Don’t Judge a Video Game by Its Cover

When I go into a book store, and I don’t have anything specific I’m looking for, I pick up books with the following thoughts in mind: “That’s a cool title, let me check it out” or “I really like that cover.”  This method… it works for me.  I’ve only ever bought one book that I couldn’t get through, and that was Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs.  So by majority rules, DEFINITELY judge a book by its cover.

WHAT do books have to do with video games?

In this post, the connection is the way I choose them.  I was surfing through Steam one day.  I happened across this screenshot,


and the caption said the game is completely hand drawn in a ballpoint pen.  I HAD TO SEE IT.

I didn’t know what to expect.  The preview video showed sketches, and it showed colors, and it showed a side-scrolling shooter.  I was hooked.  I didn’t care to look up reviews to see if the game is playable.. in fact, I’ve been known to rock the socks off really crappy games or gaming conditions (I’m playing with a 4 year old integrated graphics card.. ‘nuf said).  So I bought the game.  This game is known as Ballpoint Universe Infinite.

Is the game as prettyful as the screenshot made me believe?  YES.  The game is literally hand drawn in ballpoint pen.  The only part of the game that is questionable hand drawn is the background… but that could have been easily painted.  I played only a minute of the game before I started talking non-stop about it to my Steam friends.



So the story is basically this:  rational drawings like squares and triangles, known as The Logicians, are trying to come in and destroy irrational drawings (which remind me of surrealistic art).  The main character is obviously the hero of the irrational drawings.  This character is thrown into the space force, and the main levels are side-scrolling shooter missions.  When you aren’t in a level, then you are exploring the world laid out before you so you can fully appreciate the time and effort the creators put into the game.

However, the game isn’t all colors and happy drawings.  While exploring, the controls are horrible.  I’ve been using a mouse.  If you move the mouse a little to the right or left, the characters starts instantly moving in that direction.  This makes standing still almost impossible.  The pause button is in the top right corner of the screen, so you have to be in a position where moving to the right is okay in order to pause the game.  This also makes the jumping (which is necessary for parts of the exploration) quite horrible.  If you make a jump perfectly, but move the mouse a little to readjust your arm… well, you go off a cliff or platform… i.e. you fall to your doom… over and over and over and over and and and.. this is quite frustrating.  And one of the reasons this game takes longer than a day to play.  You can easily fix this issue by using a remote control.  But I personally found a controller makes the shooter levels harder… also because of controlling the main character.

I still haven’t completed the game.  I have this problem… that if I’m going to play a game this easy, I’ve got to 100% it.  So I’m just waiting on certain bugs to be fixed… before I beat the last boss.

Other than these… tiny *sarcasm*… issues,


the game is super fun.  Here’s a decent enough review on the game:  The reviewer did a good job relating how I feel about the game in more depth and video game jargon.