Climb into the pilot's seat of an otherworldly war machine and take down a genocidal alien race bent on eradicating humanity to preserve their own civilization.
User reviews: Very Positive (712 reviews) - 90% of the 712 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 30, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"A good introduction to the idea of bullet-hell. Much more forgiving than its peers with dynamically changing perspectives and excellent visuals."
Read the full review here.

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September 28

Playism Sales!

Hi Indie fans!

3 of Playism's titles are on sale, have you checked them out yet?

First we have In Space We Brawl, the intense local coop game where you discover who your true friends are. Challenge the missions in Space then use your knowledge to take down your friends in battle!
Also, the game has recently been updated with a new ship and a new weapon, so make sure you check them out too!

Starchaser: Priestess of the Night Sky is a beautiful anime-like game which takes you to the stars in gravity defying mazes and puzzles. Can you take on the stars and the challenges presented to you?

Also, our newest title Hacker's Beat is still on its Launch Sale! Dive into the Rhythmic world of hacking as you break into the mainframe with timing and style. Make sure you check it out now!

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September 17

Revolver360 Re:Actor - IGF China Finalist

Amazing news for PLAYISM fans!

Revolver360 Re:Actor has been selected as a finalist for IGF China 2015.

Rovolver360 has the possibility of winning one of the following rewards, so I hope that you are cheering it on!

  • Best Game
  • Best Mobile
  • Excellence in Audio
  • Audience Award
  • Excellence in Design
  • Excellence in Technology
  • Excellence in Visual Arts

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“This is one of my favorite shoot-'em-ups in years, and fellow STG enthusiasts would be remiss to overlook such a gem. Astebreed is a masterstroke. Spread the word.”
9.5 /10 – Destructoid

“If you’re looking for a game that has subtleties and intricacies often overlooked in modern games then Astebreed comes highly recommended.”
8/10 – Coffee Break Gaming

“...Astebreed is a game that, in terms of quality and design, puts many recent triple-A releases to shame...”
5/5 – USGamer

About This Game

As of July 3rd, Astebreed is now available for $14.99.

Humanity Fights A Losing Galactic War!
Their Only Hope: a Young Pilot and a Girl Forever Changed.

You are Roy Becket, a young pilot with dreams of becoming as skilled as his adoptive father. When a galactic war with an ancient mechanical alien race reaches its boiling point, Roy is forced to spring into action and take control of an otherworldly bipedal war machine in hopes of saving what's left of humanity.

Joining Roy is a young girl who claims to have escaped the clutches of the nefarious aliens. Forever altered through horrible experimentation, she now possesses the very abilities humanity will need to push back the doomsday clock.

Together, they must battle an unrelenting army alone and reunite their shattered family.

The End of All Things is in sight. At the edge of eradication stands Astebreed.

Arcade Shooter Evolved

Astebreed takes the classic arcade shooter and breathes new life into it. Using lovingly crafted 3D models, cutting edge particle effects, and tried-and-true Japanese mecha designs, Astebreed delivers an unparalleled atmosphere of beautiful destruction.

A Full Arsenal

Roy has a considerable arsenal to combat his foes, as well. Armed with the mysterious Lucis device, Roy's mech can shoot from a distance, paint targets for precision homing attacks, and even get close for a killing blow with a powerful blade attack. No enemy shall escape your wrath, no matter where they hide.

Dynamically Changing Perspective

Your enemies are not always ahead of you. Your enemies swarm, fly and intercept, and Astebreed's dynamic perspective always keeps the action in view. Seamlessly switching between veritcal, horizontal, and 3D shooter, Astebreed will keep you guessing what your next threat will be, without ever interrupting the action.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo or faster
    • Graphics: Shader Model 3.0 compatible, GeForce 8600GT (2007 model) or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Additional Notes: Controller recommended
Helpful customer reviews
21 of 21 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 20
One of the best things about indie games is that it’s actually possible to be surprised by them. As great as more mainstream games might be they’ve almost inevitability been preceded by a year or more’s worth of trailers, previews, interviews, and betas. But Astebreed has been out for over a year at this point and I've never had any idea it existed until a few days ago. Now that I do I can see it’s one of the best shoot ’em-ups of last year.

Astebreed isn’t a first person shooter though, and it certainly doesn’t have any cover mechanics. It is instead an old school 2D shooter, very much in the style of genre master Treasure and classics such as Radiant Silvergun and Ikaruga. I’ve never heard of Edelweiss before but they seem to be a Japanese indie developer with only a small string of other arcade style action games to their name (after this I'm certainly going to check out earlier game Ether Vapor).

But while their appreciation for Treasure’s more traditional 2D work is obvious in every second of gameplay it’s actually Nintendo-published franchise Sin And Punishment that this game most closely resembles. The similarities come in that although in gameplay terms Astebreed is always a 2D shooter the perspective constantly changes, so that sometime it’s a traditional side-on game, sometimes a vertical scroller, and other times essentially an on-the-rails third person shooter.

