The brain is a metronome, although there’s no guarantee of accuracy. Put something with a steady rhythm in the background and it doesn’t take long for whatever action you’re performing to try to line itself up to the beat. Whether that be the drip-drip-drip of a faucet or a killer bass line depends on the audio input, but the brain wants to play with the rhythm. BPM: Bullets Per Minute is an action-roguelike FPS where the tempo controls the action, both the player’s and enemies’, and the trick is to learn to fire to the beat.
There’s some kind of plot about a valkyrie fighting back the forces of the underworld, but the important part is that you’ve got a gun with an aiming reticle that keeps time to the music. Shoot on the beat for the best effect, but there is a little forgiveness unless you completely fall off the timing. Movement is freeform, standard FPS fare, but running starts out as a very quick dash that also wants to sync up to the music. This would be a problem if the enemies weren’t also attacking in time, but so long as everything happens to the beat it all works out. That doesn’t make it easy, of course, but at least it’s fair.
As the valkyrie works her way through the dungeon, moving from one pre-built but randomized room to the next in standard action-roguelike fashion, she runs across a nice selection of powers and upgrades. The library grants a super ability, the blacksmith has weapons for trade, and the shopkeeper-bird sells health. Additionally, enemies may drop coins that can be used at the different shrines that pop up semi-regularly, enhancing a stat such as damage, speed, precision, etc. Clearing out a room also earns a treasure-chest reward, and if you manage to take no damage and not fall off the beat it gets a nice upgrade. With a little luck you might even find a key, which can be used to unlock gold chests with a random perk inside or locked doors to special rooms. Keys are rare so frequently require a choice in their usage, but odds are good there’s no really wrong outcome. A few battles and a little luck and pretty soon the valkyrie starts getting nicely powerful, right up until getting decimated.
BPM: Bullets Per Minute launched today with a killer video to show off. Admitted, it’s going to take a good amount of practice to get as strong as the player shown in the trailer but it’s nice to have something to chase after.