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Some of the best games ever made are often the most simple to understand. With two whole buttons to control a projectile's destructive and murderous path, Deadly Bullet [Free] is one such game. It's incredible that it's not only engaging, but it's also free, and completely devoid of IAPs.

In short, you're a bullet, with the ability to turn left or right to change your trajectory. If you've ever played one of the original Grand Theft Auto games (specifically, the ones in the '90s), you're familiar with the top-down camera angle, and the style will be very familiar to fans of NES era games. All you have to do is press on one side of the screen to turn the bullet in a certain direction. While the scheme does work most of the time (you get used to it), specific sensitivity settings would be appreciated.

Deadly Bullet doesn't really place an emphasis on story, so don't expect much out of that department. The year is 2026, and a dystopian style backdrop is forefront, along with a multi-billion dollar evil corporation pulling the strings. A resistance group called "The Deadly Bullets" is not having any of it, and will stop at nothing to take it down. But that doesn't really explain why a goofy neon bullet is able to fly around at will, so I like to think of it as a Who Framed Roger Rabbit cartoon with a mind of its own -- and given the generic setup, it's probably for the best.

But none of that matters if gameplay is your huckleberry, as Deadly Bullet delivers in spades. As you make your way across the city taking out enemies, you'll have the ability to explore and look for crates, unlock power-ups, and rank up. Everything you do in story mode helps you gain extra ranks, which in turn unlock bullet upgrades, new levels, and more. Should you want more after you've got everything unlocked, you can go for the score attack mode. It's extremely addicting, and again, there are no IAPs in sight -- everything you unlock is done old school.

Deadly Bullet 1

The style is decidedly Hotline Miami in nature, with tons of neon pink and blue dominating both the UI and the actual in-game visuals. But despite the heavy nod, Deadly Bullet is still very much its own project, with enough to differentiate itself. The same goes for the musical score and sound effects, which have enough of their own flair to stand out, while remaining deliciously retro.

With a ton of gameplay, a distinct visual style, and a price tag of zero dollars, Deadly Bullet is an easy recommendation. It's a great way to spend an afternoon, and you'll get lost in the endless quest to unlock more content and top your high score.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Davidegamer14

    With its music and art style it kinda reminds me of hotline miami.

    • dariusjr98

      It said that in the review...

  • tpianca

    Curious by the game, but also to understand how the developer makes money. Ads, maybe?

    • Based Xatu

      No ads, either.

    • metalcasket

      He doesn't. If you follow the game's thread in the forums, you'll see that the developer makes games as a learning experience, to better himself as a developer. There are absolutely no ads or IAPs in ANY of the games he's released so far.

    • MonkeyChunks

      Probably wants to establish themselves/himself as able creator of a good game. To get more people to discover his game he is giving it for free to get the deserved publicity. Maybe in the future they an to release a paid expansion, a sequel, or different game which they hope people will purchase.

  • Based Xatu

    This is a great arcade game, just wish the developer would get some form of compensation. But, from my understanding, he's using the games he makes to practice for bigger projects.

  • Elmo Rabisto

    Tried it, but cannot seem to be able to control the bullet... iPad 2 here with iOS 6.

    • Lazer Kat

      The controls take a bit of getting used to. Stick to it, you'll be killing baddies, slicing through power-ups, and destroying crates in 5 minutes.

      • Elmo Rabisto

        It's pretty weird, if the controls should work... I've played games for over 20 years now, and this is about the 2nd game where I cannot control the main character even though they controls should work? Whoa...

      • Lazer Kat

        For me the controls went from feeling really horrible to perfect in about 5-10 minutes

  • Lazer Kat

    I adore this game.
    It's in my short list for GOTY-2013.
    There's one BIG negative, in my opinion.

    The way the gameplay is balanced, you actually get worse scpres the longer you play and the better you get.

    I kept wondering why I never got past the third or forth level anymore after I was at level 40 or so...I reset it and immediately started getting two or three times farther.

    It isn't fun to level up, get much better at the game, but then do worse.

    Anyway, still one of my favorite game sof the year.

  • dancj

    Ooh - this takes me back to Fat Worm Blows a Sparky in the ZX Spectrum.

  • rco

    Oh, let me translate:

    "While the scheme does work most of the time (you get used to it), specific sensitivity settings would be appreciated."

    In plain English,

    "The controls are apocalyptically bad."

Deadly Bullet Reviewed by Chris Carter on . Rating: 4