After choosing from a handful of different Valkyries that act as different starting gear, players action their way through seven procedurally generated levels to end with a gauntlet of final bosses and enemies. Each level has several variations that can be applied randomly, as well as a Boss at the end with a similar selection of variations that change their behavior, movement sets, damage, etc. During a race, players build an Arsenal of weapons, skills and equipment while improving the statistics of donations to statues scattered throughout the levels. Everything is quite normal for a villain.
Where BPM is different lies in its rhythm-based mechanics. Each level has a metal track that accompanies and dictates the rhythm that the player must obey. By a HUD element that collapses at any moment in the direction of the Player’s crosshair and marks the smacks and smacks out of the music, players must match all their actions with it. Most weapons can only fire at pace or pace, while players can only run at pace and use other skills. Even reloading requires a series of well-timed touches to complete the several steps of each reload.
This injection of rhythmic mechanics turns out to be a fresh wind. The extra layer of keeping an eye on the smack on the DOOM arenas and the tight dance required of the entrances add a thick layer of difficulty levels and newly required skills, making it very rewarding to learn and become familiar with it. To facilitate this, there are settings to balance the learning curve. Not only is there a simple and difficult setting for each race, but players can also set how lenient or strict the pace adjustment restrictions are, and even go so far as to have the game automatically adjust their entries to the pace, although this disables the point multiplier they create for consecutive and well-timed entries.
And the score is the main feature that favors several games. While playing through to discover everything that is available to the player is quite rewarding in itself, BPM wants to be a happy place for high-score pursuers. As the score constantly loses points as the player navigates through the levels, the focus is on building the multiplier, a high skill limit and a variety of ways to go through the levels with different constructions. High scores, fast completion times, races with strict restrictions are on the field, and there is a lot of potential for an engaged community here, especially if future updates are in stock.
Where BPM is not-found in the layers above the basic gaming experience. True, BPM can be added by updates after launch, but suffers the most from the lack of history and the lack of statistical information. Apart from the brief description that says that the player is trying to prevent monsters from escaping the underworld and invading Asgard, there is nothing as far as any world or Story. This basic description is also absent from the game and can only be found in Marketing.
The lack of meaningful statistical tracking also leaves a noticeably large hole in the BPM, especially when it seems so determined to target those who want to play it repeatedly to surpass their previous records. A simple statistics page in the main menu displaying various information about the best races, a player’s overall performance and other tracked information would help repeated races through the game feel a little more fruitful, since there is nothing more to unlock once all the Valkyries have been obtained. It would be more than possible to add an update after launch, but it is painfully missed here at launch.
BPM: BULLETS PER MINUTE does remarkably well what it has undertaken, especially with the limited resources that its small development team undoubtedly had. Although it may not be for everyone and there are some parts not-found that would greatly enrich the experience, BPM will serve a very specific audience exceptionally well. I’m offering a new way to play with a very rewarding learning curve and a skill limit above the clouds and I just hope it finds the audience who appreciate it as much as it deserves.