Following in the well-trod footsteps of games like Geometry Wars and Robotron 2084, ZunderFury is a hardcore arena shooter that is happiest when it's overwhelming you with throngs of spiky blob-things. You can even spend money in between rounds to upgrade your ship, and the game comes with a full set of Xbox Live-style achievements, called "Feats", which is a smart way to personalize and flesh out the experience.
Hydro is a side- scrolling shoot-em-up with a methodical pace and an odd premise. Armed with a water gun, a jet-pack, and a snazzy shorts 'n t-shirt combo, you must battle a horde of flying robots that are all shaped like sea-life and have names like "Roboctopus". It's just a simple, well-told story of a flying man and his deadly water pistol.
Areas is a simple-looking but ultimately complex, addictive and atmospheric shooter by Ridulous. There is no text to be had in the menus, only icons, which are easy enough to figure out. And you don't click on them, or anything, throughout the game. If you want to interact with something, mouse over it and be patient, and it will unfold for itself.
Ever feel like you are only one little super powered beetle against an infinite horde of other super powered beetles in an epic battle for survival, power and gold? No? Well, now you can get just that feeling in Beetle Wars. Your goal is simple: Kill all the other beetles and insects around you without dying; how you achieve that goal is not so simple.
Ether Cannon is a new action shooter from Luke Paakh of Pop Ethos. You control a space ship which is the last hope of... Well it doesn't really say, but it seems urgent. It's a beautiful game, the particle effects in it are just brilliant, and the action it delivers is (mostly) smooth, polished, and pretty refreshing. The game does a great job of delivering lots of fast shoot-em-up fun without ever reaching a plateau.
In Ragdoll Invaders, the falling spikes are replaced with lasers and explosives, but lo and behold, your floppy ragdoll stickman is replaced with... another floppy ragdoll stickman. But wait, there's more! His arms, unlike the other stickman, have been replaced with DUAL CHAIN GUNS. Which have unlimited ammunition. This pretty much makes any game flipping hardcore.
Mr. MothBall 2: Cotton Carnage is a charming shooter from Polish artist Mateusz Skutnuk, author of both the Covert Front and Submachine point-and-click series of games. You control a white mothball trying to shoot down evil red mothballs in an adorable penciled world with pastel shading. The game is a spiritual sequel to Mr. MothBall platformer entered in our 4th game design competition.
It's got action. It's got puzzles. It's got zany... everything. The Tall Stump is an action platformer that feels like an adventure game laced with short puzzles. As you travel through the game you find strange items and learn to use them in even stranger circumstances, all in the name of working your way deeper into the stump. An exceptional game that won best of show in our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, and now follows-up that achievement with being the top platform game in the Best of 2007.
Nanobots is the latest from the web-game nanofactory assembly line that is Nitrome. While not as inventive as some of its other releases, Nanobots takes your classic shoot-em-up, wraps it in a cool metaphor of nanomachines fighting inside a cell, and polishes it to a shiny finish. The result is one of the best Flash-based shmups on the internet.
Our most recent competition has shown some seriously inventive interpretations of the theme "Replay", and one of the standouts in that category is Carl Foust's Super Earth Defense Game. It's a typical side-scrolling shooter on its face but, in a unique twist, really shines once your ship gets destroyed.
From developer Sam Horton of Funface Games comes Oroboros, an action title that borrows from games such as flOw and Snake. You control Oroboros (the serpent forming a circle by swallowing its own tail) as you absorb energy clusters to unlock portals to new dimensions. As you progress, your tail grows to give you new abilities that let you combat the increasingly tough foes.
Zeta Flow is a Flash-based shmup in which you control an innocent little turret gun ship as you fight off giant mechanical enemies. Each level pits you against one evil ship, getting progressively bigger and badder from level to level. It's a fun game that plays great, and there's even a level editor, too!
One part shooter, one part visual/audio toy, Cubex by RoboJAM is a stunning Flash game reminiscent of the Dreamcast/PS2 musical shooter Rez. The first person view sends you flying through a futuristic corridor defending yourself against polygonal enemies that appear in the distance. With the mouse, simply move the target around the screen and pelt your foes with weapons fire. The throbbing techno beat in the background keeps things running right along, and each time you fire and destroy an enemy you add to the music.
