Isbarah is a cross-genre of bullet hell and platformer style, it's a hardcore 2d game and each level is a duel boss fight. Players will need to fully understand the boss patterns. It’s built on smartly managing your powers and to use them wisely to survive - everything in our game involves dodging and making smart movements.
User reviews:
Positive (38 reviews) - 92% of the 38 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 25, 2015

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About This Game

Isbarah is a cross-genre of bullet hell and platformer style, it's a hardcore 2d game and each level is a duel boss fight.

In Isbarah, you have the standard platformer game controls and bosses will fight like in bullet hell games.

To survive, we have added three abilities to the gameplay:

  • Slow Motion : Will enable a time slow down in order to give the player time to analyze the situation around them and to make a wise move.
  • Dash : This ability allows you to make fast moves to any direction with perfect precision.
  • The Barrier : you can use it as a shield or a platform, whether to protect yourself or to help you climb higher.

Players will need to fully understand the boss patterns. It’s built on smartly managing your powers and using them wisely to survive - everything in our game involves dodging and making smart movements.

  • 90 unlockable contents
  • 3 difficulty modes
  • 18 epic fights

Live through the story of Isbarah with short comic strips in each level.

The Story

Playing Isbarah, you will be following Iria's journey through her lineage.
Iria is a goddess and in order to prevent this world from falling into chaos, her father rules it with an iron fist - and Iria is his only weapon and shield; he uses her to harshly punish anyone that bends the law, and there is no mercy granted.

Isbarah is bound to the imaginary world that all humans fantasize of - encapsulating all their dreams and nightmares into.
Every single thought made by human beings contributes to the shape and size of this world, creating an ever-changing universe full of creatures and landscapes.
These creatures are called The Designed; they all have different shapes and their behaviour depends on the people who have created them.

Alongside these creatures, live also the Designless.
These creatures are only concepts, they haven't been fully created by humans.
These Designless creatures are desperate to evolve and become full designs, therefore, they are constantly infecting other full designs to become more powerful and eventually takeover their shapes.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1
    • Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT or equivalent
    • Storage: 3500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible Audio
    • Additional Notes: Minimum Resolution: 1280 x 720
    • OS: Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1
    • Processor: 3.3 GHz Intel Core i5 or equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT or equivalent
    • Storage: 3500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible Audio
    • Additional Notes: Minimum Resolution: 1280 x 720
    • OS: MAC OS X 10.8 or higher
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB AMD Radeon HD 4850, NVidia GeForce 640 or Intel HD 4000
    • Storage: 3500 MB available space
    • OS: MAC OS X 10.8 or higher
    • Processor: 2.8 GHz Intel Core i5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB NVidia 750 (or better)
    • Storage: 3500 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or later
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.1+, GLSL 1.2+, 256 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 3500 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS or later
    • Processor: 2.8 GHz Intel Core i5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT or equivalent
    • Storage: 3500 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Positive (38 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
76 of 116 people (66%) found this review helpful
17 people found this review funny
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 25, 2015
Once upon a time games where challenging...
Once upon a time games required skill to complete...
Once upon a time you could feel proud of your accomplishments in games...
That time has long passed... we live in the era of copy/paste shooters, re-skinned sequels, DLC, the era of movies trying to be games. We don't care about new mechanics and originality, about the challenge of a brand new obstacle... we care about how many pixels does it have, how shinny is it and how many lady parts can be seen.

Isbarah stands proudly in defiance of this bitter-sad trend. Why you ask ? Let's get into it.

What we have here is a unique blend of platformer with bullet hell and a smudge of shoot 'em up. Every single level is a old-school style boss fight, these fights will test your reflexes, speed, coordination and problem solving skills. You do not have checkpoints, what you do have is the right to mess-up once, once that "continue" is used you better not fail or you will have to start the level from scratch! The game does not forgive you and it does not hold your hand. You get all the info you need on how to play the game at the first level and from there on outward you are on your own!
Feel free to select what difficulty you feel good with but my suggestion would be to start on normal until you get a feel for the game, after that push yourself and see what you can achieve!

Graphics ? The game just screams old school but with the advantages of modern technology. Sure... it is not everybody's cup of tea, for me they are a pleasant reminder of how games used to be. Overall the art style is just amazing but then again art is a subjective matter, so take a look at the screenshots and decide if you like what you see.

Sound ? Strong rhythms that flow perfectly with the pace of the game, it does not break the feeling and it does not stab you in the face screaming "HEY LISTEN TO ME!!!". It blends perfectly into the overall feeling and it keeps your heart pumping.

