A retro shooter with a new power: the power to become any ship. Lost in the depths of space, you are a being of pure psychic energy with the uncanny power to take over and control anything you see in order to survive. Built for PC, Enemy Mind lets you battle your way through 70+ waves of challenging enemies.
User reviews: Very Positive (83 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 6, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"You can reach out and grab any ship in the entire game, so every new ship is like a new toy to play with. It keeps the game interesting and dynamic."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (14)

August 28

Game Update: Mac Build, Humble Bundle, & Bugs Fixed

Hi all. We've just pushed an update that adds a mac version of Enemy Mind. If you've been waiting to play on a mac, wait no more! If you have any problems, please let us know.

Our time in the weekly Humble Bundle has come to an end and we're very excited to welcome everyone who recently picked up the game. We've never had so many players before and it's really awesome! There are a few of you that are starting to crack some of the secrets of the game in the forums, so now's a good time to pop in.

We've also fixed a couple of very unpleasant bugs: One that caused the game to stop spawning new waves at certain points, and one that caused the game to hang forever trying to comunicate with the leaderboards if you were offline.

That's it for now. Thanks for playing!

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August 7

Live Twitch Event Featuring Enemy Mind on 8/21/14

Join us on Thursday, August 21, 2014, at 7 PM ET/ 4 PM PT!

Live streaming right from our studio, Jesse Schell, the Enemy Mind development team, and a bunch of their friends will tackle Enemy Mind! The event is sure to include impressive game play, pro-tips and hilarious Q&A. Rumor has it there will also be a ton of different giveaways!

Follow us on Twitch at SchellGamesTV so you are able to win the coolest t-shirt on the block or even a free game for you and a friend!

Twitch Channel: http://www.twitch.tv/schellgamestv

Make sure you have the game to play along:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/285840

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Reviews

“Angry fun in local co-op with this side-scrolling shooter”
Polygon

“I found the interesting parts of the game to be trying out and taking over all these new ships, and in chasing the narrative throughout this overarching space opera. I found all those things compelling enough to drive me through the experience. This week, James recommends Enemy Mind.”
Extra Credits

“The two and a half months of Early Access time saw tweaks, updates, and bug fixes, and the payoff is an Enemy Mind that’s had a nice polishing shine applied to the game from front to back.”
Hardcore Gamer

About This Game

A retro shooter with a new power: the power to become any ship.

Lost in the depths of space, you are a being of pure psychic energy with the uncanny power to take over and control anything you see in order to survive.

Built for PC, Enemy Mind lets you battle your way through 70+ waves of challenging enemies. Deftly maneuver over twenty unique ships, each with different abilities for you to harness. Backed by an all-new chip-emulated soundtrack by the psychoacoustic artist Rainbow Kitten, Enemy Mind features an adaptive story system as innovative as its gameplay. Are you ready to unlock the secrets of Enemy Mind?





  • 8 levels and 70 waves of challenge
  • Side-scrolling space shooter for PC
  • Classic 8-bit art-style
  • 20+ different ships, each with their own unique power and ability
  • Adaptive story system that changes with your individual play style
  • Multi-player co-op supports up to four players at once
  • Original Chiptune-inspired soundtrack by Rainbow Kitten

More Reviews

"It's incredibly addictive!" Indie Retro News March 2014

"The game really is the whole package. GameCola Score: 9 - Excellent" GameCola June 2014

"Overall I was very impressed by what Schell Games was able to achieve with a genre that is not really known for innovation. The game is addictive enough that you will want to complete it a few times in order to piece together the whole story and of course the co-op mode will also eat up a lot of your spare time if you have friends nearby. While shooter fans will obviously enjoy the game the most I urge anyone that has an interest in polished, unique titles to try it out as it is definitely worth the effort. Rating: 8/10" GAMERamble June 2014

"Enemy Mind is an excellent and unique take on the shooter genre. Definitely worth the price at full retail." Nerd Age June 2014

Check out our website: http://enemymindgame.com/
Listen to the full soundtrack on our Bandcamp Page!
This old-school arcade shmup is brought to you by Schell Games, an independent game studio based in Pittsburgh, PA.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo 2.66Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB Graphics Memory and Directx 9.0c Compatible gpu
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Onboard sound card
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Additional Notes: USB wired Xbox 360 controller recommended
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.8+
    • Processor: 2.5GHz dual-core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB Graphics Memory
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Onboard sound card
    Recommended:
    • Additional Notes: USB wired Xbox 360 controller recommended
Helpful customer reviews
9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
Enemy Mind is a really fun arcade shooter with updated gameplay. Instead of collecting powerups or collecting weapons you transfer from ship to ship. Each ship has a limited amount of ammo and a few hp requiring you to jump again and again throughout a level if you want to succeed. Each ship has a different weapon, hp, size, and speed making it suitable for different situations.

