Solos gets a bit existential for a budget, single player shoot-’em up. What if you were your own worst enemy? What if the bullets you had to face in life were all your own?
Alright, it’s not that deep. But it does make for an interesting premise. Solos is a top-down shooter in the same vein as arcade-classic Asteroids, but instead of there being any enemies, it’s just you. Your aim is to destroy all the coloured blocks in an arena, but any bullet you fire bounces off said blocks, creating ricochets that you have to avoid. You are creating your own bullet hell, and you have to survive.
It’s a simple but intriguing little premise. Do you fire only a few bullets, putting yourself at less risk, but threatening you with death-by-time-limit? Or do you fill the screen with your bullets and rely on your natural reflexes to emerge at the end unscathed? There are lots of these pocket strategies and decisions, making Solos a fascinating beast.
There’s over 100 levels here, so you will have plenty of content and time to make a decision about whether Solos works. We are fully expecting to be rubbish in this one, swinging like a pendulum between overdoing the bullets and tiptoeing around the arena.
Less attractive are the graphics. Solos is extremely minimal, which is helpful when the screen is filling up with bullets, but it isn’t all that great to look at. That said, the exercise-book aesthetic, with ruled lines and sketched blocks at least feels like a coherent theme.
Return for a review of this one soon, to see if the ‘you are your own worst enemy’ mechanic works, or just makes Solos frustrating. We’re well on board.
Solos is out now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC. It starts at £8.39 from the Xbox Store.
Solos is an action-puzzle game with over 100 levels. The goal of the game is to shoot all the bad blocks without hitting yourself in the process. It’s a twin-stick create your own bullet hell.