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 (521 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."
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June 12

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We have a new title in the works, its a fully 3D game about Captaining a submarine in a flooded world!

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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

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
10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
Ballpoint Universe - Infinite short review.

Pros :
+ It got decent and unique art
+ Beat em up shooter with customizable arsenal and different type of enemy

Con :
- Story?

It's a good game, but honestly I didn't know what I have been doing in this game.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 21
I think I picked this game up very cheap in a bundle. It wasn't until much later that I tried it. First, I have to say that I love the art direction of the game. Quite often, it seems that artistic games really aren't that great. However, this game is quite beautiful, runs very smoothly with modest specs, and is actually fun. It's definitely odd in a way that not too many games can pull off. I have only played it briefly to see what it was like, but I would definitely come back to this game at a later time.

Lastly, I wanted to add as someone had mentioned, that this game is mostly a 2D platformer/adventure game with heavy Shoot'em'up elements. Somehow, it works. This game is pretty, unique, and is a piece of art.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
Perhaps if this was solely a horizontal sidescrolling shoot 'em up and not half a 2D platformer with somewhat awkward controls & somewhat difficult to navigate areas this would be an alright game.

The parts where it's a shooter work okay for the most part. Controls are all with the mouse by default and allows quick movement from one end of the screen to another. As you kill baddies in said shooter you're supposed to collect "ink" to upgrade and buy new items & modifications for your ship. It can be a bit of a challenge of its own to get said ink because they're around enemies & gunfire often and they disappear fairly quickly so you can't necessarily wait for them to come to you all that much. The upgrades and items you buy for the ship with the ink really come in handy though from what I found the guns that spew bullets are extremely weak even when upgraded to the max. To sort of compensate for that you also get a heavy-damage-dealing melee weapon that automatically attacks whatever's in front of the ship so should they come within range. It adds a bit more depth to the gameplay; you can either keep shooting while easily seeing something that can kill you at a safe distance or get close for faster kills while figuring out when to back off when it looks like the ship's in a dangerous spot.
There are a good chunk of shooter levels in this game but unfortunately I found out that I'd have to do a series of very lackluster 2D platforming to even unlock these levels, which is what ruins this game for me.

There's hardly anything to the platforming; jump over here, jump that pit, talk to this person to MAYBE unlock an actual shooter level. By default you use the mouse to run, jump, and interact which feels very awkward to play with. You can set it in the pause menu to move around via the keyboard instead (which works a lot better) however when you're about to get to the shooter levels there's a good chance you'll want to switch back to the mouse controls, at least I did since I got to be more precise with the mouse during those levels.
Navigating and just plain running around through the platforming areas is a tedious task of its own. Anything important you get to do is often a bit of a ways off and the artstyle, though pretty cool, I think makes navigating a lot more confusing, espcially when running to the foreground and background.

It's not something I'd want to finish if it means going through a lot of tedious platforming that hardly rewards much.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 14
Ballpoint Universe - Infinite is a horizontally scrolling space shooter. However, it's not like most of the classics. While there are plenty of bullets to dodge, pinpoint movements to make, and crazy bosses to beat, this game adds in a few things that make the genre a bit easier to swallow for the less skilled players... like me.

This game helps ease the difficulty of the genre by giving you upgrades rather than powerups. Basically, when you destroy enemies, they drop ink. You collect the ink and use it as currency in the shops between rounds. In these shops, you can buy and equip parts to your ship, with a total of four parts. There are two weapon slots, one for the top and one for the bottom. There's also a wing slot, which is generally a passive ability, and also a nose slot, which is a special weapon that you have to build up power for. You build up that power by killing enemies in a row without getting hit. The weapon slots are interesting because there are three basic weapon types: guns, shields, and melee weapons. Guns are obviously projectiles. These are good for ranged combat but enemies with shields will block bullets. That's where melee weapons come in. Melee weapons break shields and generally do decent damage, but they are rather slow and require you to get close enough to the enemy to use them, which can get you killed on the quicker enemies. Shields are used for blocking and/or deflecting enemy fire. These are especially good in levels with lots of firing foes. Each type has their use and knowing which works best for you and for the situation will help you complete the missions. Also, buying new items and upgrades will grant you aillies. There is a gun ally, nose ally, and wing ally, each with their own passive benefits. Once you get them you keep them for good and can level them up a bit as well. All of this gives you an incentive to keep playing because even if a mission is really hard, you can always get more items and upgrades to help you, as well as customize yourself differently for new strategies.

