Everyone loves boss fights. They are often the result of puzzle solving, extended combat segments, and deft avoidance of terrible traps. But what if you could skip all the lead-up and just get to the good stuff?

Developer Acid Nerve created the original prototype for the title as part of Ludum Dare 28, which challenged teams with the theme "You Only Get One." In Titan Souls' case, you only get one hit, and the bosses can only suffer one shot of your single arrow once its weak spot is exposed.

You can charge your shot by holding the X button, which is also how you summon your arrow from whereever it is in the arena back to your hand. Finding enough time to draw it back from a long distance in the middle of a tense battle isn't easy, but it can be used as part of the strategy.

We fought (and defeated after many deaths) all four of the bosses in the demo. The easiest is a heart surrounded by a viscous jelly. Hitting it splits the blob into two, smaller parts. Only one of those has the heart, of course, and further hitting the empty goo splits it once again, making things that much harder.



The second boss we defeated was a brain in an ice cube. This speedy, sliding and jumping monstrosity exists in an arena with four switches triggering a central flame.

Only the frozen boss is heavy enough to trigger them, so figuring out how to melt the cube was a big part of the challenge. The third fiend was a laser-shooting eye on a cube. Its pattern involves rolling toward you four times and then discharging a laser. The pattern is easy to discern, but figuring out how to make a window for ourselves wasn't.

The final challenge was a large statue with two, fast-moving stone fists that pulverized us many times. The trick was to find a way to get him to expose his central weak point, as the inactive fist always returned to guard him.

Despite the frustration that might lead some to throw a controller, Titan Souls makes a compelling case. Its larger than life bosses, which comprise the entire experience, are reminiscent of Shadow of the Colossus. And its name evokes the challenging, but fair, ethos of From Software's Souls series.

If you enjoy the delightful madness that a hard-as-nails game can evoke, Titan Souls will offer up 20 different bosses to induce that kind of sputtering. The title is due out in early 2015 for PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, and Vita.