The story behind the action is, of course, pure nonsense (and detailed in subtitles you never have time to read) but the cinematic stylings are hugely impressively and amongst the most technically advanced I’ve seen in the genre. The viewpoint doesn’t just switch at random, but is used to punctuate the action with the reveal of a boss or to allow for a brief respite after a punishing set piece.

Creating a top quality 2D shooter is rarely about big new ideas but instead is more like designing a good roller coaster, with the appearance and design of each wave of new enemies requiring skilled choreography that often goes unappreciated – until you play a game that gets it wrong.
Although it’s a truism that the Japanese do not use PCs to play video games that’s only generally true in terms of mainstream Western titles. The PC has always been home to a thriving market of visual novels and other low budget titles intended solely for a Japanese audience, and there’s also an active indie scene – know in Japan as dōjin soft.

Even so the graphics here are still well above the level you’d expect, with rock solid 60 frames per second action and higher than 1080p resolution. But of course it’s the gameplay that is most vital and here Astebreed also excels. You’re piloting a Gundam-ish flying robot, which has three main forms of attack: a short range sword, a focused stream of bullets, and a wider spread shot attack.

Both shooting styles can use a lock-on mechanic, with the spread shot allowing you to target enemies in a circle around you, while the focused shots can only be used for objects directly in front of you. There are some additional complications, with different attacks being used to cancel different kinds of enemy bullets and a variable use special ‘EX Attack’, but the basics are relatively simple and much more accommodating for a novice player than something like Radiant Silvergun.

In fact the game goes out of its way to try to welcome those new to the genre, with an in-depth tutorial, reasonably fair checkpoints, and three different difficulty modes. The opening prologue is also purposefully easy, which not only helps not to scare of potential players but is also extremely useful for experimenting with the game’s various systems.

As genre fans would expect there’s a complex scoring system for when you’ve got the hang of the action, although delving into that side of the game is entirely optional. The score multiplier is based around your robot’s shields, and as long as they’re still up your combos will continue to rack up whenever you make a kill using either of the two normal shot attacks. When you use a sword you bank the points but the multiplayer drops.

And again the game goes above and beyond by including a full suit of online leaderboards and achievements. There are even graphs to show the ebb and flow of your multiplier over the course of each level. Compared to other shooters, and other Japanese-dominated genres like fighting games, it’s a remarkably complete package that doesn’t use its niche status as an excuse not to include basic functions.

In strictest terms Astebreed doesn’t do anything new in the genre, but within that context this is one of the best examples of its breed in years. It’s especially good for newcomers and although it certainly gets very hard towards the end the game’s not spiteful about its difficultly level, and it does its best to help you succeed. I wouldn’t even really call it a bullet hell game, for although the screen certainly does get bus it doesn’t require rote learning or supernatural arcade skills to progress.

Regardless of genre Astebreed is simply an excellent video game, with well balanced gameplay, great graphics and art design, and an interesting and varied challenge despite the short running time. That all this should be the work of an unknown indie developer just makes it all the more impressive, and all the more worthy of your time and money.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
Astebreed is a shoot em up with an odd twist. It is constantly changing perspective from isometric, horizontal and even third person points of view. It's a neat gimmick that helps make the action look over the top and adds a bit of personality to the game. Another thing that separates it from other shoot em ups is the addition of a sword that lets you destroy most projectiles and to attack enemies for big damage. Most enemies also shoot red projectiles which can not be destroyed, so it is unwise to stay in melee range and not have time to dodge. If you are particularly talented though, holding down the melee button lets you teleport a short distance which can be used to close in on enemies and dodge red beams. I found it a bit wonky and teleporting to be unpredictable but that may have been due to my own skill.

You start off as the President leading a small group of Xbreeds to fend off the enemy. Things quickly go wrong and both you and your squad are killed. It is a good prologue that teaches you the basics of the game and is an important piece of the story. From then on you play as a young goofy looking pilot. Story is surprisingly interesting though pretty corny at times. All dialogue is spoken in Japanese and only the subtitles are in English. Which can be a problem as the characters are prone to talk during the heat of battle and it is very hard to both read and fight at the same time. Levels are also nicely interconnected and it feels like one big adventure instead of a few levels thrown together due to how well the transition from end of level story section to start of the next level mix.

There are 6 levels overall not counting the prologue and should last you a bit under an hour. After you beat the game you will unlock the hard difficulty and a lot of extra goodies like concept art, view-able character models and back-story for the world and the characters. The back-story would have been far more useful before you played the game. You are thrown in and are expected to know everything from the get go. Not sure if Astebreed is an anime or something but the story is hard to understand the first time through and is further worsened due to the fast paced nature of the game forcing the story to move at an equal pace. That leaves it no time to flesh out the characters and very little time to explain who the enemies are and the events that caused all this. You also have the option to turn off a dialogue which is very appreciated after a few playthroughs.

