Tobitsuki is a nice looking horizontal shooter that has been around for a couple of years but hasn’t had much coverage so I though I would give it a mention. It’s quite a complicated game to play because you have four different weapons at you disposal and by holding certain keys down it bumps the weapons up to around six each of which has a different strength so trial and error will help you choose which is best. A long the way you get all sorts of enemy coming at you all of which are nice and detailed with a 2.5dD look about them as do the backgrounds which makes this stand out from the rest. Having said all that this is your standard horizontal shmup that will having you coming back for more. Controls are keyboard or gamepad.

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The Shokushoo

The Shokushoo is a demo of a nice little vertical shooter that has you taking on all kinds of enemy that you can find in any forest that you go into they range from wasps to trees yes tree I never thought that could be dangerous but seems they are. To help defeat these evil beasts you get a choice of two characters each with their own weapon strengths which are a primary weapon and with the push of a button you can change this to a more power primary weapon depending on how high you energy meter is reading. Graphics are nice and detailed pixel graphics that play nice and smooth and you get a nice sound track playing in the background which adds to the atmosphere of the game and I forgot to mention the pretty big bosses at the end of the level. controls are Cursor keys to move z key is your primary weapon and x key will beef your fire power up or you can use a joy pad. All in all a must try shooter.

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The Trapezohedran Of The Darkness

Now this is a game with strange now if ever I’ve seen one. It’s another vertical scrolling shooter with a very strange view-point. The graphics are 3D models and you play in a 3d ish area. don’t get me wrong the visuals are nice but after a while the constant turning of the back grounds do tend to strain your eyes. However it is a good game that most will find pretty easy to finish. The bosses tend to be on the tough side but you should be able to glide through the rest ok. Controls are definable so you should be able to find some that suit you. There not much more I want to say other than give it go I’m sure you will like it.

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I’ve had this game sitting on my hard drive for while. The best way to describe it is to say that it’s in the style of Galaga but with ultra modern colourful 3D graphics. The game starts easy enough but as you progress through the stages they soon become a bit of a bullet fest. Controls are Cursor keys to move Z to Fire holding Z down is you auto fire option and the X key is your capture shot to capture you enemy’s. You should be kept quite busy with this one. There is a more in-depth explanation of the games over on ABA Games website.

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The Hordes

This little retro shooter is from Pug Fugly Games and what a great hectic little shooter it is. It’s very simple shoot anything that moves and try to get you fire power up to 10 shots on-screen at once. It plays very fast  but is just so much fun and you have to keep giving it one more try every time you get killed. Visuals are nice and chunky and colourful with an upbeat tune is playing along as you play. Controls are Cursor Keys to move, Space Bar, Shift, Ctrl Keys all act as you fire button and holding your finger down gives you auto fire. I don’t know what else to say other than download it and have fun.

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Tiny Cannon

This is one for all you true retro game fans who remember when shoot em ups were on a hand-held LCD screen. I came across this on the 2 bears site and it reminded me of my moss spent child hood blasting away. There s not a lot more to say about this other than it’s been very well done to make everything look as LCDish as they have and its one heck of a game as its plays at a fast rate and its bullet hell heaven. Controls are Cursor Keys to move and Ctrl is to fire and you also need Java installed for this to work. Give it ago now.

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Tidal is a strange little browser-based vertical shmup which sees you shooting at different waves of shapes instead of the normal space ships and aliens and the like. It’s one of those games that you would play when you have the odd spare lunch break to keep you entertained but that’s not to say this game is a push over because things soon get busy with shapes coming at you from both the top and bottom of the screen. Visuals are good enough with a kind of vector look to them and they more than do the game justice so next time you have a lunch break give it a go. Controls are Mouse only.

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The One Case

This is a nice little Japanese vertical shmup that I have come across and I can best describe it as a Raiden style shooter. The game plays very much like Raiden in that you get both land and air enemies for you to destroy and also some of the sounds have been taken from Raiden as well however you don’t get the choice of weapons in this game but it is still a challenging little game. Visuals are very nice detailed pixel graphics and I love the purple colour used on the sprite as it makes it look different. Controls are Cursor keys to move, Z key is your primary weapon and X key is your special weapon. This really is a good solid shooter with some killer music playing away too so give it a try you know you want to.

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Twilight Refrain

Another Japanese vertical shooter for you to cast your eyes over it may only be a three level demo but its worth a look and also if you know the right places to try the full version is also out there. This game is one of the best games visually that I have come across even though most of the enemy are boxes or barrels the detail is out standing as are the bullet patterns they are just so nice to look at. That aside this is one hard shooter and good reflexes are a must if you are going to dodge everything that is on-screen and the boss levels are also hard to beat. You have three weapons to help you out a primary weapon a primary weapon that is more powerful and your special weapon you find yourself swapping between primary weapons a lot in this game but its well worth it. Controls are Cursor keys to move, Z key is your primary weapon, X key is your special weapon and C is your primary plus weapon. As I said only a demo but a hard one to beat.

