Among Nutaku’s growing library of free as fuck browser games is Shooting Girl. Now, don’t expect any anthropomorphisms of an AR-15 or an SRM 1216, this isn’t that kind of game. It’s the kind of game where you amass a growing collection of anime chicks that fancy guns. But not dick.
The game starts off with a quote from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”. This is followed by a quick history lesson and a mission briefing. Despite these girls being fresh from school, you are tasked to lead them to accomplish the impossible. Not only do you to train fellow academy students into hard-boiled soldiers, you also have to win a war. Winning the war in this context means reclaiming twenty-three zones in Japan controlled by a mechanical alien species called “the UnKnown”. This terminator-like species has been expertly kicking humanity’s collective ass to the brink of extinction.
While Shooting Girl is advertised as a turn-based RPG, battles are automatic and require no input from the player. This was really disappointing as I really wanted some control, even if just picking a target. I often found myself skipping some of the battles even though they don’t take long to complete, but there’s something frustrating watching your units missing their attack dice rolls.
At a certain point missions will become more difficult. The enemies take different formations and you meet tougher types. This is where strategies come in handy, since they change your group’s behavior in battle. With a bit of level-grinding, you can get your units to attack from specific directions or follow a specific unit type as support. Depending on the formation being used with the selected strategies, you can expect to see a difference in how they perform. You just can’t level-grind too much, since burning through resources quickly will leave you fiddling your thumbs until they recouperate.
An interesting, but also annoying feature in Shooting Girl is that when a unit takes enough damage, they’ll suffer from a status called “Break”. This changes the unit’s appearance; their clothes are torn to a degree and after battle, they have to spend more time recovering in the infirmary. Another thing to note is that each unit has a unique skill which is sometimes based on the weapon they have. The chance of a skill being executed varies and is listed in the description. These skills range from a chance to deal extra damage, to providing a buff to your team. The exception are the leader units who have their skill activate at the start of a battle.
After a battle, you get the mission reward screen. Here you’ll see various information on the battle ranging from experience gained to items received. If you want, you can also replay the battle. Other pages provide more in-depth information, such as unit accuracy and their battlefield control rate. Outside of the main story there are also daily missions available in the Outer Cities. However, they require the use of daily mission passes which you receive every day. These only last for a period of time before you have to use another pass. Dailies are a bit more challenging than the main missions.
You’ll be repeating missions multiple times in order to reach 100% completion. Because of that you’ll never have to worry about missing a reward, unless your luck with drops is that bad. Some rewards can include badge parts, which let you craft a unique badge for yourself. In addition to a custom badge, you can set titles, view stats, and view the character bios of your units. These bio pages give you more information on the character as well as their weapon of choice.
As you play and complete missions, you’ll obtain new units. Other ways of earning units in Shooting Girl involve a free daily scout, trying your luck with the gachapon, using scout support passes earned from playing, or as rewards for certain quests. Events are also a way of obtaining good units you might otherwise have to pay for. Events grow progressively in difficulty as you advance in levels. Luckily events seem to be run regularly, with one running just as the previous event ends.
It doesn’t look like Shooting Girl offers a PvP mode, but Practice Battles (also called War Games) allow you to battle the first platoon of other players with no risk. These work the same as regular battles, except there are no items as rewards or infirmary visits. Since there’s daily quests for completing practice battles, it’s nice to have a no risk method of leveling. There is a limit of five practice battles twice a day.
There is some minor building management in Shooting Girl. The Campus has manyl useful facilities. Over the course of the game, more will be unlocked and improved. The Infirmary, as previously mentioned, is a facility you’ll find yourself using often. It’s the source of a lot of downtime between missions as you wait to heal units. Other facilities include the Workshop for crafting items, the Laboratory, and Range Training for your units. The facilities that aren’t immediately accessible don’t take long to unlock, so long as you pass the second zone.
Once you get your first Diva, you’ll have access to the Greenhouse and Music Room facilities. The Greenhouse produce bouquets over time which you give to your active Diva. Bouquets increase the Diva’s song until their song activates, granting you a buff specific to that specific Diva for a period of time. For example, the first Diva you receive has a support song named “Song of Tomorrow” which provides a percentage increase to your units’ attack. They can help in turning a difficult battle around.
You can give your units “special training” to get stronger as well as equip them with certain items. Some equipment slots will be inaccessible until you promote a unit. Training involves taking existing units, such as duplicates, and fusing them into the unit you want to train – the fusing mechanic is a common feature in waifu collecting games. This process increases the unit’s health, but also experience needed to level up. Training consumes units as well as any equipment they might have, so keep that in mind. This menu also provides more information on a unit, such as their attack, range, luck, and accuracy.
The cash shop for Shooting Girl contains a lot of what you would expect. From items that increase maximum inventory limits to various starter packs at tempting but reasonable prices. You also can get resources when you need a quick fix, and items to speed up wait times. The most interesting item in the shop is “Teacher’s Memory”; this allows you to change the appearance of a unit to their Break status appearance. The most worthwhile purchase is probably additional infirmary beds. Alternatively, you can throw money into resources or dump it into gachapon. I personally vote gachapon over resources only because you can roll some useful girls that can make a mission easier to deal with.
There are problems that I’ve ran into while playing, as few as they were. If the game is idle for too long it will state your device isn’t compatible with the game. Another issue presented itself during the start of a new event. For some reason completing the event missions did not give the proper reward, despite it showing in the results screen.
Shooting Girl has a plot you can easily guess the results of. It does make effort to immerse you as much as it can with the dialogue and certain descriptions. The art style of the characters has some variety to them, and the voice acting is pretty good too. Despite the issues and the inability to select targets for units, I found myself enjoying Shooting Girl more once the game started presenting more choices, like alternate ways to deal with enemies. You might even learn a little history about guns while playing. Play it on Nutaku by clicking Sybill- oh… She’s already dead to a headshot.