BPM: Bullets Per Minute - Switch Review

"An absolute miserable experience."

BPM: Bullets Per Minute - Switch Review
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Ah, guns. Where would gaming be without guns? Well we probably wouldn’t have had an influx of drab brown shooters in the seventh console generation but that's a discussion for another time. Anyone who has ever used a gun in a video game, or real life for some, will know that guns tend to have a rhythm to them. The long sustained fire of an SMG, the heavy thunk of chambering a shotgun round, ejecting a bullet casing in a lever-action rifle, it’s all very satisfying; So it’s kind of surprising that it’s taken this long for shooters to incorporate rhythm aspects to their games. Enter BPM: Bullets Per Minute, a rhythmic first-person shooter roguelike hybrid aiming to marry the satisfaction of performing actions to a beat, the visceral fun of shooting guns and the replayability of roguelikes.

The Good

For those who are hearing impared or just rhythmically challenged, BPM: Bullets Per Minute has a visual indicator for the beat, à la Crypt of the Necrodancer. The beat indicator is incorporated into the gun’s crosshair so you don’t have to move your eyes away from the action. It also doubles as a way to indicate directional-based attacks and helps the player avoid them in the middle of all the chaos; when the beat indicator glows in one direction, the player will need to dash in the other.


  • The beat indicator shows more than just the beat without getting visually confusing

The Bad

And now we’re into the nitty gritty, there is a LOT wrong with BPM: Bullets Per Minute but where do I begin? How about the main draw of the game, the rhythm aspect. BPM: Bullets Per Minute gives the player no reason to stay on beat and has no penalty for missing the beat; if bosses and a small handful of enemies didn’t attack on the beat, then there wouldn’t be any need for the rhythm game aspect at all.

Well, is the music at least good? Ultimately, music taste is subjective, so I’m not going to sit here and scream that the music sucks but if we judge it as a rhythm game soundtrack and how it’s incorporated into the gameplay, then we can say it does so poorly. BPM: Bullets Per Minute’s soundtrack is full of a lot of droning guitars that do not accentuate the gameplay’s emphasis of the beat, meaning that if there was any reason to stay on beat, it’d be very difficult to hear it without the visual indicator.

Well that's the rhythm game aspect, how about the roguelike elements? These are completely unnecessary and unfortunately, get in the way of the fun. What do I mean by “gets in the way of the fun”? Well, the main upgrades the game gives you each run is increased stats, things like increased range, damage, luck etc. Because of this, the majority of the guns feel like garbage when you first pick them up because they tend to lack the damage and the range to deal with enemies effectively on their own; you need these upgrades to actually start having fun BUT the further in a run you get, the stronger the enemies become, so the upgrades get outpaced really quickly and the guns start feeling like garbage again.

While we’re on the topic of guns, BPM: Bullets Per Minute admittedly has a wide array of guns but because of the roguelike elements of the game, you’ll need luck finding them. For the majority of the time, you’ll be stuck with the starting pistol, which feels less effective than shooting a water pistol filled with mayonnaise at the enemies. What’s worse is on the off chance you do find a gun, if it isn’t the grenade launcher or the rocket launcher, you might as well just leave it alone; all of the other guns are just slightly better than the starting pistol but these two are miles ahead of the rest, to the point where it pretty much guarantees you beating a full run with ease.

So I’ve talked about the audio and I’ve talked about the gameplay, let’s talk about the game’s visual presentation. BPM: Bullets Per Minute’s art style is dreadful. It looks like the game’s contrast has been maxed out, which makes everything look really muddy. What makes this worse is that the entire game has a solid colour filter on it; most levels have a yellow filter over the top while switching to a black filter in later levels and because of this, everything blends together, making it very difficult to tell the difference between enemies and the environment. I recorded a small section of the game to show the rest of the Switchaboo writing team how bad it was but it didn’t look nearly as bad as I was experiencing it (still bad mind you), which means the game seems to have an upscaling problem when in docked mode.


  • Rhythm game elements are non-existent
  • Lacklustre soundtrack for a rhythm game
  • Roguelike elements get in the way of the fun
  • Most guns aren’t worth using
  • Terrible art direction

Final Score: 3/10

Man, what an absolute miserable experience. I knew I was in for a rough ride when after fighting my first group of enemies, I immediately turned the game off and decided that doing my laundry was a better use of my time. If you really want a rhythm-based first-person shooter, while it isn’t available on the Switch, you’d be better off playing Metal: Hellsinger; it’s everything BPM: Bullets Per Minute wishes it was without the unnecessary roguelike elements.

Thank you for checking out our BPM: Bullets Per Minute Switch review, thank you to Playtonic Friends for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:

For more reading, check out our Lil Gator Game review.