Ballpoint Universe Infinite is a shoot-em-up adventure game featuring artwork entirely drawn in ballpoint pen. Explore immaculate worlds, discover the secrets of the doodles, and customize your Ink-Ship for battle! Press "Ballpoint Universe Infinite is too exuberant to ignore.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (446 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 17, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"LordDF has an amazing collection of games, art and movies on NG! Ballpoint Universe is a beautiful expansion of web game College-Ruled Universe."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“...imaginative visuals and satisfying customization options are compelling driving forces.”
Gamespot

“I enjoyed my time in this flowing and visually layered creation so, whatever the might-have-beens, on one level that has to be enough.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“Ballpoint Universe is a visually astonishing game with really intuitive controls and enjoyable gameplay.”
Noob Feed

About This Game

Ballpoint Universe Infinite is a shoot-em-up adventure game featuring artwork entirely drawn in ballpoint pen. Explore immaculate worlds, discover the secrets of the doodles, and customize your Ink-Ship for battle!

Press
"Ballpoint Universe Infinite is too exuberant to ignore." - Gamespot

"Holy Crap, This Entire Game Is Drawn In Ballpoint Pen" - Kotaku

"I’m not in any way, shape, form, or doodle of a mechanical steampunk owl creature writing this one off. It’s positively packed with promise..." - Rock Paper Shotgun

"There comes a point in every artist’s life where they see something so amazing, so unreal, that they question what the hell it is that they’re doing with their own life. Watching the trailer for Ballpoint Universe is one of those times for me." - Daily of the Day

Features

Explore incredible hand-drawn worlds


Customize your ship


Take missions and blast through waves of enemies


Test your skills in Infinite Mode

About the Developers

Arachnid Games is a fancy name for what is really just three dudes who love making games together. We're based in Berkeley, CA, and started in 2012.

Links

Arachnid Games Home
Artist's Tumblr
Arachnid Facebook

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 1.5mhz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 512mb card or higher
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 230 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Windows 8 Partially Supported At This Time (See Forum Post For Details)
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX Lion or later
    • Processor: 1.5mhz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 512mb card or higher
    • Hard Drive: 230 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
16 of 23 people (70%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 18
I want to recommend this game, I really do, but between horrible platforming sections (this game is actually a shmup) with extremely confusing controls and a lot of stuff going on in foreground in shmup sections (making it hard to dodge projectiles) I cannot. The art style is fun and amusing and there are enough upgrades to chose any playstyle you might need. Ranged weapons are extremely weak though, and I very quickly found myself picking up a couple of melee blades and playing the rest of the game with them.
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 4
This was a good game for me.

Pro
+ Easy shooter. It's possible to get all achievements in this game. Takes work but it's doable. I got them all and did not have to break that much sweat.
+ Interesting story though it takes awhile to understand. 'Doodles vs Logicians' -war is not something you see in every game.
+ Good looking art work.
+ Different.

Con
- Mouse cursor controller adventure part. Horrible controls.
- Above requires patience and a good aim. Keep that cursor visible and aim with it.
- Can be too weird for some people.

Recomended for people who like shooters and who have an open mind about what that term can actually mean. This game sure stretches that boundary.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
This is a pretty game.
The art style is clever, unique and clear to make out.

Unfortunately, those are pretty much all the positive things that can be said about it.
Ballpoint Universe is half adventure-platformer and half level-based horizontal shooter, both halves have some glaring problems sapping the fun.

On the platformer side
You walk around a hand-drawn environment, finding new character to help so that you can unlock the next area. Helping a character involves playing a level in the horizontal shooter.
There's a plot in this half, and it's not that bad actually. The Doodles are in a war with the geometrical Logicians and it is your job to find out what's going on with the Logicians and how to stop the war.
The main gripe with this segment is that the controls are very, very weird. With three control schemes available (keyboard, mouse and controller. Mouse being the default) you'd think there was something in there for everyone's tastes.
Jumping is floaty to the point where it's almost impossible to accurately steer where your little doodle guy is going. This isn't such a big deal at first, but for some reason the developers decided that precision platforming is exactly what would make the second half better.

