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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Multiple heroines and play styles a
  • Great aesthetics and graphics
  • Nice combination of bag-drafting and resource management

Might Not Like

  • Cardboard tokens
  • Some bosses in the game are much harder than others
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Bullet Board Game Review

bullet heart board game

Can you avoid the ever increasing number of bullets being fired at you while re-organizing them into patterns to hit back your adversaries? The fun part is that this is not a classic shoot'em up video game but a great board game published by Level 99 Games. In Bullet Heart, up to 4 players can compete against each other or against the boss to find out who is the strongest.

Playing like one of the 8 heroines included in the game, players will be drawing bullet tokens from a bag and placing them on their boards. The more bullets they place, the higher the chance to be hit and lose one life point. To avoid to lose, players must form patterns of bullets that allow some of them to be shot right back at their adversary or at the boss. If you can dodge all the bullets and manage to hit your opponents before you receive the fatal damage, you win the game.

A Bullet For Your Thoughts - Components

Overall, Bullet Heart components are quite good. Upon opening the box, you will find a few sheets of cardboard tokens to punch, some player sheets, fabrics bags and two decks of cards together with the rulebook and a quick-start sheet.

The main component of the game, the cardboard tokens, are of an overall good quality and they are sturdy enough to be used in the game. I would have expected them to be much thicker considering the bag-building aspects of this game but using some coin capsules can fix the issue and make the drafting better.

On the other hand, the player components are very well done and I very much love them. Each of the character specific sections and the common sheet are nicely designed to give a strong anime/video game vibe. Quotes related to the character and their powers may be overlooked once you start playing but they still add some nice deep to the game.

The boards are also very practical as they list all the information you need to play your character efficiently. These info are not simplified by icons only but in most of the case there is a clear text explaining them. This aspect make getting into the game quite easy and avoid the need to pause the game to look for clarifications.

Last but not least, I think the rulebook deserves a special mention. The first half of it provides clear help to navigate through the main rules and the different game modes quickly and efficiently. Low to medium experienced players could probably get easily into the game after a quick read and without the need of walk-through or additional help. The second part details all the heroines of the game providing some info on their background and gaming strategy. This part is as colourful as the player boards and I think it is a great addition to the game.

What Are You Trying To Tell Me? That I Can Dodge Bullets – Gameplay

The game starts with all players deciding which game mode and which heroine they are going to play. The game allows both competitive and cooperative and up to four players including a solo mode.

All players collect their player boards, a deck of patterns they can use to clear incoming bullets and a bag. Players will draw bullet tokens from the bag every round and place them into their board. In the first round, all players will have 10 tokens to draft/place but every round after the first they will need to add to their personal bag an increasing number of bullets plus any bullet the opponent on their right (or the boss) has removed from their board.

The colour and number on the bullet drafted determine where it should be placed on the player board. Any bullet already placed will block some of the available spaces forcing any new bullet to move down the board. Once a bullet is placed after the last available space, the player will take one damage and if they run our of life points they will lose. This waterfall effect nicely represents the Bullet Hell mechanics as the more bullets a player places, the closer the new bullets will get to the bottom of the board. The overall effect is to create a progressive tension as the game proceeds with a possibility for a player to suddenly lose overwhelmed by the amount of incoming bullets.

Luckily, if any group of bullets on the board matches any of the patterns in a player hand (usually 3), some of them could be sent to an opponent. Interestingly, one key aspect to understand is that no bullet can not be discarded. As the game progresses, the total amount of bullets in play will constantly increase making more and more difficult adding them to your board without taking damage,

In addition to the patterns, each character has also a few action points (AP) they can use each turn to manipulate the bullet tokens. Moving bullets can either help in fulfilling a pattern or preventing an area to be too crowded but AP can also be used to draw new patterns. This element of resource management is quite nice and it adds a bit of extra challenge and fun to the game.

A Bullet Too Far– Final Thoughts

Playing Bullet Heart definitely feels like a cowboy-styled shoot' em up game between multiple adversaries. The game fully succeeds in bringing out the same level of tension and suspense of a shoot 'em up video game by cleverly using bag building and resource management mechanics.

Every round players need to decide quickly if they want to push their luck drafting a new bullet or if they want to use their AP to manipulate some and clear some patterns. This risk-taking decision is one of the aspects I like the most in the game. The game is not just planning the perfect strategy and line up all the needed bullets for your patterns, but decide at every draft “should I draw a bullet, should clean a pattern?” or “Should I move this bullet or should I draw a new one hoping it will go where I need it?” Timing in this game is key and the pressure builds up very quickly.

Another side I love of this game is the overall look of it and how each character is unique. Every character not only has a distinct identity and clear background but they play very differently. Not only this helps with re-playability but it also creates a learning curve as some heroine are easier to master than others (and both are clearly identified with an icon). On the other hand, it is not immediately clear how powerful the bosses but overall this provides some interesting challenge.

The only real negative aspect of this game are the card tokens. They are definitely too thin for a bag drafting game and I wish they have made them thicker. Don't get me wrong, the game can still be played nicely but I think the tokens have not been though through properly.

That concludes our thoughts on Bullet Heart. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy Bullet Heart today click here!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Multiple heroines and play styles a
  • Great aesthetics and graphics
  • Nice combination of bag-drafting and resource management

Might not like

  • Cardboard tokens
  • Some bosses in the game are much harder than others

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