Otocky is a cute and colourful side-scrolling shooter with a unique and interesting take on the subject. It was developed by SEDIC for ASCII Corporation and first published in 1987.
You see, rather than firing bullets, you throw balls at enemies to destroy them. And you can throw the balls in eight directions, so in effect you can shoot at enemies behind you (and above and below you) too.
Otocky also has a distinct musical theme to it and at times feels (and sounds) a bit like rhythm game. As you’re chucking out balls left, right and centre you can pick up notes and letters (A, B, C, etc.) to power-up your abilities, and also your special weapon.
Completing a level involves collecting all the hidden notes and letters, and until you’ve done that the level will continue on until you die. Eventually the screen will flash and you will be presented with a boss battle. The bosses are all shaped as musical notes and have various weak spots on them for you to throw balls at.
Otocky was (and still is) a beautiful game to play, once you’ve figured out what’s going on. I had no clue what I was doing initially, but managed to work it out without too many problems. Highly recommended to anyone who likes unusual video games.
More: Otocky on Wikipedia