Gameplay is fun and you have quite a few tools at your disposal. You can use a spread shot or a narrow shot like a regular shoot em up to take out enemies. Holding down the scatter shot button lets you lock on to all enemies around your giant mech and holding down the narrow shot button lets you lock on to any area of the map and is useful against boss fights as it locks on much faster. That is also the only way to shoot behind you which some bosses and enemies annoyingly like to do. Your mech can also use a sword for heavy damage against enemies or to block most projectiles. Using your sword greatly lowers your speed while in use but by holding down the melee button you can teleport away. Which is not usually a wise thing to do as you do not know where you will end up and are likely to get hit anyways.

Unlike most bullet hell games Astebreed does not usually have a pattern to the projectiles and you are expected to block them with your sword. Sounds good until they throw in red beams making it nearly impossible to avoid damage at times. If you do get hit it is not the end of the world. You have a rechargeable shield which can take a lot of damage and it starts recharging itself slowly after a certain time without damage. If you are playing on the hard difficulty, your shield will not fully recover and the more hits you take, the lower your ability to fix your shield becomes. There are no lives and if you die you will simply be thrown back to the nearest checkpoint. There is also an “Ex attack” which allows you to damage every enemy around you and to become invulnerable for a while. Fully locking on to and enemy with your missiles and press that button unleashes an ultimate attack. Ex attacks can be recharged faster by blocking projectiles with your blade.

Graphics in Astebreed is not impressive technically, but the artstyle is amazing and makes this game very cool to look at. It is full of color and the environments are varied. You go from the Ocean, to space and inside a giant station to name a few. You would expect everything to be black and gray in those last two areas but Astebreed just has a certain style that you can't help but love. Some cutscenes are hand drawn and anime style. These are nice to look at though they do break the flow of the game. I can't say if the voice acting is any good since I don't speak Japanese but the quality of whatever they used to record the voices sounds pretty low budget and scratchy at times. Music on the other hand is decent and fits into the game perfectly.

Overall this is a pretty good game with a decent amount of content to look at in the extras menu. After beating it you can start off with the mech that you unlock late game, which is a nice addition. It does have a few problems like the targeting when the boss goes far behind you, which can be very hard to aim it precisely where you want it before it's on the move again. Another problem is the teleport feature that needs to be refined a bit, as well as allowing it to be mapped to a different key, instead of having to hold down the melee for a few seconds which makes it very hard to use when you need it most. Other than those problems this is a very well made and fun game. The big focus on story is an oddity for these types of games and helps carve out it's own identity. Astebreed is highly recommended to those looking for a twist on the genre or are simply looking for a good shoot em up.
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
Gorgeous & short // Recommended only if on sale

*A controller is highly recommended for this title.

+ Quick-paced & invigorating; certainly an adrenaline rush, true to 'bullet hell' form
+ Makes use of drastic changes in perspective while in the middle of combat; cinematic, & does well to keep the action from feeling stale
+ Audio design is excellent, & the soundtrack is a perfect match for the nature of the gameplay
+ Intermission illustrations are very well done, & add some character to the narrative
+ Background set-pieces are gorgeous, & really pull a player into the game
+ Creative ship & mob designs
+ Controls are simple, & work well with the polished (if a bit simplistic) game mechanics
+ Though limited, there are unlockables available after beating the campaign (additional mechas, artwork, hard mode, etc.)

- Dialogue is poorly written, & voiceovers are excessivly over-the-top (even for an anime)
- No upgrades or customizations that I've found
- Constant stream of distracting & hard to follow exposition during combat; not only does this make the story poorly presented (the story being weak, regardless), but the game's action is constantly being injected with high-pitched screeching
- The campaign is so short as to be atrocious (~2 hours to complete the main story, on average)

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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 19

This game is a steal at it's regular price of 14.99

If you don't pick it up on sale for 4.99 from the steam sale then you are insane!

This game is amazingly fun. It is a bit similar to those old spaceship style shooters r-type etc formulaically however comparing it to those does it no justice.

First off this game is Breathtaking, the graphics are beautiful. Combat is fun, you can duke and dodge and warp kind of and you have either a scattershot type gun, lasers, and a swrod (which seems to do the best damage boss wise etc) but your attacks that you have are situational and you have to choose the best course of action.

The sword will destroy MOST incoming attacks, bullets etc being shot at you

I guess you could classify this game as 2 D but the angles change, sometimes it is side scrolling, sometimes it is above you or over yoru shoulder, the directions of this change in combat fluidly.

There is a storyline to this between levels, my only minor complaint is that the voices are in japanese with english subtitles.

This game feels like playing an anime if that makes sense.

I can't reccomend this game enough it is REALLY fun!
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
I love destroying robot alien things while dodging a multitude of projectiles; with the bonus of having an anime girl scream at me whilst doing so. :^)
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