Now, i know a lot of you might be thinking "why no controller support?" well... there is a good reason for that. The way the mechanics are thought-out it would be impossible to do such precise and quick movements with a analog stick, thus enters a superior input device to do the job, the mouse! The mouse is used to trace platforms/barriers and to dash. Depending on the situation these must be done very quickly and at very precise angles and lengths.

I can go on and on about Isbarah and why it represents the true spirit of gaming, but i rambled on enough.
If you consider yourself a real gamer then you must face Isbarah and conquer it! Don't want a challenge ? Just want a leisure pace platformer you can unwind to and relax ? You are not going to find it here.
From me this is a wholehearted recommendation!

For a clearer view on Isbarah you can watch my first impressions video on it (1080p 60fps) :
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20 of 26 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 6, 2015
A danmaku platform game where instead of shooting the aim is to dodge bullets and try to survive. The goal is to fill meters before yet again more dodging, until you trigger a final spellcard in a traditional touhou style. Smooth controls and platforming while also being difficult yet rewarding, is what sets this game appart from the crowd not for the faint of heart!

Game Detail
Name: Isbarah
Gameplay Style: Platformer, Danmaku
Personal Score: Infuriatingly Fun

What is Isbarah?
Isbarah is one of those many games where the term danmaku shooter or bullethell shooter should apply in which player dodge hellish amount of bullets and return fire with their own bullets as swarms of enemies, bosses and special bosses line up for a shot [at the player].

However, Isbarah removed the countless mooks, the player shooting and instead of top down shooter we get a platformer instead which should means devastation upon the game but what they have put in place is enough to make up for it and i argue even differentiate it from the others in the saturated market. But does it play as well as it should? Read on.

Remove the shooting, the buildup before the bosses and the mocks, what do you end up with? A brilliant little game where the aim is no longer about how many power-ups you collect nor how many mooks you kill but instead you ended up with a clean fuss free game where the boss is your one and only enemy [save for some unkillable backup that shoots bullet occasionally] locked into an arena. Each boss has a set of 3 railgun that the player must dash towards to activate before remaining within in its area of influence to charge it up before it knocks off 1 shield bar from a total of 3.

Once all 3 railgun are activated and the shields are gone, the boss power up and now the player must stay alive within a small part of the arena as a magic circle is being slowly charge. Once completed the boss are weaken and player have a limited window of time to dash towards the boss to receive a hefty point bonus and a restore a lost life or should their life be full they will receive an unstackable shield instead. Failure to do so will trigger the auto attack and no bonuses are awarded.

Easy enough to say but much harder to perform these feats requires to defeat the bosses as they will quite literally spew out rains of bullets towards you requiring you to dodge them should you lost one of your 3 lifes.

Good news is the controls are smooth and tight, this coupled with the 3 powers you are given makes the boss manageable rather than impossible with each defeat[s] serve to hone your skill in preparation for the next battle.

The powers are slow, platform and dash. Dash is the most important as it allows you to escape bullet filled situation and is what allows you to attack the boss after the final spell and activate the railgun needed to bring them down to the final spell stage. Slow basically slowing down time allowing more time to aim the dash or to simply perform tight maneuver in between the bullets. Platform is basically that, allows you to place to place a platform to reach high grounds or its more important function, to be use as a shield blocking bullets from everything. All of these powers have a cooldown time with Dash being the fastest to recharge, platform the second and slow the slowest but it does has the highest reserve.

Each boss you fight often has a gimmick to each of them which affects their bullet pattern somehow, teleporting sudden bullets, fiery bullets and such.

And lastly the game has 3 bosses in one chapter with increasing difficulty as you go further before finally facing the final boss who is very hard compare to the first. Next chapter 1st act, the first boss is as hard as the 3rd final boss before that.

Also your hitbox is a tiny little circle, so long as nothing hits it you're safe.

Nothing much to say here other than the guitar rift really gets the blood pumping, Especially during the boss power up sequence it switch to a more dramatic version of their songs.

Although you wont be able to appreciate the song much being barrage by bullets and all.

Like all danmaku games graphics should be good but not intrusive and Isbarah nails it down very well, bosses and environmental items uses bright colours while background and non essential are relegated to muted colours.

However while everything sprite is pretty the bosses seems to lack some animation frames which results in stilted movement akin to wooden puppets, but it doesnt really affects the game so oh well.

Isbarah, very difficult and very frustrating but at the end of the road is the satisfaction of earning lots of points from pounding out that boss is really satisfying. Do beware the difficulty ramps up quickly though as Danmaku shooter should.

and lastly....
Do use normal mode if its too hard.

