‘Bullet-hell fusion’ shoot-em up Grand Brix Shooter out this month

Seoul-based developer and publisher Intragames has announced a “bullet-hell fusion” shoot-em up called Grand Brix Shooter, which is due for release on Switch and PC later this month.

The trailer shows all the hallmarks of a bullet-hell game: complex mazes of bullets that require precision and strategy to navigate safely, huge bosses, lots of flashing lights, and a pumping soundtrack. But Grand Brix Shooter also puts its own twist on the formula with its “Fusion system”, whereby you can combine with other aircraft that appear at random to alter your own ship’s weapons.

This adds an element of luck to Grand Brix Shooter. I must admit, I’m always a bit suspicious of random elements in something built so heavily around precision and trial-and-error as a shoot-’em-up, but the Fusion system doesn’t look like it reduces the whole game to a series of dice rolls. Rather, it looks like mastery will come from controlling the odds: being able to recognise the random aircraft before fusing with them, knowing what their effect will be, and deciding on the fly if you think the fusion will help for whatever’s ahead.

Additionally, changing aircraft at the right time can help you to “survive the waves of bullets”—in the trailer, you can see a brief bullet-negating effect when the player fuses with another ship. A well-timed fusion will no doubt be a key factor in getting through Grand Brix Shooter alive.

Other features include “secret units with massive power”, a Challenge Mode that “lets you compete with friends for high scores”, and online leaderboards. It’s coming to Switch and PC in late August 2019.

Matthew Codd

Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.