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Specific tags for the title's features


Similarity & Review


Multiple Sources


Compared to VS. Not a review!

Similarity Scale

Percentage of possible points earned scored -1 to 1 in tenths in 60 categories

Genre Controls Modes Progress Builds Stages Content Aesthetic Vibe



A very interesting genre-twisting option if you want a vertically scrolling space game that otherwise checks off most survivors-like features. Fairly unique for its presentation as a classic shoot em up, limiting it on exploration scores but perhaps making it more fun than most clones with a twist on the format. Surprisingly, the "lock on" mechanic makes this less of a bullet heaven than other titles, despite the shmup format. Interesting for our scale, this is an aiming mechanic but with only movement controls. Runs are 15 minutes but also more difficult. If you want to avoid rather than mow, Gunlocked supplies a nice gameplay loop.

Auto-Shooter Enemy Hell Roguelite Shoot 'Em Up Single Stick Shooter Survivors-like Vertical Scrolling Shmup Wave Shooter
8.8 Combined Ranking Score
5/72 Ranking Position
1476/1600 Total Points
9.2 Final Review
91% Steam
9.9 Scale
8.7 Vibes
335 Steam Reviews
377/400 Review Points
8.3 Similarity Score
92% Diagnosis:
1099/1200 Comparison Points
94% Genre 7.1/8 genre
96% Simple Controls 6.5/7 move
94% Survival Modes 3.5/4 modes
100% Power Progression 4/4 level
92% Buildcrafting Depth 4.2/5 build
72% Stage Features 3.1/7 stage
92% Content Breadth 7.6/9 stuff
90% Aesthetics 4.8/6 style
96% Gameplay Vibe Check 9.1/10 vibe vibe

Gunlocked Ranking Notes

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Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 2.4

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 10/23/2023

Gunlocked puts a spin on the survivors-like formula by switching format to a vertically scrolling shooter. It's an auto shooter with only movement control but the primary mechanic (expressed with many pilots and weapons) is 'locking' or positioning your shot by moving the aiming reticule into place along with your ship - so it gets a partial score in 'aiming.' We're going to call "upgrade data", where I have to go in a certain point to get an upgrade, a "treasure chest" on the scale.

Ships are cosmetic unfortunately, but pilots have a interesting variety of skills. Soundtrack is great, though maybe could be more procedural or have more tracks. Overall the game is very satisfying, from the challenge to upgrade loop, though it doesn't have quite the same 'mowing down hordes of enemies' vibe and surprisingly few bullets for the shmup stylings.

I think it's great and will play more, but not for the same reason I play overpowered screenwiping games like PoE or VS.

Gunlocked Similarity Scale Heatmap

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Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

8.3 Similarity Score
92% Diagnosis:
1099/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 1/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 0.8/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 0.7/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 0.6/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 1/1
Move Only 1/1
No Dash 1/1
No Trigger 1/1
No Special Move 1/1
No Aiming 0.5/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty 1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 1/1
Endless Mode 1/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 0.5/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 0.9/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 1/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 1/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible 0.3/1
Explorable Map 0/1
BIG Maps 0.1/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 0/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 1/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 1/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 0/1
Enemy Variety 0.8/1
Bosses / Elites 1/1
Many Interesting Characters 1/1
Many Challenges 1/1
Multiple Stages 0.8/1
Difficulty Modifiers 1/1
Bestiary / Lore 1/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 0/1
Retro / Pixel Art 1/1
Damage Numbers 0/1
Lofi Charm 1/1
Bumpin Music 1/1
Fun Writing 1/1
Subtle Humor 0.8/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 0.9/1
Over the Top 0.4/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 1/1
Fun Ramp 1/1
Low Price 1/1
Technical Check 1/1
Controls Check 1/1
Fun Check 1/1
Feels like VS 0.8/1

Gunlocked Review Scale Heatmap

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The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

9.2 Final Review
91% Positive Steam Reviews
335 Steam Reviews
8.7 Pure Vibes
9.9 Review Scale
377/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 1/1
Not Janky 1/1
Good UI 0.9/1
Controller and Deck 1/1
Lots of Content 1/1
Good Theme 1/1
Good Graphics and Sound 1/1
Fun Feel 1/1
Unique Twists 1/1
Vibe Check 1/1

Gunlocked Tag Cloud

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More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

Steam DeckWindows PCReleased

Sorting Categories


Genre and Control Style Tags

Auto-ShooterEnemy HellRogueliteShoot 'Em UpSingle Stick ShooterSurvivors-likeVertical Scrolling ShmupWave Shooter

Aesthetic Tags

2DPixel ArtRetro

Setting / Story Tags

Sci-fiShip (Air/Space)Space

Control Styles

Auto-FireControllerController Move Only

Game Mode Tags

Endless ModeIgnorable TutorialTimed SurvivalWave Survival15m

Features and Extras

Steam AchievementsSteam Cloud



Game Features

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Listing various features we've got info on.


  • Local: No
  • Online: No
  • Player Count: 1
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: Yes
  • Steam Achievements: 65
  • Steam Leaderboards: No
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: No

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: No
  • DLC Available: Yes
  • Soundtrack Available: No

Marketing Blurb

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Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"A twin stick shooter without the twin stick, Gunlocked is a sci-fi action roguelike about careful positioning and upgrade selection. Manage unique targeting systems across multiple weapons and upgrades, as you battle legions of alien ships, and then do it all over again!"

"You only control movement, but every weapon has its own unique targeting system that you can influence."

Control Style Notes

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Single stick shooter, it's vertically scrolling.

It's an auto shooter with only movement control but the primary mechanic (expressed with many pilots and weapons) is 'locking' or positioning your shot by moving the aiming reticule into place along with your ship.

Overall it's more about avoiding and targeting than mowing.

Automated Features


Auto-aim might be bit of a stretch because really everything is aimed by positioning of your ship - but it does decide when to lock, and thus fire, and it's impossible to manual aim in any way.

Supported Controls

  • Controller: Full
  • Controller Move Only: Yes
  • Controller One Handed: Yes
  • Mouse Only: ?
  • Keyboard Only: ?
  • Keyboard One Handed: ?

Game Modes

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Timed Survival

Endless Survival

Game Mode Notes

Dev: "Endless is unlocked last"

Run Times & Speedups

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Average Run Time: 15m

Run Time Notes


Speed Settings


Home » Gunlocked

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