1.0 released
1.1 fixed words
1.2 brendon scolded me and fixed stuff

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22 of 32 people (69%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 25, 2015
Isbarah is a truly unique game with excellent graphics and audio.
It's great if you are looking for a challenge but it's most likely too difficult for a casual gamers
Check out my full review here
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
68.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 27, 2015
Well I guess after over fifty hours of this game, I'm qualified to write a review.
[Spoiler for french readers : Ca tue, les contrôles sont au poil, la durée de vie dantesque et les combats plus épiques les uns que les autres, en bref : mangez-en !]

It's a very original mix between two genres which can seem very weird but in the end it works very well. The gameplay may need a few hours to be fully able to play with all the abilities to control perfectly your character. The game is very progressive in the beginning to let you accustom yourself to the dash/slow-time/barrier making but to truly use them all and switching at the right time between each to get the best of the different cooldowns you'll need a bit more time !

It's a easy to play/hard to master gameplay and it'll allow you to keep improving yourself and elaborate new techniques even after lots of hours.

That's the gameplay but how is the game ?
Boss fight, boss fight, boss fight !
18 bosses, 3 difficulties and even 3 challenges to boost your score when you've mastered a boss.
You can fight bosses you've beaten a long time before but in a harder difficulty or add one or two challenges to change your mind from a boss you can't beat.
Each boss is very unique and you'll have to thoroughly analyze its patterns to find the best way to counterattack by using your powers. At this time, there are still one or two patterns that I can't really understand and where I'm almost always hit.

If you like platformer gameplay, hard but highly rewarding games, fights for survival or playing until you get the top score, this is perfect for you !
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 9, 2015
On a list of things I didn't know I wanted, Isbarah would no doubt be at the top. I love bullet hell games that require you to focus and memorize patterns, and this takes that idea and completely reimagines it. Everything about the game feels polished, and all of the visuals look crisp, clean, and sharp. In the spirit of bullet hell games it keeps you constantly in the action, with only brief periods of downtime between fights for a comicbook-styled storyline. As far as the flow of the game, it feels very much like Touhou. Most of your game time is spent in a fight, and in the event of a game over it only takes a few seconds to be right back into it.

The game has really tight and responsive controls. I've yet to have an issue with them, or a single instance of the controls being the cause of a death. On top of the normal dodging mechanics you'd expect from a game like this you are also given three abilities. The ability dash, which quickly sends you in a a straight line for a short distance. The ability to create a platform, which halts incoming bullets for its duration and can also be stood on. Lastly, the ability to slow time, which slows yourself and all bullets, which is useful for dashing through really tight spots, or placing a platform in the perfect position. Even with these at your disposal each fight still presents an impressive, yet fair, challenge.

The only thing that has been a downside to me with this game is that the railguns sometimes have a habit of floating away from you into nigh impossible to follow places. Not always a problem, and even when it is it usually just requires patience, but can be a little annoying when you have one left to activate and it just seems to flee to the most inconvenient spot it can. Again though, even when that happens it's still a matter of just playing it right and knowing where to go. Beating a stage is very satisfying, and clearing a spell without taking a hit even moreso. I very much recommend the game to anyone looking for something out of the ordinary, as well as anyone looking for a good challenge that doesn't feel cheap or unfair.
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 26, 2015
An awesome platform game that will make you beg for mercy! It is ideal to play this great game with a mouse and keyboard. It just won't work right with a gamepad. The graphics and art style in the game is amazing and is rich in color and artwork. The gameplay is really challenging, you have to be quick on your feet and play out your moves against each boss fight. The fights can get intense but you should be able to beat each one once you figure out the rhythm of each boss.

They call this bullet hell because it is, you will be bombarded with bullets coming at you in all directions. Its totally rewarding to beat a boss at the end of a level.

I highly recommend this game to any bullet hell lover and platformer nut.
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8 of 13 people (62%) found this review helpful
15.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 25, 2015
What a unique game, Isbarah is certainly a fantastic piece of work.

A very important aspect of Isbarah is the difficulty. It's tough. Tough that there are achievements that mock you for dying multiple times in a row to the same boss. The difficulty is a lot like Dark Souls where you may need to face a boss multiple times to learn its move sets before beating it, so you will die a lot. But it's a very enjoyable difficulty, you will want to keep trying until you win!

The mechanics in this game are really neat. You have the ability to slow time which will allow you to dodge projectiles more easy, you can dash to maneuver around the stages and you can create platforms/walls to stand on and or block most projectiles with. You will need manage your resources for each of these tools well to be able to beat a stage.

Some of the boss mechanics are really fun as well. Such as areas you can move through that cause projectiles and your character to move through twice as fast, and vice versa.. or gusts of wind that push you in the direction they're moving.

The games graphic style is really nice to look at. Between each stage the story is told in a comic strip style, and the backgrounds to all of the stages are well animated and detailed.

