Conserve that ammo. You'll need it.
The download scene isn't exactly lacking in retro shooters to get all wistful about, but it's tough finding one to champion. If it's not just a tired re-issue (hello Xevious! I didn't see you there!), then it's probably such a slavish rehash. Thankfully EnjoyUp's 99Bullets is one of the few to buck this sorry trend.
As the title helpfully implies, you have just 99 bullets per level to wipe out your opponents, so being frugal with your arsenal is all-important. To balance up the resource management, you have the advantage of being able to fire in four directions, but the temptation to fire at will is usually too ingrained at first to be anything but profligate.
But with a little perseverance, you start to learn the formations, and begin to improve your performance with every passing attempt. Success comes from meeting the rigid points target, with bonuses awarded from getting to the end of the level alive.
Doing so is no mean feat (even on easy), but the more invested you become in the ebb and flow of the pyrotechnics, the more inclined you are to return to do better next time.
At first, it seems like an imposition to have to start the Arcade mode from scratch every time, so mollycoddled we've become in our gaming habits. But such is its quickfire structure and moreish appeal that petty gripes fall by the wayside and concerted practice kicks in. The fact that 99Bullets is comfortably the most entertaining game in this week's crop ought to give you a clue to how impressive it really is.
Used under license from Eurogamer.
What's Hot: New take on the shooter formula with much strategy involved, addictive.
What's Not: Simple graphics.