The game takes place in during a war between humans and an alien race, with you as a psychic presence jumping between each side. Each side has different flavors. There is a small but well written story told between segments of the levels depending on which faction you are possesing.

It has a classic arcade scoring system with fast gameplay that requires you to make strategic descisions on the fly. Its got solid and repsonive gameplay with nice pixel graphics and a good deal of depth to your gameplay choices. Only weakness is that the bosses are kind of weak, interesting and fun but once you're familiar with they can be quite easy. On the whole its an excellent game.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 23
Driver San Francisco's hopping gimmick put into a Gradius style shmup. It's only about 2 and a half hours and it feels like it starts to run out of ideas by the end even despite that length but WHO CARES LOOK AT THAT GIMMICK THATS THE GREATEST ♥♥♥♥ING IDEA EVER
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22 of 37 people (59%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 18
Enemy Mind has an interesting concept going for it, ship-switching in Shmups hasn't been done all too often. The problem is, this hinders the game from achieving greatness. Turning it into something more resembling a puzzle game than a shmup at times.

See, you gotta switch ships constantly - because they run out of ammo quite quickly. Eventually you will be switching between the same couple of ship-types you feel are clearly better than the rest thanks to superior attack patterns covering more of the screen and higher armour-ratings allowing you to take more hits. Thus the game quickly becomes samey, with wave after wave of identical craft and similar situations all the time. Enemy Mind fails at keeping things fresh - after the first 20 waves you get the idea what this game is all about and to be honest, it is hardly worth checking the remaining 60 or so waves - even the bosses get recycled twice and it is all a bit dull.

The game also lacks punch, the basic small fighters feel almost like the ship from Defender. Somehow the entire game has a weird eighties-feel to it not unlike a couple of early homecomputer shmups. Everything is kinda small, demanding very precise shooting with beams and projectiles that most of the time are exactly one pixel in height. There is not a whole going on, which may or may not appeal to you - personally, I miss screen-filling enemies, massive explosions, gigantic lasers. Enemy Mind is wimpy at best in that regard - unfortunately the minimalistic aesthetic also becomes problematic on smaller screens (I was forced to go vintage, since the game wouldn't run on my main setup) with easy to miss projectiles and almost invisible mines.

Overall, I feel the game offered too little variation in the three hours it took me to beat the final boss - the weird story only did so much to keep me interested in playing and going for high scores is hardly entertaining and bored me quickly. Might be worth it for that limited eighties-gamefeel, but as far as shmups go I prefer the likes of Astebreed, Satazius or Crimzon Clover.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 27
It's a real throwback to the feel of games like Gradius, Xevious, and Galaga, which I honestly prefer to straight bullet-hell. It's so fun to possess the different ships, too. 100% worth playing *stamp*
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 21
This game has a great narrative and the way they go about weapon changes is excellent. Definitely the best Shoot 'Em Up I've ever played.
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17 of 30 people (57%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
I can't really recommend the game as is, but I'm under the impression that the problem I'm having will be corrected in the future. Time of writing is July 7th 2014, if there have been any patches since then, this review might not be accurate.

So this game is not bad, let's be clear: I simply am not recommending it as a bullet hell/retro shooter enthusiast for the current price. The system seems unpolished: The bounding box, timing, and rules for what bullets collide with what object just don't have the professional intuitive shine that say, Deathsmiles has. I know I'm comparing a company team to an indie developer, but that doesn't make the problems any less noticeable. Other problems: enemy ships can do things you cannot when you possess them (most egregiously: turning around and shooting the other way), and the teleporting beam trajectory could be better (as is it's rather awkward; also it has a charge up time which has absolutely no user feedback).

