Sold for only $3.99, Blastful is one part twin-stick action and one part vertical scroller. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do either particularly well.

Your ship is small but bullets are even smaller. In fact, the bullets are so small and slow it is difficult to shoot anything and easy to avoid all damage. Stranger yet, there are ammo pick-ups but the player has infinite ammo and the shield power-up only lasts a few worthless seconds. Shooting is also a pain, literally, as the player needs to press the trigger button to shoot. If held down, a slow trickle of bullets will fire but hitting tiny targets with a molasses string of bullets is basically impossible and never fun. Unless you want to give yourself carpal tunnel by button mashing your way through each stage, it is actually easier to just avoid most things on the perimeter of the screen.

Bosses are also a joke. Once you destroy their turrets, they literally just stand still doing nothing, waiting for you to blow it up. Enemies can also appear out of nowhere, literally, can shoot from off screen, and there is no tutorial or button mapping screen in the main menu. For some reason, aiming to bound to 45 degrees unless an option is checked in the menu which is really awkward.

Blastful sounds good on paper, a procedurally generated shooter with twin-stick controls, but falls flat with terrible execution.

Also available on Switch.

SCORE: 4/10

Not As Good As: Solar Striker (original Gameboy)
Play It Instead: Natsuki Chronicles (PS4/Switch/Xbox One)
Wait For It: a patch to make this a little decent

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief
Twitter: @ZackGaz

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