Gravity Pods is a physics-based vector shooting/puzzle title created by Wicked Pissah Games. The goal is to fire a projectile and hit a target across the screen. Barriers are usually in the way, but by using gravity pods you can bend the path your projectile takes to send it virtually anywhere on the screen.
Generic Defense Game takes a few select elements from tower defense titles and shooters, and then slaps on a thick coat of parody paint. Instead of fending off hordes of ghastly beasts from far-off fantasy lands, you'll protect Pac-Man from ghosts, keep your lunch safe from insects, and defend ramen noodles with a machine gun. It's a very basic game with swappable elements that make the core gameplay ripe with entertainment.
Too often do we come across Flash games (especially shooters) that are either too brief or too repetitive. Luminara is a brilliant example of how to avoid those problems. It's simple enough: you are a dot and you fire bullets. And like any good game, the premise always stays exactly this simple. What gets more complex are the subsequent waves of enemies that come at you.
Benjamin Colwell of Indie Flash Arcade has just released this remarkably attractive arcade Flash game that blends the casual gameplay of classic video games with a stylish (and stunning!) presentation. The result is POD: Planetary Orbital Defense, a 15-level shoot-em-up bonanza that culminates in a boss fight against an alien invasion.
In Rapture Capture, take control of a ship with a tug wire attached by waving the mouse back and forth. The tug wire is your only defense against incoming enemies and munitions, use it as a whip to take out anything that comes at you. The tip of the tug wire is especially powerful, as you can even capture enemies with it and whip them around as a weapon. It's fantastic!
From shmup guru Kenta Cho, L.A.2 is similar to John Conway's game of Life but, well, just the opposite. Instead of creating cellular automata, your job is to destroy them. Swarms of cells grow and multiply around the edges of the screen with the occasional enemy craft hidden amongst them. Maneuver around the screen charging your glider weapon and releasing it to destroy advancing cubes.
Bubble Tanks is a hypnotic and relaxing shooter if ever there was one. Man your bubble ship on an excursion through a vast bubble field seeking out hostiles to assimilate. The more bubbles you collect, the larger your ship and the greater your weapon become. But as you grow so do the enemies that you will find around you. It addictive and relaxing, a dangerous combination.
A brand new game from varStudios, the creators of Neon Wars 2, has recently graced the internet: Abstract Sea. Using simple but stylish visuals and a nice electronica soundtrack, the game puts you in control of an armed ship at sea fending off enemy attacks. The game has a very visceral feel to it with screen-shaking explosions and a few power-ups floating atop the deep blue sea.
Orange, a follow up to the first color-themed game Red, is another physics-based Flash project by designer Case. In the center of the screen sits a heavy orb. You control a mobile orange dot with the mouse and can fire shots at the nearest object. Move around the screen shooting at the orb in an attempt to push it off the screen. Get too close, though, and its gravity starts to pull you in.
The rather strange online flash game Toon Crisis 2 combines photographs of real locations in the UK with cartoon enemies leaping out of bushes to attack you, all in the traditional click and shoot style. If you think that's weird, check out the weapon: your right hand with thumb and forefinger extended.
Often I think to myself what I would do if I was ever in a futuristic jet on a futuristic highway chasing tanker trucks, launching missiles at them, and all the while avoiding sentry and assault drones. With Damien Clarke's new game, Jet Speed, I no longer have to ponder this theoretical scenario in my head—I actually get to give it a try!
Borrowing a page from the book of Ikaruga, the absurdly talented developers of Stimunation Games have just released this stunning Flash shooter that will make your jaw drop and your eyes water from ogling the screen for hours.
Nobuyuki Forces 3 takes the duck-and-fire frenzy of Time Crisis and dumps it into your browser window. Playing a secret agent infiltrating the soldier-infested base of a power-hungry politician, you must survive several intense levels of shooting action while upgrading your stats and gathering items along the way.
Pixel Blaster is a simple and stylish flash-based shooter by Tom Thornton of ThorGaming. Waves of stark white ships appear in the circular playing field and attack your vessel. With a remarkably useful charge shot and two-handed controls, you must fend off dozens of enemies before plunging into an intense boss battle. The game is vaguely reminiscent of GridWars but places a stronger emphasis on physics and old fashioned ship blasting rather than overwhelming you with dozens of enemies at once.
