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Tron-Like Shooting Game Makes The Blood 1's and 0's

Nullpointer is a cyberspace shooter that asks the important question “What if Tron but with guns?” It turns out that the result is a lot of fun. With a replayable rogue-like structure, Nullpointer offers plenty of bit and bytes to blast into oblivion. It’s this week’s Indie Pick.

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Originally created by Lycaon as part of the 7 Day Roguelike Challenge, Nullpointer is very simple. Choose a machine gun, shotgun, or railgun and see how long you can survive in a trippy cyberspace maze packed with hazards and enemies. It’s accompanied by beeps, boops, dial-up static, and techno tunes.

Nullpointer’s level design makes it unique in the sea of procedurally generated shooters. While a game like Strafe accurately capture the visual style of Doom and Quake, the randomly connected rooms didn’t always make sense. Nullpointer embraces the chaos of random levels by stressing verticality. Worlds are built like massive towers with floors packed with monsters. Each drop to a lower floor holds new possibilities and excitement. There’s definitely something to be said for leaping down a cyber-chasm and blasting a vectorized baddie with a railgun.

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Nullpointer fits comfortably into my made-up category of “twenty minute game.” It’s easy to pick up and shoot through a few levels. With a strong visual design and interesting vertical levels, there’s tons of reasons to leap in and blast around. You can play Nullpointer on PC, Mac, and Linux. A free game jam version is also available.

Former Senior Writer and Critic at Kotaku.

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DISCUSSION

Played the demo. It’s pretty fun! The electronic music makes you want to zip around the place, even though you still need to be aware of your surroundings.

I like that these are simply geometric shapes and that you’re not fighting actual creatures. The Tron aesthetic really works here for a fun, mindless time-waster that you can play if you need to kill a few minutes.

[edit] I should note that I come at this from the PoV of a person who doesn’t play a lot of shooters.