Genre: Scrolling shoot 'em up

Group Description

The genre commonly referred to as "shoot 'em up" (often abbreviated to shmup) has originated with the fixed-screen top-down shooter Space Invaders (1978). This group, however, includes only scrolling (horizontally, vertically, in an isometric or 3D fashion) shooters. In these games, the player controls a character (most commonly an aircraft) that must defend itself against large amounts of enemies by shooting at them. This style of game is generally agreed to have originated with Konami's Scramble (1981) and Namco's Xevious (1982). The player is able to control the character's movement in at least two (more commonly four) directions; however, the forward motion is also determined by the speed of the scrolling. Besides shooting at enemies, the player is also commonly engaged in collecting power-ups, which typically enhance the character's weapons or defense.

In order to be included in this group, the shooter should answer the two main conditions: scrolling environments and free movement in at least two directions: vertical in side-scrolling games, horizontal in top-down ones. Chase-view shooters and rail shooters should not be included in this group.

Fixed-screen shoot-'em-ups should not be included in this group either. In general, the distinction between scrolling shooters and fixed-screen shooters is this: in a classic scrolling shooter, barring unusual situations (such as boss battles) the player usually is allowed to avoid or bypass enemies instead of shooting them, and new enemies enter the screen consistently at specific moments regardless of the player's actions. In a fixed-screen shooter the player typically faces wave after wave of enemies, and the next wave will not show up until the previous one has been defeated. A fixed-screen shooter may have a background with a scrolling effect but this alone doesn't make it a scrolling shooter.

Side-scrolling shooters in which the playable character is restricted in his movements (i.e. is unable to sustain himself in the air for a prolonged period of time, having to jump over obstacles or platforms to proceed, etc.) should be excluded as well.

Related groups:
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Game Titlesorted in descending orderYearPlatformPublisherUser Score
Capcom Arcade Hits Volume 22003Windows, Windows MobileSelectsoft Publishing4.60
Castle Shikigami 22003Arcade, Dreamcast, GameCube, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Windows, XboxXS Games, LLC2.95
Border Down2003Arcade, DreamcastG.rev Ltd.3.93
Espgaluda2003Arcade, PlayStation 2Amusement Marketing International4.50
Psyvariar 22003Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, XboxSuccess Corp.4.00
ANAL: The Rectum Adventure2003DOS3.00
R-Type Final2003PlayStation 2Eidos, Inc.3.86
Hudson Selection Vol. 2: Star Soldier2003GameCube, PlayStation 2Hudson Soft Company, Ltd....
PARSEC472003Linux, Macintosh, WindowsABA Games4.08
Steel Dragon EX2003PlayStation 2D3Publisher Inc.3.67
Chō Aniki: Seinaru Protein Densetsu2003PlayStation 2Global A Entertainment...
Ultra Assault2003WindowsSmall Rockets4.25
Astrobatics2003WindowsKraisoft Entertainment...
Siberian Strike: Episode II2003J2MEGameloft S.A.2.25
3105 A.D.2003Windows...
Space Shooter: Alpha Impact2003Windowsbhv Software GmbH & Co. KG2.60
AirStrike 3D: Operation W.A.T.2002WindowsDivoGames Ltd.3.17
Darius R2002Game Boy AdvancePCCW Japan...
Psyvariar: Complete Edition2002PlayStation 2Empire Interactive Europe Ltd.3.75
Kagaku Ninja Tai Gatchaman: The Shooting2002PlayStationBandai Co., Ltd.3.33
Defender2002Game Boy AdvanceMidway Home Entertainment, Inc.1.79
Xfinity2002MophunSynergenix Interactive AB...
XII Stag2002Arcade, PlayStation 2, Windows MobileDigital Bros. S.p.A....
Dodonpachi Dai-Ou-Jou2002Arcade, PlayStation 2Amusement Marketing International3.94
DemonStar: Secret Missions 12002WindowsMountain King Studios Inc.3.65
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Selected Covers

Border Down Dreamcast Front Cover
Front cover for Border Down
Espgaluda PlayStation 2 Front Cover
Front cover for Espgaluda
Ultra Assault Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Ultra Assault
R-Type Final PlayStation 2 Front Cover
Front cover for R-Type Final

Selected Screenshots

Stage 1 yellow border
Screenshot from Border Down
Title screen
Screenshot from Espgaluda
Big plane
Screenshot from Ultra Assault
Part of the introduction sequence
Screenshot from R-Type Final