Pod Panic is a gorgeous little arcade Flash shooter that is simple to play and terribly addictive. Each level presents you with an increasing number of pods, round bumper-like objects that tend to gravitate towards your ship, and a string-creature that is rather hypnotizing to watch. Great old-school arcade fun in a tight little package.
Featuring a couple of new and more difficult enemies, and controls that allow for more variation in gameplay, Neon 2 succeeds in taking this very enjoyable idea to the next level. Ali has done a fine job at updating an already excellent shooter and making it not only better than the original, but also into a somewhat different experience. Sure it looks similar, and yet it feels different.
Red offers up a brand new take on a classic gameplay mechanic in this simple and new, stylish arcade shooter that plays a little like Missile Command. Some of the most enjoyable games with addictive gameplay are based on very simple ideas, and Red is no different in this regard.
Panic is a simple and stylish arcade game made in homage to a classic on the Commodore 64, Astro Panic. Made in Flash and sporting an impressive new soundtrack as well as eye-pleasing particle effects, Panic plays like a cross between Space Invaders and Pang.
You know that dream, the one where you're walking down the streets of London listening to the frantic sounds of Gogol Bordello, when homicidal cartoons start spilling out of the scenery? Me neither, but thanks to Toon Crisis I know how to handle myself in just such a situation.
Although you may have played similar games recently, such as Geometry Wars, Grid Wars, Rainbow Wars, and the like, this next one was very nicely done in Flash and requires no download other than the usual loading within a browser. Engaging from the second it starts, Neon is one of those rare games that just feels great to play.
Gamma Bros. is a deliciously slow-paced old-school space shooter created by PixelJam. It's written in flash and offers both an online version and downloadable files for the Mac and Windows. Although simple in looks and design, Gamma Bros. gives the illusion of a massive game world interspersed with moments of action and quiet space floating.
Uchuwars is a classic-style shmup with weapon power-ups and bombs. I found this shmup when I visited Babarageo for the banner game reviewed recently on JIG. The instructions are in Japanese, but it didn't take long to figure out what to do.
Babarageo STG Banner is a tiny 15 pixel tall space shooter. Most banner games have a single goal that can usually be accomplished in a few seconds. However, STG Banner introduces something a little different: rotating images with clickable hotspots. It may not sound like much, but it adds a surprising amount of strategy to an otherwise mindless game.
Akai Ryu, or Red Dragon, is a surprisingly addictive little shooter created by Jason Reinsvold and available to play on his LostVectors website. The object of the game is to stay alive as long as possible while shooting down all of the various enemies that come into play.
Invader360 is a great little Flash based tube shooter, similar to arcade classics Tempest, Gyruss or, more recently, ABA Games' downloadable Torus Trooper. Developer f1ash brings this exotic branch of the shmup tree to life with frantic action and a minimal, well defined style.
Remember the amazing, jaw-dropping, Shockwave 3D first person shooter (FPS) demo that surfaced last year just prior to GDC? The game was called Phosphor Alpha and it was created by Nick Kang of Rasterwerks. Well, he's done it again: Phosphor Beta 1 kicks the action into high gear by including multiplayer deathmatch functionality, with additional mods being added regularly.
Megatons of action packed into a tight little Flash package that features appealing graphics and effects, and a dynamite soundtrack. Combat Heaven is an insanely great shooter with periods of non-stop over-the-top action that is intense and gratifying. Amazing fun awaits just beyond the learning curve.
One of the first playable games available from the promising Dot-Invasion studio, Meteor Busters is a simple and beautifully designed top down shooter. If you're already a fan of shmups or retro pixels, you'll probably appreciate Meteor Busters. The graphics are lovely and extremely polished and the gameplay is fun while it lasts.
From South Korea comes this stylized side-scrolling shooter that features over-the-top action and two (2) playable characters, Happy & Smile, a bunny and a cat. But don't let their cartoonish good looks fool you: these cute and adorable animals pack a mean punch, carry lethal weapons, and have fearsome special attacks that will fry any enemy to a crisp.
Robobug Blaster is a gorgeous platform shooter with an unusal vertical orientation. The object of the game is to protect the cargo boxes, as they travel from top to bottom along the conveyor belts, from the cargo-hungry robobugs. The robobugs will latch onto a box and damage it quickly, so fast action is required to navigate the entire system and keep the path clear.
