Pulstar is a fast paced arcade game that brings back the basic of its genre. No nonsense, just kill as long as you can to gain the highest score as possible! This concept gives Pulstar the challenge and high replay value real fans of this genre need!
User reviews: Mostly Positive (63 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 11, 2014
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About This Game

Pulstar is a fast paced arcade game that brings back the basic of its genre. No nonsense, just kill as long as you can to gain the highest score as possible! This concept gives Pulstar the challenge and high replay value real fans of this genre need!

Pulstar also has a local co-op multiplayer, which means you can team up with your buddy to dominate the world rankings!

Key features:
- easy to play, hard to master concept
- build up audio and visual experience as you kill more
- activate Pulsetime to slow down the time around you
- local co-op multiplayer
- battle against the world with online leaderboards (single and multiplayer)
- dual analogue control support
- including Steam achievements and Steam gamecards
- available for Windows, Mac and Linux

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista or higher
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.7ghz, or AMD equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4600 or higher
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Controller recommended
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows vista or higher
    • Processor: Intel I3 or ADM equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 450 or Radeon 4770 or higher
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Controller recommended
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.6 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.7ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4600 or higher
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: 10.6 or later
    • Processor: Intel i3 or higher
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 450 or Radeon 4770 or higher
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.7ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4600 or higher
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
    • Processor: Intel i3 or higher
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 450 or Radeon 4770 or higher
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
I like the game, but it uses the background to make the game more difficult. Sometimes you'll run into enemies because they are hard to see thanks to the background, and worse yet, that's how the developers wanted the game.

It also gets hard at 4:00 minutes into the game and this is a game best played in small, short, gaming sessions.

I play it about 15 minutes at a time.

I still like the game, but suggest getting it bundled or at least 50% off if you find a coupon.

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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 17
This is a twin-stick shooter where you blast intergalactic parasites and-Oh why do I even bother? Let's skip ahead to why I gave this game a thumbs-down.

Typically in an arcade game you can be awarded a 1up for passing certain scores. Let's say the first 1up is for 50,000 points, the second is at 200,000, and the rest are every 500,000 thereafter.
This doesn't apply to Pulstar. I got my first 1up at 2,137 points, the second at 13,854, and didn't receive anymore even after crossing 1,418,255 points.
In my next game, I got my first 1up at 22,478 points, the second at 24,890, and 1-2 every few seconds from about 4:01 to 4:30.
The following game? I got my first 1up at 486,977 points, and..didn't receive anymore lives for the rest of that attempt.

But guess what? It doesn't really matter. Getting a high-score in this game practically requires that you don't die, so all those extra lives are just trolling. Congrats! You bought yourself an extra second of survival. When you die you lose your kill-streak, and that's a massive multiplier that simply disappears into the ether. Screen-clearing bombs are several times more useful, but they rarely make an appearance. Power-ups stay on-screen indefinitely, so it's in your best interest to save those bombs for when they're really necessary (after the 4 minute mark).

Visually, this game is a mess. It's easy to lose track of things in most twin-stick shooters, let alone one with shifting brightness levels. There's a slowdown ability for when things get too hectic, but it messes with the screen really badly. Surrounding the playfield is a mess of clouds, they hide where enemies appear from. This is information I probably could use to avoid getting blind-sided for the 177th time.

Pulstar is supposed to appeal to the hardcore with its singular focus and extremely difficult achievements, but there's not enough there to justify giving it any serious time. Getting the best run feels more like something that will happen when the planets align, not when my skill reaches a certain level. On average I spend the first four minutes of every game preparing for everything going to hell at 4:01. Afterwards I stumble semi-blindly into a series of brick walls for a minute or two. This isn't fun, this is just me trying to prove that I'm actually putting in effort. I don't want to be that guy who doesn't like a game because he "doesn't get it". But man, this isn't worth the headache.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
A real nice little challenging shooter. Basic Controls and Decent tranquil art work make this one a good little time killer.Check it out !!
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
Beautiful little twin-stick shooter,

Smooth neon graphics,

Working highscore and multiplayer mode,

Around 2hours of fun, extreme skillcap

A great little arcade game, pretty underrated.

7.2/10
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 29, 2014
It's a cool game. Usually play it inbetween my dota games to ease my match making anxiety.
The music is kinda good, suits with the game but it gets repetative after an hour or less, so I use my own playlist.
Now the only thing I need is to find someone to play with.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 31, 2014
great game to kill time
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2014
It's a fairly decent twin-stick shooter... even though it brings nothing new to the table.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2014
Fun, Arcade Style Game To Waste Some Time.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
Pulstar: a generic bullet hell twin stick shooter that offers very little.

