Tag Archives: Bullet Hell

Gryzor, Amstrad CPC

In 1987 Konami released the hugely successful run-and-gun shoot ’em up Contra in arcades, and Gryzor is the localised European conversion of that game, published by Ocean Software in 1988.

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Light Force, ZX Spectrum

Light Force is one of the best vertically-scrolling shoot ’em ups on the ZX Spectrum and it was published by Faster Than Light in 1986. It was written by Greg Follis and Roy Carter – the same guys who wrote the classic Spectrum games Tir Na Nog, Dun Darach and Marsport for Gargoyle Games.

The game is a fairly straightforward – if very playable – shooter, with smooth-scrolling backgrounds that have destructible elements, but it is so well presented that it’s hard not to be impressed.

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Panther, Atari 8-bit

This Mastertronic Atari 8-bit budget release from 1987 feels like a budget game – and I don’t mean that as a compliment. It feels like an unfinished, un-polished game.

Panther is an isometric shoot ’em up in the style of Zaxxon, but with very little going on in the game itself.

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Zybex, Atari 8-bit

Zybex is a 1988 shoot ’em up from British developer/publisher Zeppelin Games. It’s a horizontally-scrolling progressive weapons blaster with a main character that looks a bit like the jetpack guy from Dropzone.

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Power Strike II, Game Gear

Power Strike II is a re-titling of the second Aleste game on the Game Gear. It was again developed by Compile and published by Sega in Europe and Brazil in 1993. The original Japanese title was “GG Aleste II: Lance Bird“.

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GG Aleste, Game Gear

The Aleste series of shooters is well known on the MSX, Sega Master System and Super Nintendo, and on the Game Gear this spin-off is known as “GG Aleste” (or Power Strike in some territories). It was developed by Compile and published by Sega in 1991.

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Spheres of Chaos, PC

A trippy Asteroids tribute originally released for the Acorn Archimedes in 1993, Spheres of Chaos was re-programmed and re-released free for Windows and Linux by the original author, Iain McLeod, in 2012. And it’s still available to download for free from spheresofchaos.com – at the time of writing.

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Secret Commando, Sega Master System

Known in North America as “Rambo: First Blood Part II” (complete with movie licensed characters), and “Ashura” in Japan. Also known as: “Not-So-Secret Commando“, since this is an unsubtle clone of Capcom‘s classic 1985 arcade game, Commando (and SNK‘s 1986 game, Ikari Warriors – since it has a simultaneous two-player mode and level designs that echo that game). Joking aside: it’s a pretty good clone of Commando, although it does play rather slowly.

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Santron, Commodore 64

Santron is a Christmas-themed vertically-scrolling shoot ’em up created by Sarah Jane Avory and first released for the Commodore 64 in 2019.

Sarah programmed the game and created all the graphics and sound herself, and it is very good. Santron is actually a variation of Sarah‘s previous game, Neutron.

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Neutron, Commodore 64

Neutron is a vertically-scrolling shoot ’em up created by Sarah Jane Avory and first released for the Commodore 64 in 2019.

It was created for the 2019 RGCD C64 16KB cartridge game development competition, and is actually a re-coding of a game Sarah created in the 1980s but that went unreleased (because the publisher she was tied to at the time went out of business, before the game’s release), and was eventually lost (she regrettably threw away the disks with the source code after moving house years later).

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