You might know XGen Studios as the makers of Fishy, Motherload, Stick RPG and Defend Your Castle. Well, they have created another excellent Flash game, only this time it is a top-down shooter and features over-the-top multiplayer melee action in any browser. In Stick Arena, you take the role of a stick figure aiming to kill everyone else in sight to elevate yourself within the ranks.
Another amazing shoot-em-up just released from the ultra-talented folks at Bloc Media in the UK. Pop Pirates is an arcade shooter with a hi-tech computer network security theme: Prepare to be digitized to eradicate all bugs and virus threats while reclaiming your music files as you go. Shmup-dilly-umptious and terribly addictive!
Deanimator is an elegantly simple, gorgeous and gruesome shooter that was inspired by one of H. P. Lovecraft's short stories, Herbert West: Reanimator, which is the gruesome tale of an eccentric young doctor with a penchant for experiments that involve reanimating the dead. If you have the stomach for survival horror, don't miss this one.
A recent addition to David Thorburn's Teagames.com website, Zombie Romp is a 2D side-scrolling melee shooter the likes of which are beyond this world. The object of this simple shooter is to stay alive by shooting zillions of zombies and battling a battalion of bats.
Sporting stylized graphics and an infectious soundtrack, GunRun delivers the goods with flair in classic arcade action style. This beautiful 2D side-scrolling shooter was created in Flash by Felix Reidl of Germany.
An fantastic Flash shoooter with fast action and stunning visuals, ShoOot is the certainly one of the greatest and most addictive games from the house of Tonypa. Borrowing an element of gameplay from Pang and Duo, the veteran casual game developer serves up an accessible and immediately gratifying experience using Web-efficient stylized graphics.
Another one for the classic games section, I made a reference to this game when reviewing Swarm due to the way the enemies swarmed onto the play field.
Galaca is a Java applet 'clone' of the classic action arcade game Galaga. Originally created by Namco and released as a coin-op amusement...
Raiden X is an excellent Flash shooter game that is a lot of fun to play, though it was a bit easy for me to complete on Normal difficulty. The trick is in the power-ups, which are many. Tons of enemies and larger boss-types in this game. Excellent Flash work by a talented, young (age 13!) game developer.
The very talented guys at Square Circle Co., Chris "iopred" Rhodes and Chris "DayDream" Hildebrand, have just released their third Heli Attack game, and it's available exclusively at Miniclip.com.
From Sony Pictures comes these three (3) Flash games from the Kung Fu Hustle movie website, each featuring classic-style videogame pixel graphics and gameplay.
Kung Fu Fighter is a simple old-school fighting game that offers special moves and opponents to unlock. You must defeat the opponents the game pits you up...
Flash-in-the-Can 2005 award winner, Grant Skinner, has put together an impressive and ambitious pseudo-3D first-person shooter in Flash. There is even a back-story in case you need a reason to shoot at cute little creatures.
Puki: The Swarm begins after a routine mission to a space station, in a far away...
Uminin strikes once more with this gorgeous Flash shmup from his Flash Game Zone website, titled: Floatin' Assault. Well, that's not exactly the way he spells it, and yet I am sure that is what he means. =)
Floatin' Assault offers two different fighter types to choose from: Heavy and Standard....
This time a Flash shmup from Uminin of the Flash Game Zone in Japan. Moment Zero is a mostly grayscale shooter of exceptional design. Noteworthy features include a lock-on targeting mechanism and multiple paths through the game.
From the initial enemy wave you can tell this isn't any ordinary shooter. The...
Bloc Media is responsible for the latest Club 404 diversion on Sony's Playstation UK website: an amazing Flash shooter that is packed with fun and gameplay to boot. And you're in for a real treat, because just a peek under the hood of this little shmup reveals a stash of pleasant...
Jumping right into some addictive gameplay after finals is just what I need to escape from all the stress and pressure. I want something fast with lots of action and adrenaline, lots of explosions and particle effects, and a rocking soundtrack.
Brent Silby's DNA delivers on all of these fronts. The...
