BulleTrain .22 in Review – The Last Train To Nowhere

I love shooting gallery games, and the prospect of one that takes place on a moving train seemed like a cool no-brainer.  Conceptually it is, and I think this game was on its way to being ‘one of the IT crowd”.  Unfortunately the devil’s in the details, as they say, and BulleTrain .22′s details are a bit shaky.  What might have been evolutionary features for this sort of game instead end up hindering the game play, and the overall experience just doesn’t feel right.

The plot summary of BulleTrain actually kind of mimics the current state of affairs in the United States.  Corporate greed leads to job loss and ultimately an employee going “postal”.  Of course that employee is you, and it’s time to set the Fat Cats straight.  To do this you must take down the BulleTrain in your truck / sleeping quarters that you’ve converted into a makeshift armory.  You’ll travel along the side of the train, shooting everything in sight until you’ve completed your tasks for each section of the train.  Then you’ll move on to the next section and so on ad nauseam until you’ve defeated the train or it has defeated you.

To start off with, the menu items are almost impossible to find unless you know what you’re looking for.  Why the secrecy?  Once I got into playing it actually took me 2 or 3 games before I figured out how you knew what your objectives were.  A simple dialog at the beginning stating “to see your objectives, look HERE” would have been quite nice.  To save you the pain I’ll let you know that how many of what you have to shoot is listed along the top right side of the screen.

Knowing what to hit and being able to hit it are two different beasts, however.  Throw accuracy out the window and just keep plugging away until you see lots of skulls and your requirements go down.  Between the jostling of the train, the fact that your targets often drift out of scope, and the further fact that things get way to small when the train zooms out, it’s pretty hard to hit the intended targets.  Once you’ve completed a section the damsel in distress will jump to the next section and the mayhem starts all over again.

Sadly, your “supped up” truck comes stock with a simple gun that requires a tap for every bullet fired.  You can occasionally get a power up that lets you tap and drag to fire like a machine gun, but that’s it.  The game needs more of a variety of power ups.  You can also shoot food to regain health, but that’s about it aside from all the bad guys.  The game is OpenFeint enabled with 17 different achievements, but I don’t think I could stomach the game long enough to get them all.  The last game I played took so long that I got bored with it while I was playing it.

The visuals are decent for the most part.  The train looks good, and the characters aren’t too shabby, though they don’t appear to have any faces.  The problem is that most of the time the characters are either too far away or too close to appreciate.  The background looks okay except for on the objects that are heavily blurred to simulate the speed of the train.  It’s actually more of an eyesore than a cool effect.

The sound effects are mostly comprised of an insane number of gunshots and a bunch of robot gunslingers that sound like girls when they get shot.  Ironically, the one girl in the game sounds like a guy pretending to do a girl’s voice when she speaks.  The music is okay, but it’s pretty typical Western fare and doesn’t do much to stand out.

Ultimately BulleTrain is the little engine that could’ve been.  There are some decent concepts within the game, but the train provides too much of a sense of motion, the targets a crazy hard to hit even on easy mode, and once you do start to get the hang of it the fact that the game is just one long train gets boring after a while.  I like where they were going, I just wish they would have gotten closer to the goal.

App Summary
Title: BulleTrain .22Developer: Downsized Games Inc.
Reviewed Ver:1.02Min OS Req:3.2
Price:$1.99App Size:Size: 16.4 MB
  • Some decent concepts
  • Visuals are pretty good
  • Constant train motion gets annoying
  • Shooting is very inaccurate
  • Game gets boring quickly
  • Sound is blah

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