Bullet Soul

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Bullet Soul Game Poster Image
Throwback space-shooter lacks depth, variety, fun factor.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Presumably on mission to save world, but nothing actually stated, all about action. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nothing positive, negative about pilots, because nothing really known about them -- you take down incoming attackers, attempt to survive.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn.

Violence

Lots of fantasy violence with enemies exploding as they're hit with ship weapons, but little debris left behind; no blood, gore shown.

Sex

Some female characters have tight, revealing clothing.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bullet Soul is a downloadable arcade action shooter known as a shmup (shoot-'em-up). The action depends on reflexes and is very fast-paced with fantasy violence that features explosions but no gore or blood. Some female characters are shown to have tight, revealing clothing. There's no additional offensive content.

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What's it about?

BULLET SOUL is a vertical 2D shoot-and-dodge old-school arcade game, with fast-paced action from one end of the scrolling environment to the other. There are three ships to start and a fourth that's eventually unlocked. Each ship has its own style of weaponry, although it all amounts to the same thing: blowing things up. There are bonuses and power-ups to build multipliers that increase the score. In many ways, the point of the game is all about the score, which can be kept on your system or posted to online leaderboards.

Is it any good?

Dodge, shoot, dodge, and shoot some more -- this action game is simple and effective but lacking reason and depth. Bullet Soul is an arcade shoot-'em-up that's frenzied and colorful, but it's essentially a wash/rinse/repeat formula, even though the background changes. The weaponry really doesn't matter since the mechanics ride the same rail from one end of a gaming stage to the other. While the game has some allure initially, and the challenge to improve your score is persistent, the problem is the lack of variety. The background flashes past your vehicle, providing little more than a tableau of color as a background for explosions and robotic enemies sliding down from the top of the screen. It's difficult to like the game beyond 10 minutes, although it can bring back fond memories of dropping coins into a arcade machine at the local hangout. And to its credit, the graphics are serviceable. But apart from it's nostalgia, which isn't priced that well for the action, you shouldn't expect a lot of depth to pull you back time and again. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the violence in Bullet Soul acceptable because it's clearly unrealistic, or is it a problem because you're shooting at targets and avoiding bullets as well?

  • Talk about arcade game and the skills needed to play them. Can you apply these skills to the real world? For instance, can the quick reflexes necessary for success in this game be used for activities like sports?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love action

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