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Bullet: Shoot-Em-Up Puzzle Action Overview

Quick Look:
In Bullet, players take on the role of magical heroines in the distant future who use their powers to protect the world from evil--and each other.

Designer: Joshua Van Langingham
Artist: Collateral Damage Studios
Publisher: Level 99 Games
Year Published: 2020
No. of Players: 1-4
Ages: 13+
Playing Time: 20 min.
Bullet is a fast-paced, real-time puzzle game inspired by over-the-top battles you only see in anime. Each of the eight Heroines has a unique fighting style with different cards, actions, and powers. 


In free-for-all mode, all players have a player board, 7 Action Points, and a deck of patterns that represent the trick shots you know how to do. The player board has unique player powers and actions for each of the eight heroines, as well as a big 5 by 6 grid. Each column on that grid is a different color, and each bullet has a number.

At the beginning of each round, you will fill your bag with a variable number of bullet tokens. You’ll be drawing bullets from your bag and placing them on the matching column in the spot that corresponds to the bullet’s number. If you draw a green three, you place in in the green row on the third open space from the top. If there isn’t an open space for that bullet, it hits you. If you take damage equal to your health, you lose.

Luckily, you’re a magical, bullet-bending anime. You can stop time and move those bullets around. You don’t have to draw all the bullets at once. You draw what you’re comfortable with and spend action points to activate your abilities, shaping bullets into specific patterns so other bullets are deflected to other players. Every round, you get 3-4 pattern cards that show what bullets you need in which spots to remove other bullets from your grid. It’s not, make a triangle with a 3 at the top, and the bullets in the pattern go away. There are other spots on the card that show what spaces are cleared.

The soundtrack is still in the works but will have a bunch of three-minute songs that act as a round timer. There are three of them up on Youtube now.

This is a light game for people who like heavy games. I have a hard time finding filler games that hold my attention. I have a whole bookshelf filled with them, but they are a last resort for when people are trying to duck out of game night early. I look forward to Bullet. It fills a gap in my collection that’s been empty for too long. It’s easy to teach but offers challenging gameplay in a variety of styles. I think they did a great job of balancing tension and fun. If you like solving complex puzzles, head on over to Kickstarter and see what you think. It’s live now and going until June 17. 

About the Author:
Stephen Gulik is a trans-dimensional cockroach, doomsday prophet, author, and editor at sausage-press.com. When he’s not manipulating energy fields to alter the space-time continuum, he’s playing or designing board games. He has four cats and drinks too much coffee.

Bullet: Shoot-Em-Up Puzzle Action Overview Bullet: Shoot-Em-Up Puzzle Action Overview Reviewed by S T Gulik on June 09, 2020 Rating: 5

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