All The Bullets: GL Invasion

I think I won

GL Invasion could be quite a good test and a bit of early evening fun. I don’t know whether or not I’m terrible at bullet hell shmups or not. I probably am because I’m no Jack of all trades and am therefore terrible at almost everything. I’ve never really been able to compare my skills to the skills of others in this particular genre of killing things while attempting not to die though, so maybe I’m actually brilliant. Play the game for free in your browser and compare your progress to mine. Let’s find out how terrible I am.

Using the single life that the stingy thing provides, tell me whether you spent the first five or so attempts dying before you even reached the coast and then realised that you were restarting the game on ‘nightmare’ difficulty because that’s what it defaults to when you die. Because your pain fuels it. So that was a disaster.

Here’s the good news though; after a couple of attempts on normal, I reached the building in the screenshot above. That seemed like a decent effort on my seventh attempt, which was actually my third proper attempt. What do you reckon? Am I rubbish?

I also expect people to point me toward “actual, proper, well ‘ard” bullet hell shooters while telling me that GL Invasion is about as easy as my mother.

Spotted at


  1. Zyconis says:

    34500 and I think I’m done.
    Took me a dozen tries just to break 30k.

  2. DeVadder says:

    All i can tell you about the game is, that it thinks my graphics card sucks.

    … Just like your mom.

    Apparently i do not support some sorcery called ‘WebGL’.

  3. squareking says:

    Got just over 4mil before giving up. Bullet hell and large hitboxes (read: your ship is the hitbox) are not pleasant bedfellows.

    I’d recommend Jamestown and Satazius if you want something more substantial. I would say give Arcanacra a shot, but apparently it’s been pulled.

    • Dreforian says:

      Some of the special modes (and difficulties) of Jamestown are bullet-hell like but it’s more of a Raiden or Tyrian type shmup. All three of those are some of my favorites, but they are a far cry from touhou or gundaemonium as far as bullet-hell. GL Invasion is more Jamestown speed.

  4. Lambchops says:

    @ Zyconis

    Where are you seeing this score?

    As for me in my few attempts I always reached the coast (hooray for not complete ineptitude!) but rarely reached the road (boo, for the 99.9% ineptitude!).

  5. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Got to the first boss and got it down to about 10% then died (gah!). Score was around 3.2 million.

  6. Dominic White says:

    I’m a huge fan of bullet hell shmups, but this one I just found frustrating. The bullet patterns don’t feel visually trackable, and your ships hitbox is either way too large or oddly placed. It feels like an imitation of the genre by someone who has played maybe a couple of them.

    I had an easier time with the demo of StellaVanity, which is supposed to be an expert-grade shmup.
    link to

    • TurboBrocoli says:

      Sorry you didn’t like! :(
      I’m a huge fan of shmup’s, but it’s not the same playing than designig, and I’m more a coder than a designer. It started as a proof of concept Webgl game, but then with little time it became a bullet hell XD
      Hitbox is 1 or 2 px size btw, don’t remember now, maybe it’s a bit displaced up to the cabin? I’ll try to fix. Or bullet radius bigger than it should be

      I suppose having made the level by myself tend me to underrate difficulty, as now I’m able to go through level and beat the boss without using any bomb either. So I added “normal” level as popular request, but as I don’t have much time for this (have a real job) I did it just removing a % of nightmare bullet patterns as a fast solution, that’s why it can be a bit random sometimes.

      Anyway, it’s a free game, and I am very glad it got to RockPaperShotgun by its own, being new to game designig :D
      Even the source is on GitHub, so anyone can improve! ;)

      • 5p. says:

        Got to the boss on Nightmare, died on the second pattern (thought I could dodge it, didn’t bomb, died).
        Couple of things.
        – Good job with the player ship attracting stars, but it would be nice if it attracted powerups too.
        – The enemy bullets feel like they’re moving just a tiny bit faster than they should be, but that may be a matter of taste.
        – In terms of movement, the ship feels rather sluggish and a bit “heavy” – tapping a key moves it too far, making it difficult to weave through patterns, whereas the overall movement speed is a tad too slow. One of the usual tricks in the bullet hell designer’s playbook is to give the ship two different speeds, and there are two ways to implement this: (1) hold a specific key to reduce speed and possibly change the shot pattern, or (2) when autofiring (i.e. when the fire key is held down for more than half a second) the ship slows down. I would go so far as to make the ship have completely no inertia or acceleration time – maybe one frame of acceleration, and that’s it.
        – The main weapon feels a tiny bit underpowered, but that may be because the ship doesn’t auto-attract powerups.
        – The secondary weapon DEFINITELY feels underpowered, and on balance the gauge lasts too long. I would double the damage but make the gauge drain twice as fast.
        – It feels like you spent a lot more time working on the boss than the stage enemy layout. :D

        • Dreforian says:

          There’s a secondary weapon? I need to start reading manuals and help scripts instead of bashing my face against the keyboard to learn games. *goes off to retry*

      • Dreforian says:

        Addendum to what 5p said: I’m playing the game in firefox (got to the boss on normal woo!) and it seems to have a hard time keeping my keyboard’s focus. On the menu screen pressing up or down to reach difficulties also shifts the game window up and down. The secondary weapon also seems to get stuck, at least when I’m using the alt key. Alt’s not a terrible key to use but if the input is passing through to the browser it ends up being problematic. Good job otherwise!

  7. Calabi says:

    I hate these games. Honestly whom would fire that many bullets and have that many ships? Why is it one against thousands, why doesnt your side have an army, do they really expect you to win?

  8. Grygus says:

    The only difficulty I could last for more than 15 seconds on was, “About.”

  9. Dreforian says:

    General tip, at least for normal difficulty: You can control the concentration of the shots to make them easier to dodge. The more you move, the more spread out and chaotic the enemy shots become. Try just strafing to one edge of the screen, then strafing back to see the effect. Killing enemies is almost unimportant to survival since your weapon is so powerful and has such a wide spread that anything on the screen will die within moments of exposure.
    Basically, when dodging, less is more.

  10. HaVoK308 says:

    Managed to score about 250k. I would really enjoy the game if I could use my 360 or Nintendo controller. Using the Keyboard for SHMUPS is rarely fun for me.

  11. Chekonjakcom says:

    Beat normal on the fifth try. Strangely, it helped to whistle while playing. Now into the nightmare…

    EDIT: On nightmare I got as far as the building before i shuffled off the mortal coil.

    EDIT: Now on my third nightmare attempt. Made it to the final boss, but wasted a bomb and died.

  12. Godwhacker says:

    But it’s running in your browser! Without Flash! OMG etc etc

  13. Dariush says:

    Completed the game on my second try, got somewhere in excess of 4 million. It is way easier than Touhou (at which I generally suck, though). :D