Bartlow’s Dread Machine from Beep Games exists in a world where an old-fashioned pub game makes a reappearance. The game mixes bullet-hell mechanics with an old-timey aesthetic that helps drive how the game plays. Beep Games recently brought the game into early access on PC before its September release. Give some of the early gameplay a look in the footage below.
As you can see, Bartlow’s Dread Machine begins with an all-time weird narrative. President Roosevelt has been kidnapped by Anachro-Satanists and its your job to go save him. Along the way, you’ll fight against hordes of otherworldly baddies who have taken over the FBI. It’s bonkers and, if the final game continues to up the ante, this one could be special.
Outside of the story, the team at Beep Games has done an excellent job of mixing gameplay and art style. By making the entire thing feel like a real-world pub game, they’ve enhanced what they do in the bullet hell genre. You can’t just move around the environment willy-nilly. Your character is on a track, so you’ll need to carefully plan out how you attack each fight.
These moments culminate in some spectacular set-pieces. From auto-scrolling fright to gigantic boss fights, Bartlow’s Dread Machine has plenty of tricks up its sleeve. The one concern here is that they might run out of new things to do in the full release. Hopefully, Beep Game can keep players guessing throughout the entire run time.
Bartlow’s Dread Machine is available now in early access on PC via Steam. The game will launch on PC and Xbox One this September.
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