you like it.

Here’s what the developer (GHXYK2) has to say about the game:

“Kotaku iOS ‘Gaming App Of The Day’ is now on Xbox Live!!!! Soundtrack by former Capcom/Takumi composer Yasushi Kaminishi.”

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