But this game has a story focus! Pretty rare for this type of game. If the gameplay is just average, how is the story? I'd like to know, too. Thoughout the game you get snippets of story, and it creates a very interesting experience... but I personally think the novelty of the gameplay has an expiration far shorter than the time it would require to go through the game twice (to collect all the snippets of story). However, I never actually finished this game, so I don't know how the story concludes. The difficulty for the entire game is, despite the problems named above, quite easy. Dying is infrequent for those experienced with this genre, and there are no difficulty settings to adjust. The boss fights, once you figure out how to win, are also not hard at all. Then you get to the end of the second to last wave and find that it is near impossible. Brick wall. Not many players will proceed past this point.

I might have kept trying if I could actually get to that segment again quickly. But since it's at the end of the wave, you need to replay the entire wave first. Takes about 5 minutes, and it's patronizingly easy the entire time. Imagine taking a math test and every time you made a mistake on a really hard problem, before trying again you are forced to first to solve 50 basic addition problems (2+3=?). I've poured quite a bit of time in this last wave alone, and I can no longer justify repeating the patronizingly-easy-5-minutes-snooze-fest even one more time just to retry a 10 second difficult segment.

Despite my rant, I'd say those who love this genre should pick it up next sale. But even if I didn't have any trouble completing it, I still feel that this game is a one-and-done deal; you'll play it, you might enjoy it, but once you uninstall it you probably won't be revisiting it.

edit- a word
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 23
Fun little schmup with a neat twist for a core mechanic: you can take over and pilot any enemy ship. Essentially, I suppose this is just an interesting take on a power-up mechanic, but it does lend a hectic, ever-shifting feel to ant the game. The lives are limited, but the continues seem to be unlimited; this seems to be an odd choice since the waves are so short that it's pretty easy to power through on a few lives (I haven't played through the full game yet, so I may eat those words), but I suppose it makes a difference in score-tracking. There is no save-state--which is true to the genre--so you pretty much have to play it through in one sitting; Given the brevity of the levels, I can't imagine it's very long, though...
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
It's a neat little game with an interesting mechanic that sets it apart. That said, I'd still recommend you stick to the classics like Ikaruga or R-Type. Enemy Mind requires a bit too much precision when firing, and it's kind of maddening that your enemies can turn around to fire while the ships you control can't (well, some of them can, but not enough). That said, I enjoyed it.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
A very fun and unique SHMUP. Taking possession of enemy ships is very fluid and adds a very interesting spin. The controls are tight, the music is okay, the graphics are good enough. It is not very difficult, but there is still potential for high-score competition.

The plot is great and mirrors the possession mechanic. The way in which the plot is revealed is cool and adds to replayability, which is good because it is fairly short. Overall I greatly enjoying playing this game.

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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
Pleasantly difficult without being a bullet hell, Enemy Mind has addictive storytelling delivery coupled with classic side scrolling shooter gameplay plus the perfect little twist to keep everything fresh. If you sleep through bullet hell shooters, this will be too easy to be fun, but anyone else who's tempted should give this a go as soon as possible.

Plus, local multiplayer!
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
Definitely an interesting game. I've always been a fan of shmups and the unique mechanic of taking over enemy ships was what sold me on it initially.

The controls are a mixed bag. If you're more accustomed to 16-bit era shoot-'em-up games, you should be fairly comfortable with them. It's about on par with Super R-Type or Gradius III. If you're used to more modern shmups, however, it may be a problem.

The game itself is fairly short, which is to be expected in this genre. There are 8 levels in all, each with multiple waves of enemies. Each level ends with a boss fight. Some involve fighting a large formation of standard enemies, others involve fighting larger crafts which utilize the ship-swapping ability in different ways. The game can be difficult at times, but considering that you have infinite continues and you continue from the beginning of the last wave you've reached (which is also what happens when you lose a life, oddly enough), it's a little on the easy side. I managed to beat the game in about 3 hours. The replay value for the game stems from the storyline, which varies based on actions you take. So if you don't really care about that kind of thing, it's kind of a wash.

Fortunately, there are also some unlockable extras, like an arcade mode that does away with starting at the beginning of each wave (but eliminates contiunes), a boss rush mode, the original proof-of-concept game and two parodies of other games.

Gamepad support is great. I had absolutely no problems with my 360 pad. Best of all, there's even an option to switch between both analog sticks and the D-Pad to control both the ship in-game and the menu controls.

