Happy Valentine’s Day. For this special occasion I decided to review a game that has love as the main theme. Released by Mount Punch in 2003 Ruri Shot is a simple single screen shooter. Filled with flying hearts, cute girls and colorful visuals it’s a great game to try out today.
You play as Ruri, the sister of the guy on the left rooftop and your goal is to assist the girl on the right rooftop by directing the red hearts she sends to that boy. Hearts by themselves float directly to the boy, but the problem is that every girl in school is after the poor guy (Tohno gland anyone?).
Every girl sends out her own blue hearts, which you must stop from reaching the boy. This is done by firing your water gun at the flying hearts, girls and objects while at the same time dodging everything. If a red heart touches the guy it fills up the love meter, but if a blue one reaches him it depletes that meter.
There are quite a bit of buttons you will use in the game. A and D keys are for moving left and right, W is for jumping, while S is for dodge. The mouse is used for aiming and firing. The left button is used to fire pink bullets and the right button is used to fire blue bullets. The middle mouse button is used to charge and unleash a gust of wind which will float the hearts in that direction and flip the skirts of nearby girls, stunning them for a short period of time.
Red bullets increase the size of the heart they hit, while blue bullets freeze the heart making it fall to the ground. The bigger a red heart is when it touches the guy the more the love meter fills up, but be warned over-inflating a heart will make it pop.
You have a limited amount of ammo, so if you are not careful you may miss a chance to stop a blue heart from reaching its target. To refill ammo all you need to do is stand in front of the fountain in the center of the screen.
To make things more complicated, you also have to keep an eye out for your HP. Not only is the screen cluttered up with hearts which float in erratic patterns, requiring perfect timing to hit the correct heart, but you also have to dodge incoming objects flying in from all directions.
Each hit not only stuns you and throws you off to another location, but depletes your HP. If your HP drops to zero, it’s game over. There are no continues, so you have to start from the beginning once you die.
As for the objects that come flying, they range from books, computers, volley balls, ice cream, to even the falling hearts you froze. Falling frozen hearts take multiple shots to destroy while other objects are indestructible so you have to make them bounce off your shots or get out of their way.
A better way of stopping flying objects is to shoot the enemy girls before they make a heart or throw anything at you. You will get HP boosts from time to time. Your HP transfers over to the next level so you have to make sure complete the stage as quickly and as cautiously as possible.
The game requires an absurd level of multitasking, making StarCraft 2 seem like a turn based RPG. It’s very easy to get so caught up with timing your shot because two different hearts overlap, that you are hit, thrown in the corner of the screen and miss your shot.
I can’t count the number of times I dodged everything, shot every heart correctly and then got hit by a falling frozen heart. Other times well planned shots don’t hit their target because of an object that can flying across the screen.
Visually the game looks great. Characters are nicely drawn, frozen hearts crack on impact, objects bounce around and girls hold down their skirts during a gust of wind. Unfortunately the game lacks in level variety. The level does transition from day to evening to night but it’s still the same level over and over again.
Ruri Shot is a cute little game. It’s fun to play and is pretty interesting. Unfortunately there isn’t much level variety and the game tends to get too hectic at times, so it might not be for everyone.
If you are interested you can grab the demo here which features only the first stage of the game, or you can get the full game here.
You can also visit the Mount Punch web-site and take a look at some of their other games.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!