Bleed is a 2D dual stick shooting platformer with an interesting mechanic that slows down time for a brief moment. You play as Wryn, who can jump wryth the left thumb stick, shoot in any direction with the wryght thumbstick, change between two wrypeans, slow time with the left rigger and jump with the wryght trigger. When she jumps, she can aim jump two or three more times in mid air. So you can jump to the left, then aim her to launch herself right, while shooting left, then air jump up all without hitting the ground. She can even jump off walls, but it seems more like a visual aide than a mechanic. The game has a fast pace. There are speedy bullets, bosses and hazards raining down, the slow time mechanic becomes an easy way to deal with it all.
Wryn is out to become the #1 hero! So she’s got a hit list to kill all the other heroes and work her way to the top of the list! By top I mean bottom! The #1 hero gets revealed at the bottom of the list. These heroes are all bosses. After each death she’ll comment things like, “Don’t worry its just a game, I’ll be back in a sec,” “Do you have an older brother that can play this part, maybe?” Bleed hits you over the head that its a game, such as hoping you can achieve your dreams for helping her achieve hers.
You go through the game unlocking all seven levels to play. Each level has a completely different theme. A dark mansion, an underground cavern, inside of a dragon and so on. Different levels have different elements, such as getting trapped in a giant apple and forced to get through the top to the bottom of the screen before the apple drops to the next screen. Others like having to evade sensors or time jumps to avoid lasers that warm up and fire. The bosses are giant and diverse. Everything from bosses that split when shot, to a girl with a giant pink kitten car to mechanical orbs that shield themselves. The bosses are where most of the lives get lost. You need to make use of the slow time to survive and drain their health meters. Every boss has a wide array of attacks. The patterns seem random, which is great. Every level has more than one boss and I can tell a lot of work went into them.
There is a good variety of enemies. They change from level to level and fit the theme of each level without being reskins. Cats hopping around, soldiers that ride trains and get hit by tunnels, worms that burro then leap to shoot at you. The levels are fun and there are frequent checkpoints each time you leave an area. Its a nice quick game without much challenge. Its the dual stick, and dual triggers that make it tough at first. It gets a lot easier.
When you select a level, you chose one of four difficulties, so you can always go back and play harder difficulties. Between the levels, you can visit the store to buy extra weapons. The default dual pistols are good enough and killing everything with a quick stream of bullets. The default rocket launcher does more damage, but has a slower shooting speed. There is also a revolver, homing missiles, a flame thrower and a short range shotgun to buy. While you only need two weapons if not just one, you can pause the game to equip 2 others. Why equip them when the two bumpers work well enough?
Bleed isn’t a one hit death game. You have plenty of energy, but there is no way to get more energy. Your slow time bar will regenerate over time depending on the character. Both can even get upgraded in the store, as well as the regeneration speed.
With all that said, the game is an hour long at least on normal (medium) difficulty. There are extras like arcade mode, that is more like a YOLO where you only get once life and need to complete the game from start to finish. I always thought an arcade would give you three lives. You can unlock different characters to play as. Finally there’s a boss attack challenge mode that can put three bosses on your screen at once. Its all just extra fluff. $5 is the right price for it.
Judging from the fan art, there are people that love this game or its protagonist. Looking at the lack of accomplished achievements, means there are a lot of others that don’t.