A downloadable bullet hell shmup for Windows

How to play

  • It's much more important to dodge the bullets  than to shoot enemies. Focus on your ship and the bullets around you, and not the enemies flying by!
  • You'll see a small blue dot on the "windshield" of your ship. That's the only part you need to protect. Bullets will just fly through other parts!
  • If you get hit, use your few seconds of invincibility to get to a safer spot!
  • Observe the patterns – flying through a seemingly unavoidable bullet cloud is the most satisfying feeling this genre can offer!

Like this:


  • Arrow keys to move
  • C or Space to shoot (just keep pressing it, you have no reason to let it go!)
  • X to turn your "slow down" ability on or off – use it to get through tight spots! Turns off when the blue bar is completely drained.
  • Z or Y to unleash "rain of bullets" (only when the red bar is full and turns green) – use it when you need a final blow on a nasty boss. Not only does it increase your fire rate, but also wipes all bullets off the screen!
  • P to pause
  • Esc  to Exit
  • Alt + Enter to toggle full screen. (The window size is determined by Config.xaml – edit that file in a text editor to change it. That's a bit more difficult than it should be, sorry for that.)

The current state of the prototype


  • Three levels with bosses, many mid-level bosses, and "scriptable" enemy movement.
  • Special abilities: slow-down time and "rain of bullets".
  • Complex and highly customizable bullet patterns.
  • A sophisticated, XML-based level format with a huge focus on flexibility, reusability and extensibility .
  • NEW in Bullet Bash Edition: Self-adjusting difficulty – the longer you fly without getting hit, the quicker the game becomes. In turn, getting hit reduces the speed, allowing you to catch your breath.
  • NEW in Bullet Bash Edition: Scoring! Shooting down enemies will now award you with delicious points depending on their toughness and the current difficulty level.

Known issues

  • There's no menu or settings. The game just starts when you run it, and you can't restart when you die (or reach the end of the last stage).
  • Fixed keybindings with no controller support.
  • Only has placeholder assets (hacked together by yours truly), barebones HUD.
  • No sounds or music.

By the way, the game is open source, you can find it here: https://github.com/madve2/dance-of-bullets

Appendix: making your own levels

Looking at the current selection of bullet hell games, while there's definitely a plenty of them, there's one aspect of Dance of Bullets that feels unique to me: its flexible, highly extensible and easy-to-create format for levels, enemies and bosses, that could make it possible for everyone to create their own bullet hell shmup without programming knowledge of any kind.

While I've yet to make a proper documentation for the level format of Dance of Bullets, open the files in the StageData folder with your favorite text editor and start tweaking! You will be able to add your own levels, enemies, bullet patterns and bosses in no time! 

You can find some pointers until I write a proper documentation here: https://github.com/madve2/dance-of-bullets#making-your-own-levels

If you made something cool I'd be super glad to hear about it – in the comments below, or any other location you find appropriate!

Install instructions

Just unzip & run DoB.exe.

You may need to install .NET Framework 4.5 if you try to run it on an older version of Windows.


Dance of Bullets - Bullet Bash Edition 3 MB

Development log

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