There are also 2D platforming parts of the game. This is where you will travel the overworld. Basically, at the start of the game you can try out infinite space, an endless mode of fighting enemies until you die. This is a nice way to experiement and extend the gameplay, but you'll want to explore the overworld more for the actual missions. By talking to NPCs scattered throughout the overworld, you can be sent on missions. There's a vague story attached to these missions, but it generally boils down to fighting off swarms of enemies in different locations. Once you complete any mission, it is then selectable from your pause menu, so you don't have to explore the vast overworld every time you want to do them again. Also in this overworld are golden sketches that you can collect. They are often hidden, though sometimes are carried by NPCs. Also, some are unlocked by completing the missions without losing a life. Others... I'm not even sure how to get. Either I missed them or it's not clear what to do to get them so... I don't know what to tell you other than... sorry. However, I DO want to make it clear, this doesn't exactly make this a hybrid game. It's still a space shooter. These overworld segments are just for the purpose of story, finding missions, and collecting sketches. There are some parts where you'll need to talk to people, do some platforming, and can even die... but you respawn at one of the many checkpoints and ultimately there are only so many ways to go. It's fun and interesting, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it part of the gameplay. It's more like a big and stylized interactive menu.

I also want to mention the presentation here. All of the game is gone from drawings from a ballpoint pen... at least from what I've heard and gathered. This is something you can really appreciate if you ever used to doodle at all. It reminds me a lot of some of the stuff I'd draw on the sides of my papers in school when I was younger. This is where the overworld shines, actually. There are a lot of things out there. Different characters, environments, and backgrounds create visuals that are simple yet pleasingly detailed. The music in the game is actually pretty cool, giving a quirky yet energetic vibe. And the character monologues are weird and goofy in a way that doesn't feel like they're trying too hard. It all comes together in an interesting and unique experience. But, as you know, there are always downsides.

This game doesn't have many downsides, but it has a few. Let's start with the minor ones. There IS controller support... but for some reason the game only detects ONE specific slot for it... where my mouse was plugged in. Kind of annoying with the placement, but not a big deal. Also, getting all the gold medals on the missions is mostly doable with certain items and setups and you really feel like you can eventually get there... except for one. On one particular mission, the challenge does NOT come from enemies and your ship loadout. Instead, the challenge comes from dodging parts of the environment that will kill you on contact... and they move. Now, there aren't a lot of parts for that and it's nowhere near impossible, but it just doesn't fit with the rest of the game. It tests your skills in flying, not your planning for combat. One actual downside worth noting is that, while you are encouraged to customize your ship in order to counter specific challenges, you don't HAVE to strategically plan your builds. I got through most of the game using the two weakest guns, and I managed to beat the game with the setup of two gun. It's nice to have the freedom to play how you want, but it also takes away some of the value of having different setups. It's not so much about strategy and planning as it is about finding the setup you like the most. Also, having the missions spread out over the overworld, and the overworld segments in general, were a bit out of place. They felt like annoying padding at times. Not that I didn't enjoy the overworld and characters and exploration. I did. But forcing you to do 2D platforming to unlock horizontal space shooting levels of actual gameplay is not the most convenient choice.

Overall, Ballpoint Universe - Infinite is a lot of fun. It gives a lot of replayability with the different ship builds and upgrades. It has an interesting and appealing style. The real kicker is that it's only four bucks! It's hours of fun for just four bucks and it's worth it. If you like horizontal space shooters with progression and customizaion, check it out. Ballpoint Universe - Infinite gets a 7/10. (And yes, that's good.)
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 15
I'm only ten minutes into this game and I'm in love. This is just a beautiful game. Fun to play casually and some of the coolest hand-drawn style graphics I've ever seen. Very unique in its visionary, some of the mini games so far are just Classic 80s arcade games. Ex: the first one you come upon is like an improved Galaga (I that's possible..)

Can't wait to put more time into this game and edit. For now, highly recommend giving it a shot, especially if you're into Indie platformer/sidescroller games.
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