Genre: Scrolling shoot 'em up
Group DescriptionThe 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 himself 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. This means that fixed-screen shoot-'em-ups, chase-view shooters, and rail shooters should not be included in this group. 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.
Front cover for Verytex
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Front cover for Alpha Mission II
Screenshot from Verytex
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Screenshot from Gradius: The Interstellar Assault
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