In summary, if you're looking for an old-school horizontal shooter with some unique mechanics, I'd definitely suggest picking this up. On the other hand, if you're looking for a bullet-hell shmup, this game probably won't offer much.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 17
The concept of the game is really cool and it makes for some very interesting gameplay. The game itself is just long enough to stay interesting, and it has some fantastic boss fights that make great use of its concept. I think I would've liked some more enemy types, but beyond that it's a rock solid game.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-vD2hAkZfw

Enemy Mind is very simple, but in the process allows it to do what it does very well. In most shooters like this you will have unlocks or fields of bullets to escape but in this, you transfer your control into a nother ship to escape a dying ship, to gain more ammo, to get a different attack type, or to move yourself right past the firefight.

The ship switch mechanic actually does make it quite fun if you discover a new ship with a new attack feature. And it forces you to keep switching since most ships only have a small amount of shots. The art and graphics style is spot on for what it's trying to mimic, The sound effects and music are top notch and sound great. It controls beautifully on a 360 Controller, which is recommended by the devs.

I think the normal price of $9.99 might be a bit much, but at the same time this game is honestly fun, actually fun. Sometimes I can't always say for most games.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
Space Shooters/Shoot 'Em Ups will never be my favourite games, partially because i'm just not good playing these kind of games and partially because most space shooters doesn't offer anything new or interesting. With that in mind I still tried this game.

The first thing you'll notice when launching Enemy Mind are the amazing graphics. Ofcourse it's no Unreal 4 Engine but the graphics make you really want to play the game instead of being an eye soar like most space shooters. For the most part Enemy Mind doesn't do very much different but what sets this game apart from the other space shooters is the ability to change/jump to enemy ships so you're able to controll them and use the different weapons. If you're ship is almost controlled or you're ammo is depleted it's best to move to another ship. In my opinion this is a pretty original idea I've never seen before.

Still.. Enemy Mind may look great and may be pretty fun, it's not a game i would spend hours and hours on. But, if you are a Space Shoot 'Em Up lover, I don't think you can go wrong with this one.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 25
Quite good. Brings me back to when I was playing Gradius. Surprisingly complex too!
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
Second Impression (5 hrs in): Something I noticed as I played through this time: I think the narrative changes depending on how you play. I find this to be, on the one hand, fascinating due to the game's simplicity, while, on the other hand, it's incredibly tedious.

See, if the narrative is designed the way that I think it is, then it's almost up to chance on what you'll get. I mean, there's definitely an element of skill to it, but it seems very "hope you know the level design and can plan way ahead."

So that part is a little disappointing. That said, the narrative *is* pretty interesting and it did surprise me when I realzied what exactly was going on. And the story's culmination in the final boss battle was fantastic. It's so simplistic but really rounded out the game in a great way and made it feel complete.

That said, I do have a few other complaints. The last two levels or so seem pretty grueling. There's this part, right before the last boss, that nearly drove me out of my ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ mind. It was harder than the damn final boss. Some bosses are sort of recycled. I say sort of because their difficulty is ramped up. However, thei reappearance in what is basically a "super" form is disappointing and it diminishes the special feelings of the first enconters.

On balance, this game is an interesting take on the side-scrolling shooter. With an engaging story and fun game mechanics that require the player to adjust as they play, Enemy Mind is sure to leave a positive mark on everybody who plays it.

Initial impression (1.4 hrs in): I dig it. Imagine Gradius had a baby with Kirby and you get Enemy Mind. You, as the player, do not control a single, permanent ship. Instead, you hop around from ship to ship, each with a finite amount of health. Once you run out of bullets for a ship, that's it. There's no ammo pickups or anything. You have to literally jump ship and hop into a new one.

Each ship has a different firing mechanism, effectively replacing the traditional "power up" system. So half of the strategy is knowing when's the right time to use particular ships. However, some models clearly stand out from others, and this style of gameplay lends itself to a certain disadvantage on your first runs, as you don't really know what's coming.

In fact, that's primarily where the challenge lies, at least for me. Do I have a ship that's good for the situation? Sometimes I don't and it's not a big deal because I can still concentrate harder and make do. But on a few other occasions I don't and the difficulty escalates much higher because it's simply not a viable choice in the circumstances. This is probably the game's one downside so far: not every ship is viable in every situation. This it what makes particular ships stand out clearly from the rest, because they have versatility in every situation. You'll find yourself looking for those, a la dominant strategy. However, I do not think this detracts from the game's fun all that much.