The über-talented Preloaded folks have done it again and released another Flash game to promote their own skillz, and this one does a fine job of showing off the Flash magic they are capable of. Heart Attack is an arcade action shooter in which you play as Cupid trying to save the love from the darkside by shooting arrows at little devils and other assorted gremlins.
Arguably one of the greatest video games of all time, and certainly one of the classics, Asteroids was released to the arcades by Atari in 1979. Twenty-five years later the game is still captivating gamers with its gameplay and its physics.
But Belter is better.
From creator Russ Duckworth's Truantduck Games comes...
Brent Silby has created one of the coolest arcade games I have played in a very long time. Think retro-cool as in Galaga, Defender, Centipede and Robotron, and you'll be close to what the action is like in surely one of his best games to date. Replicator captures the essence of arcade action fun and delivers it lovingly in a browser window.
Escort, scout and fight your way through enemy territory in an armed reconnaissance helicopter, the Tiger. This Flash game is also from the Australian military's website, and it offers up similar challenge difficulty as that found in both Operation Thunderbolt and Operation Seahawk, previously reviewed here at JIG.
More military training Flash from the Australian government's website. The game Operation Seahawk has you piloting a navy Seahawk helicopter to fire torpedoes at enemy submarines and patrol boats, and to rescue stranded military personnel. The arrow keys control the craft, while the space bar fires torpedoes, picks up personnel, and is used to land on the ship as well.
Those talented NeoDelight boys from Germany strike again, and this time with a brand new Flash platformer. With Alex in Danger you can run, jump and shoot badies to your heart's content. Alex is a very pretty game, and its responsive controls give it the needed boost in the gameplay department.
A game that looks and feels very similar to Nintendo's Starfox games, Starfish Chronicles is a Shockwave game of the same space-flight shmup genre. The game makes effective use of many of Shockwave 3D's more advanced features to create a compelling experience that rivals commerical offerings. Although control is with the arrow keys and the space ba...
The Australian government has issued this latest game for would-be pilots interested in joining the Australian Defence Force. The Flash game consists of mission based levels that have you flying an F/A 18 Hornet aircraft by using the mouse to guide the plane. You must keep the plane with the boundaries of the gates as you follow the lead aircraft. ...
Alien Hominid is a fast-paced 2D side-scroller in which players must run, jump and shoot their way across the globe in pursuit of the alien's coveted UFO. Also sporting 2-player madness, this game is a truly original title with outstanding hand drawn cel-shaded graphics and animation.
This well-crafted Flash game is a simple shmup that is fast and furious, as well as addictive. He's done a nice job with implementing power-ups, bonus multipliers, smooth animation particle effects, and a high score list, too. So, if you like shmups, you're gonna love SpaceFighta.
Written in Flash by Johnny Slack, an interactive multimedia technology student at Purdue, this version of Duck Hunt uses the mouse for aiming and shooting. It looks, acts and sounds just like the original (though it offers only one mode of play).
I've been having a lot of fun lately playing this old-school style, top-down shmup (shoot-em-up) called Hurricane developed by Nuvorm in the Netherlands. Along the lines of the arcade classic Galaga, this one has power-ups to increase shields and weapons with lots of cool pyro-technic particle effects. There is also a downloadable PC version of the game available.
A lot of thought and design went into developing the Anti-Bush Online VideoGame. It's a mix of SouthPark brashness with old-school 2D side-scrolling fun. Everyone should play it, if for no other reason than to see just how George Bush has failed us as our president. The Emperor has no clothes! We must get rid of him before it's too late.
A fantastic Asteroids recreation from Shawn at Hot Flash Games, and boy does it rock! Very authentic classic gameplay with a serious modern soundtrack that just... ROCKS! Shawn did an excellent job designing the sound for the game, as it contains a mix of classic Asteroids samples and some phat rocking beats.
This is simply amazing. Someone that goes only by the name of Voxel, has created a 3D version of the original Metroid game in Director! By taking the Metroid tileset, he built a utility that allows him to convert 2D sprites to 3D sprites, and then he uses those to build the levels of the game.
Back in the day, Space Invaders, by Japanese company Taito, was one of the coolest games to come along as it was one of the first (if not the first) electronic game ever to offer open-ended gameplay. What that means is that it's impossible to 'beat' the game, the aliens just keep coming at you relentlessly.