Games of the Year

Astral Gunners

Astral Gunners Screenshot 1
Astral Gunners Screenshot 2
Astral Gunners Screenshot 3
Astral Gunners Screenshot 4
Astral Gunners Screenshot 5
Get ready to push your skills to the limit against an endless sea of bullets and evil robots in Astral Gunners. Choose from five different gunners to master in this horizontal shooter. With the ability to dodge, reflect, delete, and convert bullets you are more powerful than you might believe.

  • 5 Playable Characters: Each with four different abilities including 2 shooting abilities, 1 defensive ability, and a powerful special ability.
  • 5 Levels: Battle fearsome bosses, slightly less fearsome mini-bosses, survive high speed chase scenes, and save friendly gunners from danger. Each level offers something unique!
  • Achievement-based Progression: Unlock additional characters, continues, power-ups, skins, and difficulties as you complete achievements.
  • Equip Power-ups: Astral Gunners stays true to the arcade spirit of shmups, and everything can be beaten on your first run if you're skilled enough. However, at the mere cost of being on a separate online leaderboard you can equip power-ups unlocked throughout play that give you a boost to your power along with some creative control.
  • Hidden Bonus Levels: Find hidden collectibles for the opportunity to challenge secret bosses and boost your score!
  • Intense Scoring Gameplay: Convert enemy bullets into a score multiplier, defeat enemies quickly to spawn bonus waves, and utilize System Overload to harvest medallions from enemies to maximize your score!
  • Choose Your Own Path: Decide the order you play through levels. Save your allies from peril and see how they change the course of your journey.
  • 4 Difficulty Modes: Regardless of your skill level, an appropriate challenge awaits!
  • Local 2 Player: Bring a friend along for the ride, and discover synergies between the various gunners. (A controller is required for 2 player)
  • Online Leaderboards: Filter by character and difficulty. Regardless of how you like to play, there's a leaderboard for you to climb!
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Absolutely fantastic game! Great gameplay, cool art style, amazing soundtrack. At first, pure survival is fun due to the enemy variety and different ways the bullets are used for different types of attacks. Each level looks, sounds, and plays very differently. A few hours in, though, the scoring system really starts to pop. "System Overload" in particular is a mechanic that gets you playing over and over to try to optimize your Special usage and maximize your score. On top of that, there are 5 playable characters and multiple difficulty levels, so even though a single run is pretty short, there is a TON of replay value. As a beginner to shmups, I can say this game is very accessible, and seeing the craziness of the higher difficulties and hidden bosses, I can only imagine this game will also satisfy the real Bullet Hellions.
TL;DR: There were many more projectiles than I was expecting. Would recommend.

Review from Steam

Solid hori with influences from Mega Man and sentai. Characters are sets of classic shmup weapons, all different so you can try a variety of playstyles. Bullet patterns are pleasant to navigate and fun to try to work out which ones to wipe out for the most multiplier. And can't forget highly polished comic/cartoon art and bangin' rock soundtrack. Worth taking the plunge even if you're wary of "Early Access".

Review from Steam

After playing the game for the first time on stream i loved it, The music is pronominal, the unique characters are very interesting and support all types of players, the level design is great and i love the background for each one.
i only stumbled upon 2 bugs throughout the main game and the training mode,
-First one was when i had beaten the first stage and went to the second one there was no audio a all including sound effects. I made sure it wasent just on my end and it was the game but just a simple restart of the game fixed the issue.
-Second bug was when i was messing around in the training mode it had suddenly stopped responding to any of my inputs and the game crashed.
All bugs were on stream and i can give you the exact timestamp if you would like to investigate on what happened from my perspective. A twitter dm would be the easiest way to get a hold of me if you need to, @KulozoR6

Review from Steam

This game is an amazing piece of work! From music I would listen to outside of the game to the beautiful design, it makes the gameplay even better! A good amount of playability with the different characters and levels and playing Local co-op with a friend is super fun using different ability combos to overcome the variety of bosses! 10/10 game and I look forward to seeing more from the developers in the future!

