Ballpoint Universe is a game made with a ballpoint pen (also, computers and stuff)

It's heartening to think that you could just pick up a pen and make a PC game, but as anyone who's wrestled with game development programs knows, that pesky 'computer' part currently insists on getting in the way. Still, they're good for making graphics, as this homemade indie shoot-'em-up shows. As discovered by IndieGames , Ballpoint Universe's art assets were done entirely with a ballpoint pen, before being scanned into a computer and turned into the player, enemies, bullets and so on. The result is rather beautiful - and there's a beta version available here .

You play as a sketchy guy named Doodle, who spends his downtime between shmup stages wandering around an exquisite 2D landscape. As developers Arachnid Games point out , the bulk of the game involves horizontally-aligned shooting, but with the ability to customise and upgrade your ship, and explore the doodle realms on foot to meet a number of eccentric characters. There's no word on a release date yet, but the first open beta version is now available to download . This is definitely one to watch out for.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.