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This might be one of the most unique games I've ever played. Windowkill from torcado just released on Steam with Native Linux support and its use of multiple moving windows really changes the bullet-hell genre. Note: personal purchase.

Made with Godot Engine, it's not just a great game but another fun example of what Godot devs can do.

An experimental game where the play area is constantly shrinking around you, and you need to move all over your screen in this little window to get at enemies, or away from them. You shoot the window borders to expand it, making it quite chaotic and challenging to do that on top of firing at enemies to not get swarmed. Other windows will spawn on your desktop, with bosses and all sorts. It's just so exceptionally clever and surprisingly works really well too.

Pictured - Windowkill on Kubuntu - KDE Plasma (X11)

I did also test it on Wayland too with KDE Plasma, and it works fine there too.

Part of what makes it challenging, is that your bullets stop at the window edge which is how you expand the window. So to take down bosses like one pictured above, you need to get the windows to overlap. It's a game of constant movement, you're always thinking of where you want to go next and how to get there while avoiding enemies darting at you, bosses firing at you, other enemies sneaking in behind you and more. Pure chaotic fun.

Mechanically it's a twin-stick bullet-hell, that throws in a sprinkle of Vampire Survivor-like popularised gem drops to pick up, to then continually upgrade your little character. Here though, you can power-up whenever you want. The shop is always open at the tap of a button to jump in and spend some purple dots to upgrade. You can get more health, multi-shots, shots that pierce through multiple enemies, splash damage from your bullets and so on.

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Defeating each boss will drop down a special upgrade item too, allowing you to pick something extra. There's some fun options here too like an an extra window that will have an area on it that just constantly damages enemies, or giving you the ability (on a cool down) to enlarge the main window to temporarily make it a bit easier and give you more space and so on. So many options that makes it such a fun game to repeatedly jump back into for one more run.


Pictured - Windowkill on Kubuntu - KDE Plasma (X11)

How about on the Steam Deck? So it works quite well on Desktop Linux but I was curious how it would go there. Considering the type of game, I didn't think it would actually really work. Curiously, the Native Linux version would show a Godot logo screen and then my device just reboots. Proton 8 at least got it to launch but the multi-window system didn't work well in Gaming Mode and I couldn't actually do anything. Looking on ProtonDB someone else mentioned the reboot issue too. For now, seems you'll need Desktop Mode on Steam Deck to make it work. So I'll just stick to playing this one on my desktop, where I'm massively enjoying it.

This game deserves many more eyes on it and much success. Wonderful idea. This is probably going to take over my free time for a while (when I'm not constantly dying in Helldivers 2). A nice coffee-break game that will make you play a bit too long and have your coffee go cold.

Check out Windowkill on Steam or itch.io.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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9 comments

Might be kind of fun to see this game and my window manager fight it out lol
doragasu Feb 26
Wow, looks really confusing to me...
ShabbyX Feb 26
Is it running on GL or Vulkan? It's very easy to introduce inefficiencies with the Vulkan Swapchain API, so if it's Vulkan and this isn't blowing up in memory or crashing on some drivers due to fence cleanup issues, kudos to Godot!
M@GOid Feb 26
Immediately putted it on my whishlist. This is he kind of out of the box thinking that attracted me to indie gaming lately.
sprocket Feb 27
Quoting: doragasuWow, looks really confusing to me...
It's Geometry Wars with an obstructed and dynamically changing view.

Not the first game I've seen that uses multiple "windows" for gameplay. Definitely a neat gimmick.


Last edited by sprocket on 27 February 2024 at 2:35 am UTC
QuoteI did also test it on Wayland too with KDE Plasma, and it works fine there too.
It is still running on XWayland and I'd imagine it functions just fine there because behind the scene it's still in one canvas or something.

Still, interesting to see a game that runs straight into the mess that is window servers on various platforms.
Pyretic Feb 27
Quoting: ShabbyXIs it running on GL or Vulkan? It's very easy to introduce inefficiencies with the Vulkan Swapchain API, so if it's Vulkan and this isn't blowing up in memory or crashing on some drivers due to fence cleanup issues, kudos to Godot!

Considering it was made with Godot 4, it's probably Vulkan.
kokoko3k Feb 27
This is a perfect example of Unix Philosophy applied to games :)
I'm not really into bullet hell games, but I love the creativity here. I dabble in painting and I've discovered I like the idea of paintings that stretch over multiple canvases, so a game taking place in multiple windows is pretty neat.

I've often thought that if I ever made a game that had a mini-map in one corner, I'd include an option to pop it out into a second window for people like me with multiple monitors, where it could free up space in the main game window and use the space of a second monitor.
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