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: Very Positive (397 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 17, 2013

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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

PC
Mac
    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
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
I honestly was not expecting a Smhup when I turned the game on well I love SMHUPS so fun was had ink was spilled.
Posted: September 25
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.0 hrs on record
Recommended, but with slight caution.

Ballpoint Universe is a side-scrolling shmup with adventure-y platforming between missions. The art style, obviously, is the most notable and unique aspect of the game. It's consistently good (and weird) throughout the game and, along with the music, adds a ton of atmosphere. The "ideas vs logicians" story fits in perfectly. There are a wide variety of upgrades to acquire for your ship, including some genuinely useful melee weapons.

Here's the biggest issue: the controls. Do not expect precise movement like most shooters. The platforming segments are better with the keyboard, or maybe controller, but the movement and physics feel wonky no matter what. It's doable, but prepare for some frustration.

The flying missions should be played with the mouse. It's highly unusual, but because the ship moves as fast as you can move the cursor, it seems as though the game was meant to be played like this. That advantage will be required on the harder missions.

Control schemes must be switched manually by going into the menu, unless there's a shortcut I missed.

Control issues are often a death sentence for this kind of game, but once I stopped resisting the mouse, and bought some better equipment, the good started to outweigh the bad. The developers appear to have been confident about going their own way here, and the result is a game that's fresh and worthwhile. Some mental effort on the player's part may be required to see that, however.
Posted: September 29
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Art style is unique, but does not seem designed for a computer.

3/10
Posted: September 27
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
One of the most dumbest games I've ever played. Hated the fact you couldn't turn of the music. Graphics looked like they were drawn by a 8 year old. Good thing I got it in a bundle, otherwise it'd be a total waste of money. I should be the one being paid to play this crp.
Posted: October 12
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15.8 hrs on record
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.
Posted: October 11
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5.6 hrs on record
This is a side scrolling STG that is very simple to control (as long as you use a keyboard and rebind the non movement to something simple like Z and X), and turns into a platformer at the end. The upgrade system requires some grinding, however, it is of no concern. The only complaint is that the ship movement is god awful and requires a lot of getting used to.
Posted: October 23
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
After playing this game, I feel like drawing something. This game plays like a shmup( Shoot them up) if you're not familiar with games where you're a spaceship to destrory enemy planes or aliens. But what's unique about the game is everything is done in Ballpoint; you're always introduced to new and vibrant art that keeps coming in your face. When I first played this game, I was confused either to say if it was a platformer and a shmup. I feel like the platforming sections are really weak and presents a flaw when you're trying to go to many platforms. Controls don't feel tight so you have to rely on your mouse or keyboard/game pad for the jumping sections. The game works as you collect inkblots to upgrade, buy new parts to your ship which adds a lot of customization to how you want to approach things. You want a sword and gun combo? Done. You want to protect yourself and use missiles? Done. You just want to go commando and use dual melee or guns? Sure thing. Its very rewarding when you upgrade because it helps with ranking on missions. I recommend this to anyone who wants to try it out, the game can keep you playing for hours and it's not entirely hard ( The wheel can give you 40k inkblots if you're having trouble) if you're new.
Posted: June 29
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
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.
Posted: August 4
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12 of 19 people (63%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
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.
Posted: July 18
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
With visual layered artwork, this game with its intuitive controls and addicting gameplay and the deep customization options is truly a unique game.
Posted: September 19
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15 of 26 people (58%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Visuals are wonderful and controls are awful. 'Nuff said, unfortunately.
Posted: May 4
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Got that game From Humble Weekly Eye it a Good Shoot Em Up Game with some platforming for talking to some NPC & Collect Golden Sticker If you complete it with Gold Rating to get Achivement and some Inks - Inks are used for play The wheel of Fortune in the garden or upgrade ur Fighter

The game is addicting but a little repetitive in Infinite mode but it get harder and take reflex the ship is very customizable you get Two weapon which you probably can already see from screenshot & gameplay trailer

I recommend it and it is currently 1$ on humble bundle Weekly
Posted: July 8
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Surprisingly addictive. Controls are difficult, though. You can't really use mouse in the platformer part & gamepad in the side-scroll shooter part.
Posted: July 12
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Not going to lie, I played this game to grab the cards lol

If you like side-scrolling jet fighter games, you will really like this game. It is the right amount of challenging to keep most type of gamers engaged. The artwork is really, really refreshing in that it is all hand-drawn with a pen. There is also platforming elements involved if you like achievement hunting/collecting.

The grinding is reasonable because you periodically pick up these "infinite" orbs that allow you to start from progressively higher levels (so you don't have to start from wave 1 every time).

The music is very good, I usually play my own music in the background when I play games, but that was unnecessary for this game.