On the horizontal shooter side
The first impression here is a lot better, which is good since this is the meat of the game.
You fly around in a little ship with 4 customizable parts (2 weapons, a hull and a type of special weapon with limited uses) destroying or dodging all enemies until you get to the boss of the level, that you then have to defeat. You then get Ink to spend on getting new parts and upgrading existing parts (Ink can also be earned in the platformer half, but has no use there).
Pricing on new gear is very high though, so you'll need to fly a lot of missions before you're able to get that heat seeking missile pod (not the ultimate weapon, just my personal favourite).
There's some finesse where some enemies have armour that can only be bypassed with melee weapons, so it's generally a good idea to bring one gun and one melee weapon.
What frustrated me here is a minor detail, but one that I couldn't exclude here. The heat seeker missiles I mentioned are excellent when they work as intended, and are even capable of getting around those pesky melee-only shields. However, the targeting on them is way off. Missed enemies that are by now far behind you and out view, scenery, enemies that haven't spawned yet, everything gets targeted by it. This is more apparent on some levels than on others, but especially since it's such a late-game weapon where players will have had to save up Ink for dozens of missions, it just reeks of poor design and/or testing.

Ballpoint Universe isn't a bad game, but beyond the distinctive graphics there just isn't anything exceptional there.
You can enjoy it, but the same can be said more so of a lot of other games on offer.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 5
Eye candy. Not much else.
Gameplay: default shoot 'em up and quickly gets boring.
Soundtrack: not horrible, but doesn't fit the game at all.
My advice: turn off the sound and put something ambient on. Thus you can transfor the game into a neat little, relaxing, couple minute wind off.
Recommend only if you're that type of person who gets a big kick out of visuals.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 10
Ballpoint Universe is quirky at its finest. From the odd mix of 80% shootemup and 20% adventure platforming, the awkward controls that you need to get used to and the odd but cutely presented story and characters that come with it. My wife really liked the main character, but was questioning her nose. At the start it all is a bit confusing cause it’s not often you start a game like that, to be honest I think that was the 1st game of this kind I ever played to begin with and I really enjoyed the game as a whole. It's not too hard or easy, the weapon and ship upgrades are numerous and feel pretty unique (by design anyway). It's fun to see the uses for each item “even the crappy ones” and just start collecting everything while finishing the rather short storyline. Plenty of replay ability if you want to get each and every achievement, as long as you don't mind some repetitiveness. I think the story mode could have done with one or two more worlds though, but it's enough for its price (and budget, I presume). Just the pleasure of looking at all worlds which created the artist (developer) is worth it all.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
19.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
At first, I thought that this game was also programmed with a ballpoint. It's very awkward to control, there's too much acceleration going on everywhere, you have to change control modes constantly and the physics feel that everything is about to collapse at any second.

But I persevered, and after getting used to it's controls, I found myself liking it a lot. I love arcade shmups, and after figuring out how to buy weapons and equiping them, shooting sections very fun, although I found them too easy at first, I was having a blast in the later sections. There's no way you'll have enough ink to buy all weapons and try them without grinding, so I stuck to the ones I know I would liked and upgraded them to the max. Also, ♥♥♥♥ kamikazes, one touch and you lose a life, no matter how much you have.

Personally, I would've liked a score system, which also could have alleviated the frustration of losing a life trying to get a gold by gaining one after hitting certain number. It would be a nicer bonus for your skill than having a star that makes a short blast of bullets.

Also, the graphics are very unique and cool, but sometimes I feel this game is kind of egotistical, shoving them in your face. This is really a problem with a boss that shows up in front of the camera and blocks your view of the enemies, I dont mind it too much in the overworld, but it can be annoying. The opnly other graphical problem is in the last level, when all the objects being white becomes a problem, there were times that I didnt know where I was, what was attacking me and where it came from.

And lastly, I think that the game would be better if it had less focus on the overworld, specially platforming in there, and different music. My god, I had the game on mute 80% of the time, I was so sick of hearing the same thing over and over.

TL;DR: Like Skyrim on paper 420/666
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 19
With visual layered artwork, this game with its intuitive controls and addicting gameplay and the deep customization options is truly a unique game.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 18
Ballpoint Universe is an unimaginative sh'mup tarred with a mushy control system and zero scope for anything approaching mastery. Sure, the artstyle is nice and all, but you don't drink a beer because the label on the bottle is pretty.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
Pretty visuals that are too hard to enjoy when the games controls handle like I imagine the Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile would handle on a wet road if it's tires were made out of the delicious meats that it was advertising.

2/10 would not put in my bum
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
Seriously awesome game, like the fighting style and adventure style and overall graphics style.