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Trouble Witches

Anyone who is into Japanese shmups must have heard of this game it’s been around for a while but it’s as fresh today as when it was first released so I’m giving another airing. It’s a horizontal cute em up as the call them and it has some of the most colourful and detail visuals and the size of some of them are huge and everything just looks really nice. Despite that what you really have is a rock hard shooter that will keep you busy for a while and will keep you coming back for more. You have a massive array of fire power at your hands you just have to work out which is best to use and when because your going to need them. I could go on and on but the best thing to do is try it for yourself, Controls are Cursor keys to move, Z keys is your primary weapon, X key is your special weapon and C Key is a coin collecting shield. I’ve not tried the download link below because I bought the CD version but searching on forums it seems to be a good download link however it is a big download so slow connections could take a while.

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Type A

Type A is a nice little horizontal shooter that I was in two minds about puting it on here because I don’t really get it but some thing brings me back to it once in a while. It’s your basic horizontal shooter where you have an every increasing amount of heads and small men coming towards you who try their best to finish you off which sometimes is easy for them because their bullets tend to get mixed up the diamonds and hand bags to mention two things that get left behind once you shoot one of them for you to collect so it can be quite hard. Graphics are hand draw and look very nice indeed as does the scrolling back drop very nice. Controls are Cursor keys to move, Z keys is your primary weapon and X key is your special weapon or you can use a game pad. Most of you will not like this but a few may so give it a go and see.

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The Chaste Full Metal Maiden

My friend in Japan sent me this trial of a vertical shooter that will be shown at Comiket 77 later this month. It’s your standard vertical shmup really that your going to love or hate but I think you need to give it time there are a few nice touches in there with some of the biggest and strangest bosses I’ve seen and on the first level you have to go through three of these along the way. The other enemies all vary with some being nice and easy whilst other are hard as nails and just love firing off wave after wave of bullets at you intent on destroying you but not to worry because there are loads of power ups for you to collect along the way. Graphics and sound are nice and they mix well there is nothing worse than a music track playing away just because it needs one but in this case the music adds to the atmosphere of the game. Controls are Cursor keys to move, Z key is you primary weapon, X key is your laser and C key is your special weapon or you can use a game pad if you wise.

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Toho Invaders

Toho Invaders is as it sounds a remake of Space Invaders but its in Touhou style gone are the aliens only to be replaced by female figures in glass helmets and you also get boss at the end of each level before you can move and it maybe a small boss but it fires a hell of a lot of bullets at you. Graphics are nice and cute and detailed and make this a cute em up really. Theres not a lot I can say really other than it’s space invaders gone cute. Controls are Cursor Keys to move and Space Bar to fire. This is a Space Invaders fan only game true shmup fans may fight it boring.

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The Embodiment Of Scarlett Devil (8 Bit Style)

Do you ever remember seeing a Doujin Shmup when you owned your first ever 8 Bit computer all those years ago? Well this little vertical shooter I stumbled across over on Doujin Style Is just that except it’s made for the PC with retro 8 Bit style graphics and music and sound effects and I think it’s the only one there is so gaming fans from the 80’s will love it. It looks very much like The Embodiment Of Scarlett Devil I’ve not compared them to close but it looks pretty close. I can’t really say a lot about it other than download it and give it a try controls are cursor keys to move, Z key is your main weapon and X key is your special weapon. If ever you thought something was missing when you had you Commodore 64 this is what could have been back then.

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Tile Massacre (Mac OSX)

There are two types of gameplay in Tile Massacre; stages alternate between standard, top-down shooter stages and something more akin to a run-and-gun, where you control a character attempting to make their way to the top of a stage. The catch is that you ‘build’ the latter stages as part of the former: during the top-down shooter sections of the game, a series of tiles falls from the top of the screen. When shot, these become part of the stage that you’ll play through during the run-and-gun sections of the game. Some of these are walls (which can be destroyed during the run-and-gun sequences) while others are pits (which are impassable). There is a bonus for duplicating a given ‘target’ stage, but this is not a requirement stages can be built to be easy to traverse or to block enemy generators.

It’s an interesting concept, but unfortunately the implementation isn’t quite up to snuff. I found the game’s pacing fairly sedate; the “level-building” shooter sections are easy if you ignore the recommended layout and tedious if you don’t. The run-and-gun sections, likewise, can be either easy or difficult depending on their layout, though dashing through them seems to work fairly reliably.

Reviewed By Strider

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