For the price, I would definitely recommend it if you enjoy shoot-em-up games.
Posted: July 4
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Recommended

Pro:
Great art style and music
Campaign has a decent difficulty level
Story somewhat entertaining for a shooter
Good variety in combat through shielding and melee system
Replay ability through infinite mode

Contra
You can't switch between mouse and Gamepad on the fly so the movement in the campaign world isn't good
Campaign a bit short
Game shut off a few times but the save game wasn't compromised

Overall a great shooter with a few problems here and there. For fans of the genre a must everyone else should at least have a look and be it because of the art style.
Posted: July 21
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
This is a review update following a second play of the game. The original review can be found at the end.

The first time I played this I was intrigued by the art, but felt let down by the controls and gameplay. After a response from the dev, I felt I owed this game a second try.

Ballpoint Universe is a game that's hard to put into words. The art style is certainly unusual, so I'll start with that. It's ... weird. Not what I'd call beautiful, but it's fascinating. I think it could turn some people off. But why play cookie cutter games that are just like all the others? I applaud the makers of this game for doing something visually so different.

The gameplay is another weird one. To drop straight into the game with no expectations was, in my experience, a bit brutal. Or rather, I had different expectations. The game is essentially a side-scrolling shooter, with basic platforming elements that connect missions into a storyline. While the art styles match, the gameplay is radically different. Jarring, even. It doesn't help that the default controls are really terrible. Practically unplayable. If you're going to play this, I strongly recommend you use keyboard for the platforming sections and mouse control for the spaceship missions. It handles rather well that way.

Another part I had trouble with was ship add-ons. Those little black silhouettes in the bottom right can actually be scrolled through and bought. I played for ages thinking the game was going to unlock them for me, which led to some tiresomely long missions with my underpowered ship.

It could be easy for someone to play this game and think it's awful. The alternative artwork, the odd mix of gameplay, the default controls. But going into it with a bit of knowledge helps a lot, and I found on the second day of playing that it really wasn't too bad. It's definitely not for everyone, but there's more good here than bad.

-------------
OLD REVIEW

Very interesting art style. It reminded me of And Yet It Moves. It's always great to see games pushing boundaries of visual styles, but unfortunately the game is let down by the actual gameplay. It's basically a bunch of side-scrolling shooting games, all very similar, tied together with a platforming narrative that only exists to move from one shooting mission to the next. Decent music.

The controls are pretty bad. I played in windowed mode, and the character moves at different speeds depending on how far the mouse pointer is. But the mouse isn't bound to the window, which is a staggering oversight. Also, clicking on the menu button in the top right corner means your character runs to the right before you can click on it. I don't know how they thought this was a good idea. Fortunately I have Display Fusion so I was able to lock the pointer to the window, but I can't imagine the game would be even slightly playable in windowed mode without this.

Overall, a visually interesting game that is focused too much on art and not enough on gameplay and fun. Maybe it's just too arty for me and I don't "get it", but I really can't recommend it.
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Posted: July 13
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Much more worth than its price!!!
Posted: August 5
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
9.8 hrs on record
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.
Posted: September 1
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
This game was quite the surprise, I didn't pay much attention to the trailer, under the expectation I wouldn't even play it (having gotten it from a bundle), but for no firm reason I decided to try it. What at a glance I had thought to be an artistic platformer (as so many indie games these days are), turned out to be an artistic platformer/upgradable shooter. Although I was a little put-off from getting the wrong idea of the game, I continued to play and started to really enjoy it! Ballpoint Universe allows the player to use keyboard, mouse, or a gamepad at their will, allowing a wide variety of choices. The game has a surprisingly interesting story, and provides much inspiration with it's monochromatic artwork and interesting design.
Ballpoint Universe is a must-have for casual and artistic gamers alike, for it provides a fun and inspirational casual game for all to enjoy.
Posted: July 13
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
17.9 hrs on record
Bardzo ciekawa platformówka z elementami zręcznościowej strzelanki.
Wędrujemy po krainie narysowanej w uroczy uczniowski sposób. Po drodze zbieramy tzw. "złote szkice" i rozmawiamy z napotkanymi istotami. Podczas niektórych rozmów otrzymujemy zadania polegające na pokonaniu fal przeciwników w zręcznościowych strzelankach. Przenosimy się na latający statek i lecąc z lewej strony do prawej eleminujemy przeciwników zdobywając tzw. "atramenty". Dzięki zdobytym "atramentom" mamy możliwość udoskonalania naszego statku.
Po skończeniu gry można grać od nowa ze wszystkimi zdobytymi rzeczami.
Bardzo polecam tę grę.

Very interesting platformer with arcade shooter elements.
We wander through the land drawn in a charming way. Along the way we collect so-called "golden sketches" and talk with met creatures. During certain conversations we obtain tasks to defeat waves of enemies in arcade shooter style. Those missions are about flying from left to right eliminating encountered enemies and gathering "inks". Thanks to those "inks" we gain possibility of improving our ship.
After completing the game we can play again keeping all gained things.
I very recommend this game.
Posted: April 28
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