Isbarah is one of those games in which ‘bullet hell’ applies. I’ve never played games within this style. I’ve played some hellish shooters, but a game which prides itself on the enemy’s ability to shoot a lot faster than you ever can. However this game adds more difficulty. One of the benefits of shooters is that you can normally fire back at your opponents. However Isbarah gives you one ability. Dodge.
So what is Isbarah? Isbarah is a bullet hell platformer in which you play the daughter of God called Iria who is tasked with banishing the monsters of the human imagination back into the abyss. Simple enough right? Yet despite being referred to as God’s ‘sword and shield’ you have no attacking ability, and must dash around the map avoiding attacks.
So how do you fight enemies with no attacks? With railguns of course!
Fighting dilutes into running around the map dodging attacks and activating railguns. Once you activate all these your enemy will be pissed and you must, I kid you not, stand in a circle dodging attacks. Once this is done, the enemy is stunned and you have a chance to do some damage to them. Repeat as necessary. Enemies don’t have incredible amounts of health and fights don’t last long.
That is the general summation of the game. I can tell you some random facts about the game. It’s a side scrolling game; it has cartoon graphics; it looks like it was made in flash. While there are some extras to the game which flesh it out such as a secret backstory that is sort of everything.
And this is my only issue with the game. There is nothing inherently wrong with the game. It plays smoothly, although I doubt the FPS counter when it says I’m getting over 600 frames; it has a fair decent set of graphical options and a good deal of unlockables. But that’s it. There isn’t that much flesh upon the game. While sometimes you will find that the railguns fly so far away you can never reach them, there are also no inherent bugs in here. In summation, there is just not much.
Now if this were on Newgrounds or on for a couple of quid on steam I would feel a lot less worried about the game’s size. But this is on steam for, at the time of checking, £10.59. That is a lot for something which could have been produced on flash. I feel a bit cheated.
This leaves me 400 words into a review and the game is so decidedly short I have nothing else to talk about. Apart from the fact this game is damn good fun.
In the era of replicated shooters and ‘tech demo’ games pouring the same reskinned skank into the gaming pool, a large portion of gaming is bollocks. EA and Activision spit out a reskinned shooter every year for £60 which gives 12 year old’s a platform to insult me with the safety of being out of my arm’s reach; game’s overhype themselves only to drop flat on their face; and games come out so buggy, broken and poorly done that if it were human I’d end its misery. A rather fitting moment happened which brought this to my attention recently while playing Thief on PS4. I reached a section of the game which was the only way through (I checked this online) but would not let me drop and continue. Three reloads later I am giving up. Bear in mind Thief has been out since February 2014.
Yet here we have a game which doesn’t seem regurgitated, something new which stands out from the crowd of shooters. Few games do this for me nowadays. Few games do something that feels so new. While I admit that the ‘odds stacked against you’ method has been done by games such as Dark Souls in a side scrolling game it has been done so little.
So while it is a tiny bit expensive for a shorter than average game, you do get a wonderful, unique experience. It will infuriate, it will challenge you and you will love it for the fact it is like nothing else you’ve ever played.
If it wasn’t so expensive, I would recommend this wholeheartedly. However the shorter length and the expense do mean I will not rep this game as much as I could. This game gets a 4.0 score. Fans of Dark Souls and Bullet Hell games will adore this.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.