Overview – developed by Inlet Pipe Productions and published by Eastasiasoft, Shuttlecock H is a unique Bullet Hell action title, with the defining difference being that the player cannot fight back. Take on the challenges of difficult attack patterns to unlock spicy images featuring three distinct female characters, all fully voiced in Japanese. This title is available exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, with a link to the game at the bottom of this review.
Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank Eastasiasoft for providing the copy of Shuttlecock H that was used for this piece. The provision of this title has not influenced the contents of this review, all thoughts and opinions contained within are my own.
Mature Content Disclaimer: this title is intended for mature audiences, due to the inclusion of sexual content including Nudity and sexual dialogue. If this content makes you uncomfortable or you are under that age rating for this release, the please proceed at your own discretion.
Now with the introductions out of the way, let’s get into the review. I will be skipping the story segment as there is no plot for this release, instead going directly into the gameplay section of this release.
Gameplay – this is a title with a very simple premise, survive the stage and collect hearts. When booting up the game, the player will have the choice of two girls that they can persue. These are a student and a nurse, with a third choice being unlocked when requirements have been met. The objective of each stage is to collect up to 30 hearts, while dodging the barrage of bullets that are fired at you in the arena.
During the stages, the player must move around the arena and dodge the attacks that come their way. The hearts will appear in different points on screen, with the player needing to move to them to pick them up before they disappear, with combo bonuses for getting 5 at once. There is a boost mechanic that can draw these hearts to the player ship, but this is limited with a fairly long recharge when it has been used up.
However, if the player is hit by an enemy attack, the hearts that are on screen will disappear and not come back. If the player is hit by a bullet three times, they will get a game over and need to start the stage over from the beginning. When all of the hearts have appeared (and possibly disappeared), the stage will be cleared if the player is still alive. The hearts collected during the stage will be added to a total, with the next stage opening up if the quotas have been met.
As the stages progress in this game, the companion that the player has chosen will start to lose items of clothing, with their appearance becoming more risqué. There are also adult scenes where the female companion is in an explicit situation, with the breasts exposed and genitals censored. The images that are unlocked will be added to the gallery for players to view, with new images being added as they are seen in the game.
The game itself is based mostly on trial and error, with a lot of patterns that need to be memorized in order to succeed, making for a very difficult experience. This can cause significant frustration as the ship movement is a little uncooperative, as it can feel like the ship can have some issues with movement during complex attack patterns.
Now with the gameplay covered, it is time to move onto the other aspects of this game, starting with the controls.
Controls – the control system is extremely simple for this release, with only movement and the boost mechanic being used. The inputs are so basic the game can be played with only one hand, as all the player needs is the thumbstick and a shoulder button to get through the game. It is unfortunate that the inputs for movements feel delayed and uncooperative during play, as it makes the game that little bit harder.
Difficulty – this title is very reliant on trial and error, with the amount of practice that it can take to memorize the attack patterns of enemies in each stage. While there is unlimited continues and the player can retry as many times as they want, the need to play stages repeatedly to gain hearts for set quotas can be a real hinderance. This turns the game into a war of attrition for those who aren’t the best at bullet hell shooting games.
Presentation – the visual style for art of the girls is pleasing to the eye, but sadly the rest of this release is very rather mediocre. The game field resembles a basic browser game from several years ago, which is unfortunate as it sadly spoils the overall feel. The sound does make up for the lacklustre gameplay sprites, as there is fully voiced dialogue for the three female companions in Japanese, alongside a rather pleasant soundtrack.
Final Thoughts – sadly this game isn’t really for me. I didn’t enjoy Shuttlecock H as much as I thought I would, due to the way that the way that the gameplay functions, as it can be a real chore to get through. I can only recommend this release to hardcore bullet hell fans, as I don’t think the general audience would enjoy this release. There is a very drastic difficulty curve that spikes almost instantly and can get frustrating very quickly.
In the end, I give Shuttlecock H a final score of 2.5/5. This is an average bullet hell title with a rather unique gimmick, making it a dodge ‘em up with risqué art and nudity as the reward for success. Sadly the potential that this game has is squandered, due to the frustrating nature of the trial and error gameplay where players need to memorise patterns to succeed. If you want to check this game out for yourself, a link to it will be below.
Link to Nintendo Switch version (HERE)