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Bartlow’s Dread Machine – Review in 3 Minutes


Bartlow’s Dread Machine is a twin-stick arcade shooter made in collaboration by Beep Games, Inc. and Tribetoy. President Teddy Roosevelt has been kidnapped, and as an agent of the Super Secret Service, it is your job to save him.

You will shoot your way through six unique areas, each with four levels that are traversed on a set track with environments that unfold around you. Moving on rails feels like you are navigating a theme park ride, which creates a wonderful sense of whimsy. Controlling pathway movement is reasonably responsive with only the occasional corner feeling uncomfortably sensitive.

The game’s biggest weakness is its co-op. You cannot swap between solo and co-op during a game and must instead restart entirely. I played co-op after a solo playthrough and was disappointed in how little enjoyment and challenge the experience presented compared to a solo run on the same difficulty. A second player made clearing enemies out a quick and easy effort, stripping out the excitement.

Overall, Bartlow’s Dread Machine is an engaging and exceptionally presented experience that draws you into its compelling world despite some disappointing co-op balance and occasionally frustrating enemy encounters.

This game is out now for $14.99 on Steam and Xbox One.

Watch our full Review in 3 Minutes for Bartlow’s Dread Machine.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Reviewed on PC.

About the author

Amy Campbell
Amy Campbell is a contributor for The Escapist. She spends her days behind the scenes, helping develop video games as a Producer within the Australian game development scene. By night (or very early morning), she turns her attention to celebrating and discussing the latest wonders of the industry she loves. Having started her career in games with OnlySP back in 2018, Amy has continued to engage and critique a wide range of indie and AAA games over the years in written, video, and live-streamed formats. Highlights of her work include interviews with composer Austin Wintory and actor Michael Mando, as well as Adventure Is Nigh! – the D&D series exclusive to The Escapist. Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media, Diploma of Game Design, and a Certificate IV in Fitness, making her the most game-obsessed fitness instructor you’ll ever meet.