The Void Rains Upon Her Heart is not only a curious title but also a quirky shoot 'em up. Currently in Early Access, it attempts to wrap bullet-hell style shooting mechanics inside a permadeath-based progression system like you'd see in any number of rogue-lites.
The Steam page describes it as a bullet-hell boss rush, which is exactly what it is. You take on a variety of bosses, avoiding the onslaught of bullets as you take down each one before choosing which one to square off against next. Before each fight you get to choose which enemy you want to take on via a selection of cards, each showing which enemy you'll face (if you've seen them before) and a difficulty associated with them.
This gives you some degree of control over how hard you want your 'run' to be. If you are new to shoot 'em ups, especially bullet hell style ones, then keeping the difficulty at the lower end gives you a manageable experience. Ramp it up though and you'll certainly need some reflexes to keep up with the barrage. Each boss gains attacks and their behaviours evolve as you face them at higher difficulties as well.
Naturally, taking on harder challenges rewards you with potentially greater 'gifts', perks and rewards that stick with you during your playthrough as you complete certain conditions. These range from standard things like more bombs and hearts, to bonuses, to in-game Tetrids: the in-game currencies you earn after each fight. The Tetrids you earn are used to unlock knowledge of gifts you’ve earned and creatures you have faced so it will show up on future runs. This is a neat way of having your time work towards something without feeling like you are wasting it when you die.
As to the games' story, you play as an alien girl trapped and surrounded by monsters. Or rather you play as her heart as she tries to 'befriend' them by shooting them with love. Each boss you defeat makes her love stronger as she fights to defeat the ever looming void, hoping to not have her heart broken again. It's definitely unusual in both tone and content for a game of this type.
The game does feature some non-sexual nudity and the storyline does deal with some pretty serious elements of anxiety, depression and even suicide. How effectively this type of game can be used to explore these topics is still to be seen, but it's commendable to see it being attempted.
The Void Rains Upon Her Heart has a lot more content planned as it progresses through Early Access. The developers, Veyeral Games, are hoping the final game will have over double the current amount of 14 bosses and three times the amount of gifts/perks by the time it releases, increasing replayability further.
It's an interesting take on the bullet hell shooter and is fun even at this stage, and hopefully, with the additions Veyeral Games plan to make, it'll be something you can keep coming back to.