Where The Bad Bullets Go: Sine Mora Out Now

We did acknowledge the port of side-scrolling time-bending shooter Sine Mora a couple of weeks ago, but now that the game is out, perhaps you’d like to see a PC launch trailer? I played the game on the 360th Box and even though my bullet-dodging skills are more like those of a lobby security goon than a KeaNeo, I actually managed to complete it. Although there are moments when the screen seems to fill with pulsing death-orbs, the pace isn’t frantic even when survival becomes delicately poised. It’s a beautiful game with superb boss fights and a daft story, which can take up too much time between sections even if it is endearingly silly. Here’s the trailer.

When I say I ‘completed’ the game, I mean I finished the story mode, which isn’t particularly long, although it does become tricky toward the end. For many, the bulk of the game will be the arcade mode, replaying levels, and utilising extra powers and a range of ships to chase high scores. I’m never patient enough to improve significantly when precision and combos are required, but the time distorting powers are fun to play with and open up the potential for ludicrous point-gathering.

Each level has a time limit and taking damage knocks seconds off that limit, while extra seconds can be collected from destroyed enemy waves. The standard temporal power is a bullet-time sort of thing, which is most welcome, but arcade mode allows actions to be reversed and bullets to be reflected back at their source. I don’t know how time manipulation informs that last ability but I have learned not to question the happenings and reasonings in Grasshopper games.

It’s a shame that the trial version isn’t available on PC because it’d be useful for people to check out the controls, as well as the actual game. I expect I’d just plug in a 360 pad but I’m sure somebody will want to try out the keyboard controls. Since a demo has already been made for the XBLA release, why not bring that across too?

The music is the work of Akira Yamaoka and although it’s completely different to the sounds of Silent Hill, it is pleasingly dreamy and oddly nostalgic. Writing that reminded me that there’s a new Silent Hill movie and that it looks like it’s managed to skip all the intermediate entries and become as bad as the most recent Resident Evil movie immediately. So that’s something.

Sine Mora is available now on Steam for £7.99.


  1. Premium User Badge

    yandexx says:

    I’ve had my jaw drop numerous times during my first playthrough.

    And now this has unlocked the local encyclopedia so I can understand what THE FUCK has just happened. I will definitely replay on the second difficulty just to follow the plot again and unlock the alternative (true?) ending.

    P.S.: The Hungarian voice work is wicked and sounds like a mix of Polish and Japanese. The game is crazy in far more than one way :)

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      Is it Hungarian? I thought it was Polish because of all the KURWA yelling.
      The game is pretty neat though, and you’re right that it’s hard to get your head around it because you play as different characters and sometimes things are happening at the same time to them. It’s just strange in general, but quite interesting.

      • Kobest says:

        Yes, Hungarian, and this comes from a Hungarian. (Kurva or kurwa is used everywhere in Central/Eastern Europe. Ask the slavs though!) However, the voice acting is not so great, definitely not in par with the long history of voice acting that we have in the country. Still, much better than the one in Halo: Reach!

  2. Jams O'Donnell says:

    That is one good-looking game. It makes me think of Shadow Complex in the way it 3Ds a 2D genre.

  3. tobecooper says:

    I don’t know why, but music in the first part of this trailer reminds me of Warcraft 2 soundtrack very much. I’m so attached to W2 that I instantly get a grin, a boner and I want to buy things. I’m a victim of their awesome soundtrack, man! Du dududu Dabu!

  4. Dimonte says:

    It is a one-tiny-mistake-and-you-have-to-replay whole level bullet hell game, isn’t it? Oh how I wish for someone to make a good sidescroller with a lifebar.

    EDIT: A-a-a-and I completely failed at reading the article. So it has a time limit instead of a lifebar. That might be just fine.

    • Premium User Badge

      Adam Smith says:

      Yeah, the time limit goes down whenever you’re hit as well as when time passes. It means when time is short, it pays to be more daring, even though the risk is high, because taking out lots of enemies makes them drop bonuses.

    • mlaskus says:

      Not a sidescroller and not really a bullet hell but Tyrian is a pretty fantastic schmup with a completely bonkers storyline, upgradable ships and a life bar.
      It’s a quite old PC game, currently available for free at gog. There are also ports for mobile devices and I adore it on my Android tablet.

      • Snakejuice says:

        I LOVE Tyrian, it’s the only shmup I ever truly loved and I still install it and play sometimes!

  5. Pryde says:

    The hell with those black borders? The resolution seems to be upped to 1080, but those black borders always stay! That’s not very good port indeed. And it’s sad because the game looks fantastic art-wise. But will not buy until something is done to those borders =

    PS. Hehe, the first boss Kolobok – it’s the name of the character from Russian fairytale (the guy was round, yep) :)

    • Premium User Badge

      yandexx says:

      The weird aspect ratio is intended this way, the developers say.

      • fooga44 says:

        haha, what that is really code for is “It’s a bitch to fix it and we don’t wanna since we never planned to port it to pc originally”

  6. Tiax says:

    My only grief with this game is that the hitbox of our plane isn’t visible.

  7. BlackestTea says:

    @Tiax, you can see the hitboxes in the plane selection for arcade mode. They’re easy enough to remember once you’ve played with the same plane a couple of times.

    I got this game on the weekend as soon as it was out. To be honest, I bought it for the story. It’s not just some nice little silly fluff (as Jamestown might be – which was awesome), but actually pretty grim and involved. All story parts can also be skipped/accelerated.
    I also loved the fact that you get to see many of the voice-com dialogues from both sides and that there are several locations that are visited in different times, making them remarkably distinct.

    P.S. Keyboard controls are fine for me. It feels nice and responsive. The mouse is sluggish, however.

    • Veracity says:

      It’s grim silly fluff.

      It’s meant to be played on a consolebox controller – it clearly assumes analogue movement. That’s unusual enough in the genre, though, that I can see people might prefer to stick with digital out of habit, in which case keyboard ought to be fine.

      It seems quite alarmingly awful, but I’ve managed only a few minutes drunk and a few more asleep but for the snoring, so I’ll probably boot it a few more times before giving up. It does start up crazy fast, which is some kind of selling point if you’re using an old-fangled HDD.

  8. Eight Rooks says:

    Note that the highest scores in every other mode bar the story come from using the time abilities as little as possible, ideally never. As soon as you take a hit or do anything apart from shoot your primary weapon it drops your score multiplier back to 0. The game gets murderously tough once you start arcade or score attack – arcade starts you with a tiny, tiny stock of time and anything other than perfect play from the word go can see you dead in seconds. I mean, the third difficulty (only 1 and 2 are available on story, 2 and 3 for everything else AFAIK) is specifically labelled as only for lunatics and people doing “manic mode” perfect replay videos.

    I like it – the stunning presentation makes it hard not to, bar the weird aspect ratio – it’s not a poor port, it’s quite clearly intentionally in letterbox for some weird reason. Runs fine on the highest settings even on my old quad core. It’s not up there with Cave’s best titles – from beating the story mode and a quick play on the other modes I’d say: too much visual confusion, too many bosses with one-hit kill super attacks you need to die to in order to predict, very iffy difficulty curve and poor use of the time mechanics. But it does still handle well, there are some hugely imaginative designs, it’s structured well enough that you do improve with practice, not just trial and error, and the crazier bosses are fun to beat (penultimate one had me swearing like a lunatic, but was still satisfying when I finally downed it, and on subsequent tries I could do it first time with far less effort). It’s far more open to regular players than Cave’s games and their ilk, it looks beautiful and it’s more than worth the UK Steam price at least.

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