There just isn’t much to this game. One level, one upgrade, one special, three enemies, one 'ship', one gun, one boring repetitive experience. Your main obstacle in this game are the graphics, when they really start throwing enemies at you it becomes a cluster♥♥♥♥ of explosions, bullets and enemies that blend together, and every time you're damaged it blurs and obscures the screen which makes it very difficult to avoid taking more damage. The best thing in this game by far is the Scottish narrator, which there is far too little of. There are a million better games that make this game completely redundant, here is one that's a million times better and it's free: http://www.gog.com/game/tyrian_2000


It's a dud. Avoid.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2014
An absolutely beautiful game. Simple controls once you get them with a controller, tried keyboard but just too hard that way on my laptop. The effects add a nice finish. One of the best bits in an odd way, each game is very quick as its just manic, but its really quick to get back in and keep going. Only played for 30min so far but so many goes at it, I jsut wanted to keep going. :-)
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
Pulstar is similar to twin-stick shooters like Geometry Wars, Ultratron, Waves and others. While it does not revolutionize twin-stick shooters, it is a very good entry into the genre. If you enjoy twin-stick shooters, you will probably enjoy this one as well.

Up Front:
Pros:
* Nice, fluid graphics
* Short rounds that you can pick up and put down
* Good controls (at least with a controller)

Cons:
* Sound (specifically background music) could be a bit more varied.

Nice to Haves:
* More enemy types
* Online Multiplayer


--- Full Review ---
You might notice that at the time I am writing this review, I do not have many hours into the game. That is because a single round of the game lasts only a few minutes. There are not multiple levels, various environments, or a ton of depth. What the game lacks in length, it makes up for in no nonsense twin-stick shooter gameplay.

Graphics: Visuals are very fluid, and the game has a nice ambience. The visuals are not over complicated, and that is a good thing for a shooter like this. Between trying to dodge various enemies and scoring as many points as possible, there is not a huge need for overdone graphics. In addition, the HUD is simple and does not distract. In Geometry Wars, the point value of an enemy appeared above the enemy after you killed it. That is not the case with this game. Your running score is kept at the top right, out of the way.

A note that might matter to some. The game seems to be locked at a 16:9 aspect ratio. Available resolutions are 1280 x 720, 1536 x 864, and 1920 x 1080 in both windowed and full screen modes.

Gameplay: With no long story or epic battles, the gameplay comes from the challenge. This game challenges you to improve your skills and pits you against other Pulstar players via leaderboards. This is evident in the achievements. Almost half the achievements are gained by doing better than others or the developers (either in single player or multiplayer). A controller definitely makes the experience better. The controls are simple: the left stick moves, and the right stick shoots. If you need to use a special item, the trigger button is there for you.

There are three basic enemies. It would have been nice to have a few more enemy types, but the enemy types the game does have are different enough that this is not such a huge deal.

The time dilation mechanic is an interesting one, and is similar to the one in Waves. You hit the button, and time slows down so you can more easily maneuver around enemies and take them out.

Sound: The soundtrack is simple and is not something to write home about, but it gets the job done. The background music is very strong, but the sound effects are very light and almost fragile sounding.

Multiplayer: I did not try the multiplayer, but something that might make it more appealing is online multiplayer. This is not a dealbreaker though.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 12
Please add resolution support for 1024x600.

Otherwise, great game!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 23
Note: I got Pulstar in a cheap bundle.

I can only play this game for a few minutes at a time as I tend to get a sore trigger finger lol! It's an intense, fast-paced arcade game, extremely simple to play but you'll need fast reactions to last more than a couple of minutes!

It's beautiful, I love the light effects.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014
Can't figure out how it mapped my gamepad and it has no option to reconfigure. Why do devs think that it's ever OK to not give an option to reconfigure the gamepad?
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
Graphics 11/10
Intense gameplay 11/10
Arcade oldschool look 11/10
Kinda reminds me of Waves, but less hard and not so boring in the long.
The perfect time waster if you don't wanna end up doing bad stuff instead of gaming..
4,99€.. Wow, I'd serioulsy pay atleast 20€ for this.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
Albeit functional, Pulstar is a rather unremarkable twin-stick shooter.

While graphically fine, it is hard to distinguish between the multiple power-ups since every single object is a glowing orb. This aside, enemy bullets are a bright, contrasting red and are easily distinguishable. Also, the fact that there is only one ‘stage’ is disappointing.

All in all, I find myself struggling to come up with more to say, as the game is pretty barebones. Even for it's low price, it is hard to recommend considering the whole experience is very shallow.
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47 of 65 people (72%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 9, 2014
I personally really enjoyed this game, it brings back old arcade games like Geometry Wars in its own unique way. The game has a very benefical concept of easy to learn, but hard to master, which I really liked. Check out my video for more info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibmBOoWwo4M
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 14, 2014
Pulstar is an addicting "shooter" with amazing graphics with an interesting art style. It features special abiilities, unique enemies, and room for complicated playstyles. This is not a game you will play all the time, but find yourself playing while waiting for updates, friends to come online, and during short breaks between games. The sounds get repetitive, but the soundtrack is decent. It has a tiny almost obsolete story, but being the arcade game it is, it really doesn't need one. This game is simple, but in an overall good way, but it has it's complexities, mostly those of which you will find in it's playstyles. It is well priced for the game it is. Overall, this game mixes phenomenal lighting, graphics, and difficulty into one of the most addicting arcade-like shooters to date.
-8.5/10 would buy for $5 and under.
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 11, 2014
A twin-stick shooter a la Geometry Wars. Enemies can be a bit hard to see agains the dark blue background, but that's part of the challenge. Simple game, and cheap to boot.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 12, 2014
It's fun to play, if you're into speedy, addicting games!
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