Tag Archive: shmup


Steam Page

Long ago, I stumbled upon the demo for cloudphobia and expected to never be able to access the full game as it was only available in Japan, so seeing an official Steam release for this game was a massive, nostalgia-fueled surprise to say the least. Setting itself apart from every other shmup I can remember, cloudphobia incorporates a strict time limit into each of its levels and players must make use of a speed boost ability to complete each stage before running out of time while also watching their own health as well as the health of the unseen mothership. If you ever thought the shmup genre could benefit from some added complexity, then this is definitely a game you won’t want to pass up!

Cylor vs The Bullets From Hell

itch.io Page || Official Site

The boss fights are often the best parts of bullet hell shmups, so Cylor vs The Bullets From Hell cuts right to the chase by focusing entirely upon a single, ever-evolving boss. Over half a dozen difficulties gives this game plenty of replayability and the fight itself has many memorable twists both aesthetically and in terms of gameplay.


Official Site || Steam Page

RIVE may be an unusual swan song for Two Tribes, the developers of Toki Tori and several other great puzzle games, but this explosive action platformer easily meets the high mark of quality set by its predecessors. Taking place in and around an abnormally deadly space facility, RIVE is a passionately blatant love letter to the sidescrollers and shmups of yesteryear and it is jam-packed with a menageries of over-the-top set pieces alongside a brutally high difficulty curve. With hundreds of robots to destroy and dozens of ways to be crushed, smashed, burnt to ash, and ripped apart, this is one game which does everything it can to live up to its name.

Fraxy – Hellion Draconis by krazykev360

Boss Download
Music: Rockin’ the Yard by prophetik music of OverClocked Remix

Size: 640 x 480
Mode: Free

This is a straightforward, no-frills, single-phase fight and that’s just fine. As much as I enjoy the more intricate bullet hell-style bosses, fights like this one against Hellion Draconis allow the more unique aspects of Fraxy‘s engine to really shine. Hellion Draconis hits the ground running, immediately barraging the player with a nonstop spray of mostly harmless bullets alongside lock-on targeting, homing missiles, a front-mounted laser which packs a rather nasty punch, and even more bullets. With no additional phases and no destructible parts, you can see everything this fight has to offer within the first ten seconds, but the fight as a whole also only lasts about a minute and provides an exhilarating rush from start to finish as Hellion Draconis never eases up on bombarding the player with an onslaught of deadly attacks. In terms of aesthetic design, Hellion Draconis has a simple yet economically stylish appearance with a main body resembling a fighter jet alongside laser swords for wings and a flamethrower tail to make it live up to the ‘dragon’ part of its name. In virtually every way, Hellion Draconis stands as a shining example of how to make a Fraxy boss which is simple without being trivial and it definitely was a welcome surprise to fight against.

Fraxy – Pressure by matteste

Boss Download
Music: Boiling Point by ectogemia of OverClocked Remix

Size: 360 x 480
Mode: Fixed

As a small, glowing red box with rapidly spinning ‘arms’, erratic movements, and fast attacks which force players to keep moving, Pressure has certainly earned its name in both aesthetics and attack design. Pressure has three distinct phases and in turn every phase consists of three attacks which it will cycle through. Though it is fast, most of this boss’s attack patterns fall into one of two types. The first, and most common, type of attack pattern present here is an arcing fan of several rows of bullets which may sometimes have a slight slant, but which otherwise allow for plenty of room while dodging. The second attack type consists of tracking attacks, such as in the form of a homing bullet barrage or a tracking laser and these patterns pose far more danger than the bullet waves. The main source of difficulty in this fight comes from trying to actually hit the boss in the first place as it is a small target and its movements become wider and more erratic with each phase to the point that it constantly bobs in and out of the arena in the final phase. Otherwise, this is a somewhat challenging yet surprisingly manageable fight which remains at about the same level of difficulty from start to finish, though the third phase is the easiest overall due to the lack of homing attacks while an attack pattern during the second phase where two streams of bullets create a double helix shape is by far the most dangerous part of the fight.