What if those doodles you drew while bored in class didn't stay tethered to the page?
Ballpoint Universe: Infinite is a hybrid platformer and shoot ‘em up with an artistic twist -- nearly all of the art is composed of ballpoint pen on paper. The stylized nature gives the game a sharp and unique look, which combines fanciful mechanical and organic designs, but the gameplay is familiar.
The flying portion of the game plays like a typical vertical shoot ‘em up and has elements of more traditional games in the genre as well as some more bullet hell-style segments. A wide variety of enemies -- all sketched in pen -- attack in waves. Each area ends in a boss battle whereby you must destroy red-indicated sections to take down the nemesis.
Ballpoint Universe sports an impressive number of customizable weapons, shields, and other ship parts. In particular, the different weapons have a wide variety of characteristics, which lend themselves to different play styles. There are plenty of projectile-based weaponry, but there’s also at least one sword-based weapon, which has a short range, but high payback. These ship parts can be bought and upgraded at the store between stages and are purchased from cash collected in the game. Additionally, a larger attack can be built up and unleashed.
The platform portions have you running around as a goofy bird-like character, solving puzzles along the way. These areas aren't as fast-paced, but the artwork really shines.
The title is already available on Steam, and as is the situation with many indie games, Nintendo approached Arachnid Games and asked them to bring it to Wii U. It’s no surprise; the surreal look of somebody’s notebook doodles come to life and depth of the weapon system warrant checking out.