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 (413 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.


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

“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!

"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


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.


Arachnid Games Home
Artist's Tumblr
Arachnid Facebook

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • 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)
    • 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
4 of 4 people (100%) 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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
very addicting games!!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
Great new take on bullet hell. The gameplay and story are great with the ability to custimize your ships, weapons, and other stats depending on how you want to play. I found the adventure mode controls to be imprecise when trying to complete some of the jumping sequences, but with no penelty for falling to your death, it wasen't too annoying. Some really awesome moments happened in adventure like when you get to drive the cars and do flips.

Full Review
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
I've never been any good at Shoot 'Em Ups, but BU:I has been an excellent introduction. I'm hooked by the gameplay, but the excellent look and grooving music certainly help.
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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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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
Fun game with a really cool art style.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
Ballpoint Universe - Infinite is my favorite shmup to date. I normally hate shmups. Make of that what you will.

Features mouse control, persistent upgrades, great art and music, and you don't have to start the whole game over again when you run out of lives. It's cheap too. Definitely deserves your consideration.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
This is a beautiful and unique horizontal shooter/platformer. All the art looks like it was drawn by hand, doodles brought to life. The style is beautiful, and the story is silly and convoluted. The Horizontal Shooter portions are great fun, and fairly easy (I was able to earn gold on all of them). The platforming sections are 2D with depth switches, and are interesting but not particularly a focus of the game.
There are two issues I had:
1) Controls are either Keyboard or Mouse or Gamepad - you can't use both at once. Mouse works great for the shooter sections, but is not good for the platforming. Keyboard is the opposite. I found myself having to switch back and forth between controls depending on what portion of the game I'm playing.
2) The cost for new weapons and shields on your ship seem really high - even after finishing the game, I've only been able to afford maybe a quarter of the options.

The ability to upgrade the ship allows for lots of replayability, and the beautiful environment and skewed story all combine to make for a very enjoyable experience.
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1 of 5 people (20%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
2 much grinding
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3.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 25
Actually, this is much better than it looks.
Don't mind my game time.
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1.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
It misreads mouse acceleration so I'm constantly crashing into enemies and terrain especially to bosses that fly around frantically fast with little notice of the oncoming attack. The fact that there is health, but I die instantly to direct ship collision rather than bullets is partly because of the melee weapon being the best especially early on and many times becomes the only option offensively.

Essentially the player is given great incentive to get close to spazzing enemies that kill on touch. Bullets are easy enough to dodge thanks to the speed, but I often overshoot and die due to the problem mentioned earlier. Upgrading the gatling guns makes it mildly more tolerable, but is still kind of weak when upgraded. These are just the starter weapons, but I've no patience to hunt for them blindly.

The pacifistic platforming sections are even a bit annoying in that any wall you jump into will bounce you away leaving you to make the jump again. Anything even moderately high and I have to back up to make the jump. This is a huge pain as is if I didn't have to deal with the mouse acceleration controlling the characters run speed. Worse, I have no clue in this sea of recurring characters demanding mission requests which one will give me one of those new weapons! The dialogue isn't even witty. It's just super annoying with the only upside being that you are looking at some moderately good line art. Even then I feel it's an excuse the lack of cohesion.

Sloppy controls, poorly balanced offensive options, bland house music, but at least there are notably unique visuals. This game is a huge disappointment to me as a fan of the genre. Maybe get it to dazzle a petty kid, but anyone looking for a decent shmup, whether casual or hardcore, look elsewhere. I cannot recommend this confetti covered flawed game, however I can recommend at least Jamestown or Binding of Isaac: Rebirth as alternatives on Steam.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
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.
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 4
This was a good game for me.

+ 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.

- 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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13 of 20 people (65%) 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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5 of 6 people (83%) 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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8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
Don’t know if it was just me, but I really didn’t like the controls in this game. They were just really wonky no matter what settings I used. The gamepad joystick was too sensitive for the shooting parts, but not sensitive enough on the menus. And the mouse controls were horrible for the platforming bits.

The platforming bits seemed unnecessary. Why not just give us a menu-based level hub instead of constantly shifting between two types of gameplay?

The shoot em parts were quite fun, but felt like they could have been done a lot better. The worst part was how often enemies would go off screen. If enemies go off screen in a shooter, they’re not supposed to come back!! But in this game, they do, quite often. Most of the enemy movement patterns depended on your movement, so you often had to move in a way that would keep them on screen. That’s pretty annoying.

Anyway, I played the game for the artstyle, and it surely delivered on unique graphics. The melee weapons on your ship were fun too. But overall I wasn’t too impressed.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 21

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

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.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
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.


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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
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
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
Much more worth than its price!!!
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