Vortex Attack offers a simple twist on the space-based single-screen shoot-’em-up genre: blow up as much stuff as you want, but the level won’t end until you’ve collected the requisite number of trianguloid “lumenergy” majigs.

It’s a game of simple aims and primal, arcadey pleasures. Touch those things. Don’t touch those other things. Shoot, shoot, shoot. The visuals are oddly minimal, and yet so busy as to elicit the genre-standard seizure warning.


It’s got a few issues—boss levels abandon the collect-the-mabobs premise for boilerplate HP soaks, and I got locked out of the leaderboards when I accidentally hit F11 and exited fullscreen—but it definitely provided the counter-intuitively meditative pleasures that I’ve come to expect from good bullet hells.

If you’ve gone through the bullet hell bootcamp of Jamestown and are looking for something new to chew on, then you could definitely do worse, and three-player co-op is always a significant plus in my book—so I’d class this one as an agreeable little dose of controlled, meditative chaos.

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