A game by Harley Wilson for PC, originally released in 2021.
Fallingstar is a Breakout-style game where you take on the role of an angel who has been cast out of heaven. An introductory sequence sees you standing at the gates of heaven as the hand of god opens and removes your grace, causing you to plummet downward towards the world of man… but there’s still a chance at redemption. As the angel falls, he summons a moving platform – in the form of a Breakout-style paddle – which is able to bounce him upward, allowing him to fight back against the angels.
If he is able to kill enough angels and steal their grace, he can ascend to heaven and fight god for his throne. If not, he will continue to fall until he reaches hell. By facing off against the multi-eyed ruler of hell, the angel has one last chance to save himself by winning the battle and being crowned the new king of hell himself. But if he fails, he will be damned for all eternity.
These three possible outcomes are reached by playing through five themed arenas, each representing a different level in the space between heaven and hell: the heavens, skies, world of man, inner earth, and abyss. Layouts change somewhat on each playthrough, but layouts are fairly simple overall so this doesn’t have a drastic impact on gameplay.
You control a paddle that moves along the bottom of each single-screen arena, bouncing the angel upward and preventing him from falling off the bottom of the screen. Your paddle starts out significantly longer than other entries in the Breakout-like genre, but this is offset by the fact that the paddle gets shorter every time the angel bounces on it, eventually causing it to disappear. However, if you manage to kill an angel – which is done by bouncing into it until its health is depleted – your paddle is restored to its full length.
Early on, angels are easy to destroy, but later they have more health and some can shield themselves from attacks, and angels in the lower levels can send out shockwaves that damage the fallen angel. When an enemy angel is killed, it leaves behind some of its grace, which is represented by a blue orb. Collecting 10 of these orbs allows you to ascend to heaven to fight god, but if you fail to collect 10 orbs before you fall off the bottom of the final screen, you will instead face the ruler of hell.
Collecting gems is important because they act as your health meter, and you lose five gems each time you take damage. Stocking up on gems also means that you'll be able to sustain more damage when you eventually face off against god or the ruler of hell. In each of these boss battles, the bottom of the arena is lined with fire that causes damage when the angel touches it, and these bosses can also summon angels and projectiles to harm him as well. While the paddle will shrink during these battles, it will not disappear altogether, so skilled players can keep the angel in the fight and stave off eternal damnation.
Gems are collected within arenas by coming into contact with those out in the open, smashing blocks to reveal more, and breaking open treasure chests that contain five gems each. You can also expend five gems in order to perform an upward dash, which gives you a bit of direct control over the angel, allowing you to alter his course or prevent him from falling off the bottom of the screen.
In addition to gems, the player can collect red cards, each of which translates to a modifier that can be selected at the end of the level. Modifiers only apply to the next arena and include speeding up or slowing down the angel's movement, starting with a larger paddle, making angels easier to kill, getting twice as many gems for each one collected, or causing destroyed angels to drop gems instead of grace. There are two cards per level, each with a different randomized effect, but you can also elect not to use these modifiers.
Level progression is unusual compared to other genre entries, as the only way to move forward is to move downward, which means purposely falling off the bottom of the screen at the end of the level… even while your gamer senses are tingling and telling you not to. Falling off the bottom of the screen is still a traditional punishment, as it prevents you from collecting items that may aid you on your quest, but it’s not a fail state, per se, as you still progress to the next level. One benefit of this design – combined with the ever-shrinking paddle – is that the game never descends into the typical boredom that comes from trying to clear that last hard-to-reach block in a room before you can move forward.
With only five levels and two possible boss encounters, the experience is quite short, but it has a charming aesthetic and interesting premise, and the player is invited to replay the game a few times to get the better endings. The visuals are presented in a chunky retro pixel style and a low resolution, and the game is accompanied by a chiptune soundtrack.

Fallingstar was developed by Harley Wilson, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. By day, Harley works on AAA games as a lighting artist for Ubisoft. By night, he develops games across multiple genres, although he has several other Breakout-style games in his repertoire, including Out of Ammo, Acrenoid, and Locust, USA. Music for the game is attributed to royalty-free music providers TeknoAxe and Shane Ivers.