Review – Bullet❤/★

Tabletop Push Your Luck Tetris

Image from iOS (57)


Designer Joshua Van Laningham

Artist Collateral Damage Studios & others

Publisher L99 Games

Category Puzzle game

Length 15-20 minutes

Release Date 2021/2022

Player Count 1-4 (1-8 with multiple packs)

Bullet❤/★ are 2 games in the series from L99 Games that describe themselves as, “Shoot-Em-Up Puzzle Action” games. Players will draw Bullet tokens from a bag, placing them down color-coded rows. How far down you place a token depends on the number on it, and if you have any open slots left in that row. To clear tokens, players must use their Action Points and Patterns to move and manipulate the Bullets into position so that they can be cleared. So is it a fun time, or a puzzle best left unsolved? Read on for the review!

Two heroines from Bullet❤ face off.

Content Guide

All of the characters are heroines drawn in an anime style, but no one is underdressed. Most of the characters are human, but a few are alien, or alien/human hybrids. Bullet★ has a couple characters that are Space Witches, and a sentient AI.



In the designer forward, Bullet❤’s Lead Designer describes the long road to designing his game, and how he found inspiration in “bullet-hell” style video games, where one has to constantly keep moving to avoid being hit from dangers all over the screen (examples include Ikagura, Enter the Gungeon, Just Shapes & Beats). But as I got into the groove of playing Bullet❤/★, it felt much more like Tetris. Each round you’re constantly moving Bullets into position trying to clear as many of them as possible, all while trying to keep your Action Points as high as you can so you can keep clearing more Bullets. It also felt like a press-your-luck game as I tried to decide when to stop pulling out Bullet tokens and start focusing on clearing them. If you pull out a token that you don’t have room for, it goes straight to your character and counts as a hit against your total health. 

The game has several different modes out of the box: Free for All, which pits 2-4 players against each other as they pass their cleared Bullets to each other; Teams, which is a lot like Free for All but with a partner; Score Attack which is the single player mode that tasks you with seeing how many rounds you can survive; and Boss Battle which pits 1-4 heroines against the boss version of another heroine. Each heroine comes with a boss side to their character board, which usually looks more evil or empowered than the non-boss side. 

Each game has a lot of Bullets.

My favorite mode was Score Attack, especially since it made it easier to learn how to play without the timer that comes with the other modes (the rules state you can play without a timer if it’s too much). Also knowing that the rounds would just get harder and harder until I failed was reminiscent of old school arcade games, which just got harder until you lost your last quarter. The nice part is Bullet❤/★ does a good job of being easy to set up and reset after games are over – it will probably take longer for the average player to choose a character than to set up the game. 

If you’re trying to decide which box to get, there isn’t a huge difference between them: both come with 8 heroines, complete with player boards, pattern cards, and backstories. If you get one and really like it, you can even get both and play 5-8 player games if you are so inclined. Personally, I still think playing solo is my favorite way to go, but I like that they included so many different options. 

In the end, Bullet❤/★ manages to do a good job of evoking a feel for its video game inspiration, even if what I felt was more like Tetris than Ikagura. If you’re looking for a quick game to play by yourself or friends, you could do a lot worse than Bullet❤/★. 

Review copies were provided by the publisher. 

The Bottom Line

If battling falling bullets as anime heroines sounds like a good time to you, check out the Bullet series of games.



Andrew Borck

Christian/Husband/Dad/Gamer/Writer/Master Builder. Jesus saves and Han shot first.