Best of 2011 (Top 5):
Visual 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.
The 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.
Two 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.
In 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.
Like 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.