Bullet hell shooter Shinorubi launches as an Early Access title on the 20th of January 2022. Thanks to IGM, I’ve been able to try Shinorubi out for myself and can confirm that it’s an incredibly addictive shoot ’em up that should be very appealing to old school fans of arcade-style vertically scrolling shooters.

Shinorubi is packed with vibrant colours, impressively screen-filling pyrotechnics and a huge variety of enemies. Impressively, there’s a wealth of game modes to choose from to, which adds variety, challenge and a huge amount of replayability to the game.

The game looks and sounds – with its rock guitar-based soundtrack in full flow – as if it was dragged kicking, screaming and shooting from a dimly lit, late ’90s arcade, which is just about the highest level of praise I can heap upon it. It’s packed with a great understanding of what made classic bullet hell shooters so addictive – even when they can often be frustratingly challenging at times, which just adds to the appeal of ‘gitting gud’ for players who like that sort of thing. Though you get 99 credits, there is of course a 1 credit challenge if you’re either a total masochist or someone who honed – and retained – their mad skills in the arcades of the 80s and 90s.

Opening with a recommendation to start your first game on Super Easy and advice on getting your controls set up to comfortably access your shot, laser and bombs (you’ll need them!), you’re soon dropped into your first game after choosing one of several well designed pilots. Each has different stats that’ll come in useful depending on your playstyle (do you opt for speed over power? Shot coverage over all else?), but regardless of who you choose to proceed with, you’ll have an absolute blast.

The only complaint I have is that projectiles can sometimes be a little too similarly coloured to some of the power ups and general bonus pick ups, all of which come hurtling down the screen at quite a rapid pace. In the heat of the moment, it’s all too easy to mistake a shot for a collectible – though admittedly, this could be my colour blindness that’s causing me issues. After a few tries, the shapes and animation of the types of projectile/collectible item do feel distinct enough to reduce that confusion – which does help to alleviate that issue.

If you’re a bullet hell shooter fan, this game seems almost tailor made for you. It even has a Pink Pig mode, as you can see above. Yep, pigs. Just look at them filling the screen! The rule with the pigs is: don’t miss any. Good luck with that, pilot!

Despite my lack of ability with these types of game, I still found Shinorubi to be an incredibly addictive experience. The audiovisual feedback is just right – even if some of the on-screen debris could do with being a little more distinct – and it’s clearly been made by a team who clearly have a lot of passion for classic bullet hell shooters, not to mention a lot of knowledge about what makes them work so well. Shinorubi is an excellent game for players looking to scratch that bullet hell itch – and it’s well worth checking out.

Shinorubi launches on Early Access via Steam on the 20th of January. You can add it to your Steam Wish List here. The gameplay trailer is below:

Many thanks to Yohann at IGM for providing me with a code to check out Shinorubi for preview/review purposes.

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