Review from Steam

Astral Gunners is a great little SHMUP.
This game was fun and easy to get into even on easy mode. You can earn additional continues by clearing certain levels and earning achievements which makes taking on the harder difficulties or learning new characters more forgiving. The different characters are fun to mess around with and offer a lot of different abilities that make it fun to play through the game multiple times. Add in a great soundtrack and some polished art work and it's a great little package.
I'm excited to see what the full release will look like.

Review from Steam

This game sent big Cuphead vibes down my spine. I've neglected my marital life to spend endless hours staying up past 3am till further dig my heel into the global leaderboards. It's replayability is potent enough to be a crime.
It is also worth noting that Castle Gunner is daddy.

Review from Steam

NOTE: I received a copy of the game as a gift from a friend, but not from the devs themselves.
This is a fun shooter with an interesting formula. The game gives you access to different heroes to fight with, and each has their own unique shots and specials. The standard and focus shot are here, and act as you'd expect if you've ever played a Cave shooter. But the real meat of your attacks is in the form of your charge shot, specials and dodge abilities. The standard shot is almost never the weapon to pick unless you're blasting popcorn enemies, in which case it's a good choice to declutter the screen. The focus shot is, as you might expect, useful for tight weaves through the bullet curtains. Basic stuff, but felt tuned about right.
Charge attacks always come with either a cool-down or a charge-up, and typically deal far more damage than your regular shot. They're useful for killing key enemies and absolutely invaluable for boss encounters. Each character is a bit different in how the charge shot works, but you'll usually have to either wait for it to recharge on its own, or charge it up by holding down the button. Some heroes will enter focus mode when charging, so keep that in mind.
Killing enemies will give you pickups that charge a special meter. This is effectively your bomb stock, as each special is designed specifically for soaking up bullets. They almost always have a large area of effect, and convert bullets into bonus multipliers. There is a special mode that engages when you reach the maximum multiplier, and I'm not exactly sure what happens during that phase, but your meter will reset after it is finished, so when you reach the peak multiplier, be sure to kill a bunch of stuff to get those sweet, sweet points while you can.
My only gripe with the special system is that long boss encounters can give you no way to recharge your special. This makes boss fights pretty formulaic from a strategy standpoint, usually involving a "wait for boss to charge gigantic and obvious bullet attack" and then launching special, and then finishing the rest with charge shots. It might be fun to charge slowly by grazing in focus mode, for example, or having popcorn enemies spawn in to get more orbs during a long boss encounter.
Finally, there is a dodge attack, which is basically like a mini-bomb stock, which recharges over time. As far as I can tell, there is no clear visual indicator when your hero is ready to dodge, but if he is you can phase through a small number of bullets with about 1 second of i-frames, deflecting those bullets away and damaging enemies a little bit if those bullets hit. It's useful for getting out of a tight pinch, but you can't use it wantonly. You will still have to plan your way through bigger patterns, and it's entirely possible to dodge one clump of bullets, only to realize you've just boxed yourself into a death trap.
Difficulty ramp seems OK thus far, but if you've played any amount of Cave shmups you will want to play on Hard mode. For the most part, attacks are clearly signaled and generally fair, although there are some non-boss enemies that will surprise you with insanely fast attacks, like those annoying super-starfish-things on the water level. Learn which enemies can gank you, and kill them first.
My only complaint with this game is that the art style seems to be a bit scatter-shot. The design of the heroes and enemies can clash pretty strongly with the more lushly designed scenery. You'll never miss the neon bullets though, and overall the graphics do a pretty good job of being readable during heavy action. The heavy metal soundtrack seemingly inspired by Machinae Supremacy is quite good too.
Overall, a pretty fun game, and I hope they continue to polish it up over time.

Age Verification
To be able to see content under adult tag.