The story is fairly decent so far (halfway through it) so I will edit this as I finish the game. Though a few parts of the dialogue in the game caused me to cringe because it was so corny, and the pacing sometimes felt a little odd as well; Such as teleporting to a new area in one frame because 'something' happened.

The music in the game is very good. It really fits the style of the game and makes you feel like you are in an epic battle.

Overall this game is extremely fun, and I seriously recommend it to anyone who loves the Bullet Hell / Shoot 'Em Up genre. Plus the price is very resonable for the amount of detail and work that was put into this game.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy the game if you pick it up!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 9, 2015
I wish this game was more widely known. I'm currently having an absolute blast playing through this and I love the challenge it provides. The mechanics are precise and feel amazing to play.

Usually I don't really care much about artstyle, but this one seems to hit a sweet spot where it definitely deserves to be mentioned for being absolutely gorgeous
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 26, 2015
The joy of succesfully dodging an army's worth of bullets combined with the pleasure of fluent platforming controls.
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9 of 16 people (56%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
80.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 26, 2015
At first I was like; wut, Tutorial, easy.
Then it was the actual bossfight; easy.

I decided to go straight for 7th hell (hardest difficulty), game seemed easy enough.

But when the 2nd bossfight started I was like wut...
Then his enrage made me go WUUUUUUT
Eventually, killed the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥, turned out quite easy!

Third boss however: WHAT!?
Easy game
Would recommend

On a more serious note:

+ Music. The music in this game is just awesome. Simply awesome. While the game itself is already at a high pace, the music will make the game even more intense. Jumping around, dashing, while amazing guitar solos play in the background, what could be better!?
+ Mechanics and controlls. I was confused at first... mouse and keyboards for a platformer!? But it all makes sense. The dashing click and drag mechanic is something I have basically never seen in a 'platformer'. It's just amazing how well it works. Together with the time slowing mechanics, the dash possibly allows some EPIC plays! Apart from that, the controlls are simple, easy to learn, easy to change and make sense.
+ Bosses. Unique bosses with unique abilties makes you spend a lot of time trying to figure each one out. Learn the patterns, get used to how to dodge those. Some of those could take hours! (For example, 3rd enrage Walter on 7th Hell is pretty hard!).
+ Graphics. Not much to say; I merely like the graphics. They're simple, yet effective. The way the bullets are drawn makes this game look like a real bullet hell.
+ Gametime. I personally played this game for about 12 hours as I write the review. I started on 7th Hell and got stuck at Walter, continued on Hard. When I reached Bolgur I decided to try Walter some more on 7th hell. I eventually killed him! However, to make my point. I've already had 12 hours of gametime and I only killed 6 bosses on Hard and 4 on 7th Hell. 21 Bosses or so I heard, so lots of gametime left!
+ Normal difficulty. Played 2 bosses on this mode, for me it's been insanely easy (even though I heard even normal gets harder later on), but I can imagine some people new to platforming will find this challenging. I believe this normal difficulty is perfectly well made for the less-experienced platformers.

- I found one glitch so far; when you alt tab from windowed mode, your sound often disappears and you have to alt tab again in order to get it back.

Mechanics: 9/10
Music: 9/10
Graphics: 9/10
Boss Design: 10/10

GAME RATING by Kep: 9.25/10.

Note, I'm a variety gamer who prefers rage platformers and bullet hell games - my rating related to the actual game (not music/graphics, basically) might be biased!
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Recently Posted
Sir Chirpival
3.9 hrs
Posted: April 28
I think I almost had a heart attack after I beat a level one day.

10/10 had lasers
would die again
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.2 hrs
Posted: February 21
I could google "super mario flash games" and get a better game for free.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.9 hrs
Posted: October 8, 2015
This game is full of challenging, but very interesting.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.5 hrs
Posted: March 23, 2015
If you love arcade games, the kind that's all about boss fight, like Alien Soldier (megadrive/genesis), Sin and Punishement SotS (wii), or Hard Corps : Uprising (XBLA, PSN), then Isbarah is a great title to add to your collection.

Gameplay-wise, it's a perfect 10, and the presentation is nice too.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Paradise Decay
1.0 hrs
Posted: March 6, 2015
Isbarah is a unique 'ground-breaking new style of game that I've never experienced before and its rather exhilarating.
It's a cross-genre of bullet hell and platformer style, it's a hardcore 2d game and each level is a duel boss fight. In Isbarah, you have the standard platformer game controls and bosses will fight like in bullet hell games. To survive, you have 3 abilities to learn. Players will need to fully understand the boss patterns. It’s built on smartly managing your powers and using them wisely to survive - everything in our game involves dodging and making smart movements. - Highly Recommended!
Helpful? Yes No Funny