Best of 2011!
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Bullet AudysseyIn Bullet Audyssey by Rete, it seems we've been invaded by celestial bodies, ones who send out their bullets to a thumping galactic rhythm. It's up to your tiny ship to weave your way through their forces, absorbing energy for your interstellar counterattack. Will the world rave about your shooter skills, or will the aliens just leave you in a trance?

Bullet HeavenThe shooter lives! Matt Roszak's Epic Battle Fantasy series steps out of its genre and into the shoes of the "bullet hell" arcade action greats. Unlock new characters, improve your abilities, earn challenging medals, or just last as long as you can in Survival Mode. Bullet Heaven is a fantastic example of the shooter genre doing what it does best; making you squeal "ohgeezohgeezohgeez" over and over again while you sweat bullets to match the hundreds onscreen.

DN8I'm always hearing about how the next evolution in gaming is right around the corner. However, for those shooter-lover who wouldn't mind evolution taking less time, there's DN8, the new dynamically-generated bullet-hell from intelligent-designer Squize of Gaming Your Way. It looks pretty fit to me.

Experimental ShooterLike to point and shoot? How about follow directions... or even figuring them out? In this puzzle shooter with just 21 levels, the goal is to find out what the goal is, and what the rules are in any given situation. With funky pop instrumentals, minimalistic style, and and clever approach to classic cannon action, it's the perfect tidbit of blasting for your day.

Front RunnerFront Runner's protagonist would rather sit unaccosted on his asteroid outpost, playing his space-recorder, but all the quirky locals just won't leave him be. And as arcade games have taught us for years, such aggravation can only be answered by taking the wheel of an absurdly overarmed runabout and showing all comers what-for. It takes the vastness of space and turns it into a strange, colorful neighborhood of oddly shaped planets and goofy, irksome monsters. Empty space is rarely this lively, or this silly.

InsectonatorBugs and I have an uneasy friendship. On the one hand I can appreciate the beauty of creation in their skeletons, the elegance of their societies, and the important role they play in our ecosystem. On the other hand, should one drop down the back of my shirt, talks are going to break down pretty quickly. It is to the latter part of my psyche that Insectonator, the new shooter from SonarGames, is aimed. It might not be too nice to all things great and small, but if you have a hankerin' for some arthropod blastin', it'll be sure to catch you in its web.

Nitrome Must DieIn Nitrome's 100th game, a fast-paced multiplayer shooter, two players have had enough with the developer's frustrating games and decide to take it out by launching a two man siege on the massive tower the company resides on. You'll need to nab power ups, weapons, and blast your way through floors of enemies and more to make it to the top. But don't think you can just tackle the tower on your own! Nitrome Must Die is a two-player game, meaning you can team up with a friend to reach the top... or perhaps fight against your ally.

Nobuyuki Forces 4Nobuyuki Forces 4 is a remake of 2003's Nobuyuki Forces 3, and feels similar to arcade rail shooters like Time Crisis and House of the Dead. You control a wily female soldier infiltrating a heavily-guarded office complex. Alternate between hiding behind cover and darting out to pick off the enemy across numerous stages to reach the roof and a powerful boss.

Robo RampageFor reasons that are never discussed, players in Robo Rampage will travel to Planet Junk in order to engage scary yet adorable robots in mortal combat with this action shooter. Fear not, you'll have a RoboMe to blast down your mechanical opponents as you strive to build the tallest Kill Hill. It's a stylish and well made little gem that, while slow to start, rewards players who are patient with tons of action.

Shameless CloneAfter Star Wars: Episode II and that whole Spider-man fiasco, one cannot help but be a little wary of clones. However, leave it to Roman Gecerov and Yuriy Kurenkov to show us that just because something's a little familiar doesn't mean it has to be bad. Shameless Clone doesn't rip off anything... it rips off everything! A pitch-perfect recreation of every mid-90s arcade space shooter ever, filled to the brim with skewered references and memes, Shameless Clone is a bullet hell whose authors have nothing to be ashamed of.

Sierra 7Prove you've got the best aim this side of anywhere in this realistic first-person rail-shooter that will challenge your eye and your reflexes. Take on a series of increasingly difficult missions as the seventh member of an elite group with special skills. Unlock new weapons, complete challenges, and complete objectives all over the world... just don't take any time to stop and smell the roses.

Space Arcade: The GameI appreciate the specificity of Space Arcade: The Game's subtitle. I was seriously worried for a couple minutes that I was going to have to deal with Space Arcade: The Hit Broadway Musical. However, as much as I crave toe-tappin' hits and elaborate choreography, I enjoy Galaga-inspired pixel shooter action even more. This appears to be music-meister Matt McFarland's debut game release, and it's so much fun that maybe he should consider quitting his day job.

StarwishVisual novel meets shooter meets RPG meets space opera meets awesome in this unusual hybrid from Anonymous D Studios. After decades of skirmishes and violent protests, the battles between the pirates and the Federation appears to be heating up, and one young pilot finds himself in the middle of it. Strike out on an hours long adventure that combines drama, romance, and fast-paced arcade action in this impressive game.

Toxie Radd 3DIt's a zombie railshooter cheese-stravaganza in Xplored's fast-paced first-person shooter starring Joe, the guy with a machine gun for a hand, and scores of squishy zombies just waiting to be burst. Save the world on rails, gain powerups, and blast bosses in this fast, frantic homage to classic arcade action.

Upgrade CompleterTwo years ago, Antony Lavelle released Upgrade Complete. A mix of shoot em up and space invaders, the games main purpose was to unsubtly parody one of the more obnoxious aspects of modern gaming: the inclusion of unnecessary and convoluted upgrade systems. Everything came at a price and had to be bought: weapons, graphics, music, buttons... even the pre-loader and Armor Games intro animation. However... it turns out that the developers weren't quite done... After all, what is an upgrade system without a sequel that requires you to restart your progress from the beginning? Thus comes Upgrade Completer, a game that advances the original's premise as much as its humor.

Zombies Ate My PhoneZombies Ate My Phone, a Phones4U advergame developed by Koko Games, isn't the first top-down zombie action shooter we've ever featured on JIG. It's probably not even the first top-down zombie action shooter we've featured that's set in a mall. However, it is, in all probability, the first top-down zombie action shooter wherein you can chuck vintage LPs at a mummy. And you know what? Sometimes that's enough.

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