Video Game Reviews

Review: Gunlocked


Developer & Publisher: FromLefCourt

Release: Dec 6th, 2022

Playtime as of writing: 26.6 hours (Code provided)



The Steam page describes Gunlocked as “A twin stick shooter without the twin stick”. You play as a spaceship and that spaceship autofires it’s weapons and all you do is move around. Gunlocked belongs to a subgenre of “Bullet Hell” games referred to as “Bullet Heaven” which is a much better name then it originally had “Survivor-like” because it was like Vampire Survivor. Wikipedia says it’s called Bullet Heaven because it’s the opposite of Bullet Hell. It’s the opposite because instead of dodging bullets you PRODUCE the bullets! It’s like vertical Gradius.



In Gunlocked you automatically scroll vertically and and destroy the evil aliens. Aliens drop gems and as you collect gems you level up and can choose between 3 weapons or utilities to equip or upgrade to make it easier to kill aliens. The stage is broken up into 3 sections, with each section containing 5 minutes of scrolling followed by a boss fight. On the third section if you have a maximum leveled weapon and the correct utility it is possible to combine them. With each section being set to 5 minutes, including the time it takes for boss fights a round lasts about 20 minutes. As you play you unlock achievements, and with achievements you unlock new piolets and augmentations. Augmentations can be equipped before the stage during piolet selection. Piolets start with their own weapon and a unique augmentation. You also unlock trials which can be used to make the game harder.

The art style and sound design are fine, pixel art space shooter is one of the oldest video game concepts so I don’t see how you can innovate on it much. The color of your ship matches the color of the alien ships so things can be lost in the shuffle at times but it’s possible to change the color of your ship so it’s not a big enough deal to have an issue with but it is worth mentioning. My first playthrough didn’t even have sound because I didn’t realize you’re supposed to turn it on on the main menu.



This review has been hard to write, because every time I go to write it I decide to play a bit more. Then I realized that I had not taken any footage of the game for screenshots so I needed to play more while pretending it was my first run to make it look authentic. I like bullet heaven games and I think Gunlocked might be the one that I’m currently obsessed with. I like to play them until I get all the achievements even though I don’t normally try and 100% a game.



If you’re burnt out with with Vampire Survivors, Brotato, or 20 Minutes Till Dawn but are looking for another bullet heaven game to sink 100 hours in to give Gunlocked a try.




Gradius Survivor

It's like vertical Gradius, or Galaga if you could move around the screen.

Art Style:

Anthony spends most of his time thinking about games. When not playing games, writing about games, or thinking about games he can be found hunting pokemon in the wilds of downtown Clermont.If you like the words I write, maybe consider supporting me on Patreon?

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