So far, so good. I look forward to playing more soon.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
An interesting take on a classic retro shooter, even a surprisingly compelling story given how minor a role it is in the game. The only complaint is on some of the very late waves it felt like it was about making sure you were prepared for things you couldn't anticipate, which led to a few unavoidable restarts. Overall though, definitely would recommend.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 7
Enemy Mind is a 2D sidescrolling shooter with a twist: you don't have a ship of your own. Instead, you control other ships, doing as much damage as you can until you're nearly dead, or out of bullets... then, you just jump out into another ship.

Pretty simple, huh? Well, with a decent variety of enemies, it creates some chaotic situations! It also has an interesting way of telling the story, although it's not very accessible for most people (as it requires you noticing it, and then replaying a lot of it).

I'll say right away that I've had a lot of fun with it! I think it's an unique addition to the genre and certainly worth trying out if you like these kind of games.




There's isn't all that much to say about presentation. It's clearly inspired by the older 8/16bit era, but it's a modernized version of it, with cool visual effects. It manages to stand on its own and not relying purely on nostalgia to look appealing.
Every ship is distinguishable, which is needed for the player to know who to control at certain times. One problem I had, at times, is the blending between the bullets and the backgrounds. It didn't happen too often, but I did get killed a few times from bullets I couldn't see.

The music was actually pretty awesome! It's also very modern sounding chiptunes. It packs a punch! Definitely get the soundtrack if you can, it's awesome, and adds to the whole atmosphere of the game.



Now, about the game itself, starting with structure.
You go through 8 levels, each subdivided into several waves. You have several lives, and you can gain more with combos, but once you deplete them all, you only go back to the beginning of the wave, having the chance to keep going from that point onwards with your score reset to 0.
This makes the game forgiving for those who simply want to beat it, leaving the challenge for the score-attack audience, which is a great way of doing things, in my opinion!
With that said, it still has a few challenging waves, and the game doesn't save your progress regarding the waves. You need to beat each level in one sitting (which isn't really a problem, since the levels aren't very long). At the end of each level, you'll see your place on the Leaderboards, with the surrounding players.



In this case, I want to write about story-telling. Not a very common aspect that I take notice of, especially in an arcade game!
But they've done it in an interesting way, so here it is...

The game has 2 races in war, and you can possess ships from both. At the end of each wave, you'll get a short exposition, from the perspective of the race you're in control of. At the end of the level, the same happens, with a longer exposition.
This means that to uncover the whole story of the game, you can't just go head first and shoot everything. It makes you fit the story pieces together, little by little. There are people on the community hub doing this and taking screenshots of the different plot scenes, if you're interested.

While this is a confusing way of doing story (and will leave you with barely anything if you don't make an effort to uncover it), it's understandable. In this genre, the story isn't very important. Most players will care about beating the levels, not the backstory. However, if you're not like that, you have a little extra! Not caring doesn't diminish your enjoying of the game, but caring does certainly enhance it, so it's great!


Finally, let's talk about the mechanics. There's isn't all that much to say about it, really.
As I said before, you can take control of enemy ships, and you can shoot, and move around. That's pretty much it.
Each ship has very limited ammo, so it constantly keeps you switching around. And each type of ship also has diferent movement/speed, and shooting patterns (some shoot all around, some are stationary turrets, some shoot vertically, some are stuck to the edges/ground, etc.).
It's up to the player to evaluate each wave and act accordingly. It's generally not too difficult, with a few exceptions.

The Boss fights were also a good change of pace, although 2 of them were recycled in a slightly harder version. I won't spoil the last Boss, but I'll say that it was a pretty fun fight!

The downside (for some) is that going through the campaign once will probably not take you longer than 3 hours. But, in addition to the campaign (that you can easily replay, trying out different ships, piecing the story together, etc.) they also provide extra modes that you unlock through the campaign. One is an Arcade Mode, one is Boss Rush, once is a Rock Simulator (yes, you control a meteorite), an early prototype of the game, a flappy bird clone, and the Credits sequence (yes, you can shoot the developers!).



So yeah. If you're into this sort of games, you have my whole-hearted recommendation! I really enjoyed playing through it, and there's certainly more content to keep you entertained, aside from the core campaign.
Really cool game, well done!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 8
This has to be the best modern Gradius style bullet hell I have played. It has a story that keeps me wanting to hear what happens next. The newest gameplay element is the ability to swap between the craft your piloting and attacking crafts. This presents the freshest experiences I have played (in bullet hell shooters) in ages. Please do yourself a favor and play this now.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 28
Incredible indie title. Very polished, tight controls, interesting narrative, and some fun little extras. Definitely worth playing.
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