Tag Archives: vertical scroller

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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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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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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Commando Arcade, Commodore 64

Created by Nostalgia in 2015, Commando Arcade is a reworking of the original C64 Commando port by Elite, but with completely new graphics, sound, and levels. So, rather than it being written from scratch, the game was built around the framework of an existing game.

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Commando, Commodore 64

Programmed by Chris Butler, with graphics by Rory Green and Chris Harvey, and music by Rob Hubbard, the Commodore 64 conversion of Capcom‘s arcade game Commando is considered to be a classic 8-bit game, even though it was put together very quickly (ie. rushed-out) by publisher Elite Systems.

After acquiring the official license they wanted it out in time for Christmas 1985, which gave the coders around four months to make the game. As a result Commando on home computer systems was a cut-down version of the arcade game, with fewer levels than the original and somewhat bare-bones graphics.

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Slap Fight, Arcade

Slap Fight is a vertically-scrolling, progressive weapons shoot ’em up developed by Taoplan and manufactured by Taito 1986. It’s also known as “Alcon” in the US.

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River Raid II, Atari 2600

Based on Carol Shaw‘s classic vertically-scrolling shooter, but not created by her, River Raid II is a more challenging and slightly more complex take on the River Raid concept.

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Quarth, Arcade

Quarth is a brilliant mixture of Tetris and shoot ’em up and was first played in arcades in Japan in 1989. Outside of Japan it is known as “Block Hole“, which – let’s face it – is a stupid name, so I’m sticking with the original name, Quarth.

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