Well this one sure came out of left field. My owning this game is the result of just another "vote=key", and prior to getting the email announcing its release and my free copy, I had completely forgotten about it. Thank goodness I took the time to install and sample its gameplay, because this is one greenlight title that is very much worthy of actually being on Steam.
Sweezy Gunner is a bullet hell shooter, but unlike your typical shmup, this game lacks any sort of automatic scrolling screen or rage inducing bullet patterns with extremely specific safe zones. Rather, it's a free roaming top-down adventure, full of collectible abilities and purchasable upgrades.
As you move through the varying zones, enemies become tougher, and where you might once have only contended with a slow moving, delayed single-shot spewing hellspawn, new areas introduce enemies more than willing to litter the screen with little red doom pellets. Luckily, as the enemies grow in strength, ferocity, and number, so too do you earn the upgrades necessary to contend with them. The majority are simple; speed, strength, bullet velocity are the most common, along with basic health and defense upgrades. But the greatest benefit to your arsenal comes from dropped weapon types from the enemies you annihilate, like bullets that swirl around you as you move, rapid and wide shot, explosive shot, etc. Once you learn to juggle avoiding bullets and weaving your way in and out to nab pickups, the screen can quickly become an indiscernible mess of marbles of all colors wizzing across the screen in a rainbow of death and chaos. But don't worry, the price of death is a mere reset back to the beginning of whatever area you're in and a small loss of earned funds.
The game is broken up into two main parts, the first being the overworld, where you will spend at least half of your time getting from point A to point B. The overworld contains several themes, depending on your location, as well as varying types and difficulties of enemies. The second major part are the dungeons: contained levels with their own specific themes, often with the express goal of finding an exit and reaching a new part of the overworld. I won't spoil the steps you'll have to take to escape these dungeons, but i will recommend that you take the opportunity to use healing machines whenever you find one.
The many upgrades you can buy come in several forms. You can purchase them from the shops that pop up, both in the overworld and the dungeons, but these will only increase as you collect special coins that unlock more upgrades as you progress. The other sort of upgrade comes from special cards dropped by enemies, requiring you to kill a certain number of them before being able to buy the upgrade the card holds. Lastly, there are special secret cards that can only be found by exploring every inch of the map, and while these can be devilishly difficult to find, the benefits speak for themselves.
In the end, Sweezy Gunner was an excellent surprise, its only real limits are likely caused by the program used to create it. Even if you're not a fan of typical bullet hell games and their no holds barred difficulty, I would recommend you give this one a shot; you will undoubtedly enjoy your time with it, and the difficulty is right on the money with a casual, albeit frenetic experience that anyone can enjoy.