Recommended.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
26.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 14
When I first got this game, I wasn't quite sure about it. It was pretty 'different'. But I discovered it was very fun and addicting. The handrawn art adds a lot of charm too. Well worth the price. I'd even dare to say it was better than a few games passing around for 10 dollars.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
The worst part is the overworld platforming. It's crap with mouse control and the moving objects act strangly from time to time.
The game features an interesting artstyle. I find it really nice. The design of the characters and enviroments are creative and varied. (The "Logicians" are less varied, but I suppose that's the point)
The story mode is short (It took me 3 hours to get gold on every level) and the plot itself is fairly simple. Some levels can be hard to find and I found myself completly skipping one or two of them. The story mode doesn't provide to great a challenge, but I still enjoyed replaying levels until I acheived gold.
The game's Infinite Mode is where all the replay value lies. It provides a decent challenge. The difficulty ramps up each wave to the point of ridiculousness.
Overall its an Ok game. I'd give a 6/10. It losses points for the platforming segments. For $4 it's worth the price. A must buy, if it's on sale.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
I've just gotten it, and played a bit, and I really love the art style so far. I think it's creative, and fun, the gameplay mechanics aren't new, but they're tried and true! I like them quite a bit, and think they work well with the game. The only downside I have to say, is the fact that there's no controller support. At least not that I could find, although maybe I should dig around in the settings, if I can find them.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 4
I received this game in the most recent Humble Bundle, expecting it to almost never be played (this was one of the "extras" that I didn't care for in the deal). I actually began playing it to get the Steam Trading Cards to sell on the market. I didn't know what to expect since I hadn't even bothered watching the trailer before playing.

Within the first 5 mins the artsyle rubbed me the wrong way and I said to myself, "Well, I was right not to have high hopes coming into this." After realising it wasn't just a platformer, but a side-scrolling shooter, I was taken aback. I was also surpised at how addicting it was, wanting to grind for ink (currency) for my next gun or sword for my airship. That 5 minutes turned into 1.5 hours with little regret :)

There are a nice variety of weapons to choose from for both weapon slots, a slot for special abilities/weapons, and another slot for defensive upgrades such as health. Every single slot item can also be upgraded up to 3 times each. During combat in your airship there are rewards given for acheiving bronze, silver, or gold rating dependign on how many lives you survive with from your airship mission. When not in combat (during platforming) there are hidden "trophies" to collect throughout the game. I'm not entirely sure of there purpose, but I'm sure it will be revealed soon enough.

TL;DR this game has a unique artsyle that will probably grow on you if it hasn't yet, addictive gameplay with a multitude of fun weaponry and upgrades to purchase, and can be quite challenging. An underestimated gem that I found in a Humble Bundle :) 7.5/10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 11
very VERY underated game
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 15
Much better value than a 4$ coffee, if you like shmups with unique graphics that stick to old school tropes. Then you will like this!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 21
A unique combination of side-scrolling platformer and horizontal shooter that contains unforgiving difficulty which makes you want to play/practice more.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
I honestly was not expecting a Smhup when I turned the game on well I love SMHUPS so fun was had ink was spilled.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
Ballpoint Universe is quirkiness at its finest. From the odd mix of 80% shootemup and 20% adventure platforming, the beermat doodles brought to live in a beermat doodle world, the awkward controls that you need to get used to and the odd but cutely presented story and characters that come with it.

I didn't like it first time around, but at a second glance I suddenly got into it and I really enjoyed the game as a whole. It's not too hard or easy, the weapon and ship upgrades are numerous and feel pretty unique (by design anyway). It's fun to see the uses for each item -even the crappy ones- and just start collecting everything while finishing the rather short storyline. Plenty of replayability if you want to get each and every achievement, as long as you don't mind some repetitiveness. I think the story mode could have done with one or two more worlds though, but it's enough for its price (and budget, I presume).

So yeah, it's worth the 4 euros that it's currently at, but you can also wait for a discount if you're in doubt. I like quirk.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
Ballpoint Universe - Infinite is an incredibly strange game. I highly reccomend picking it up though, if you can pick it up for a couple of dollars, if only to experience something almost indescribable.

From that I can tell this beautiful chaos is centered around a shoot-em-up game, and has assets made entirely from scanned ballpoint pen sketches... well, that's the look it's going for, anyway. The character designs are insane, in a good way, and the world is massive and confusing... in a good way. It has some dark undertones of a dystopian, post-war mentality, the soundtrack is great and wondering the pseudo-3D landscape is absorbing as heck.

I don't really have anything bad to say about Infinite, though I can't say I really "got" it. The game enthralled me for a couple of hours, but after I felt like I had explored everything unique about the game, it just because another upgrade-based shmup, average even for flash game standards. The world the game created was well worth the purchase though.
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