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This jazzy roguelike puts your tiny painter in a canvas cage match and says go on then, 1v1 the Mona Lisa

 A still from Antipaint, a roguelike shooter in which you fight classic works of art including the Mona Lisa, pictured here with a frown on her face.
A still from Antipaint, a roguelike shooter in which you fight classic works of art including the Mona Lisa, pictured here with a frown on her face.

Ever wondered what combination of items in a roguelike shooter would be necessary to slay a violent Mona Lisa come to life, complete with angry eyebrows? Probably not, but Antipaint has the answers you haven't sought yet.

Releasing onto Steam today, Antipaint is a great bit of cheap and straightforward fun. You play a tiny block of an artist armed with a tool of creation, and are tasked with slaying a horde of blobs to create works of abstract splatter.

It plays like a touch like Binding of Isaac—but with some Vampire Survivors thrown in for good measure. Instead of crawling through dungeons, you're boxed into a small canvas and made to fight off waves of foes. There's also a very welcome dodge button that lets you get out of trouble with a quick press.

Upgrades are plentiful and wonderfully weird—like the 'Colour Wheel', a bouncy ball you need to pick up every time you huck it, or the paddle ball which bounces around you as you fire. Most are sold to you by a floating, Bob-Ross looking shopkeep, but you also get a pick of three freebies to flesh out your build every now and then.

There's a fun push-and-pull between avoiding enemies and getting upgrades that I really like. Gun down some blobs and they might drop money, but that cash vanishes after a short time. You have to balance running and gunning with making money, and I'd often find myself accidentally tanking hits because I grew too confident.

An image of Antipaint, with an artist gunslinger facing a horde of paint creatures.
An image of Antipaint, with an artist gunslinger facing a horde of paint creatures.

Anitpaint's visuals are a little basic, but charming in an 'early internet flash game' sort of way—what surprised me was the soundtrack. It's brassy, big-band jazz that has no right to go so hard for such a lightweight shooter, and it fits the tongue-in-cheek ambiance of a giant Mona Lisa throwing roses at you very well.

There's not much else to say about Antipaint—it's a very stripped-down experience, but it's also reasonably priced at the moment. You can get it for £6.09 ($7.19) until March 21, though it'll only be a smidge more expensive after that. If you're still umming and ahhing, there's also a free demo with a humble enough file size, so there's no reason not to check it out if roguelikes are your cup of tea.