There is no denying that the survival and battle royale shooter genres are thriving at the moment, but despite the crowded market, there’s always room for more good ones. One title that definitely looks like it is worth keeping an eye on is the upcoming Ring of Elysium from Tencent Games. Ring of Elysium, which was formerly known as Europa, is heading for Steam Early Access on 19 September and players can already wishlist the game on the store page
If you are tired of boring licensed tracks by bands you’ve never heard of and dull brown shooters then Beat Hazard is a revelation. The ability to play to your own music collection is nice and the visuals, while over the top, are certainly colorful. It’s not something you are going to be constantly playing, but you will find yourself coming back to it.
Gameplay: As long as you have music you’ll have fun.
Graphics: Retina searing bursts of color.
Sound: Depending on your taste this is obviously the best part of the game
Hop into the cockpit of your fighter and take down a virtual network that has evolved a little too much for its own good in this shoot ‘em up from Bikkuri Software. It offers non-stop action and a bullet grazing mechanic that forces you to risk life and limb to boost your score while unleashing devastating attacks. The 16-bit style of the visuals and audio offers a nice blast from the past for fans of the genre, but even newcomers can ease into the action thanks to a practice mode and selectable difficulty settings. The game is a little short for our liking and the style might not appeal to everyone, but if you enjoy a good shoot ‘em up you can do far worse than this one.
Gameplay: Being forced to skirt dangerously close to bullets instead of simply avoiding them makes for a frantic experience.
Graphics: The 16-bit visual style is charming, but might not appeal to those who didn’t grow up with the genre.
Sound: The soundtrack is good, but the sound effects lack a little punch
Rocking Pilot enables players to live out their Airwolf fantasies by taking control of a helicopter and laying waste to enemy armies. The game takes the form of a 2D, top down shooter with colorful visuals and arcade style gameplay. Plenty of mission variety and addictive online leaderboards make up for the relatively short campaign mode and the game is addictive enough that you’ll keep coming back until you’ve earned every collectible. Add to this the low price of the game and you have a title that is essential for fans of the genre.
Gameplay: Fast, frantic and very, very addictive.
Graphics: Bright and colorful, albeit a little cramped.
Sound: Features a suitable rocking soundtrack
If you have a hankering for jumping into a tank and blasting everything in your path to smithereens then TankBlitz has got you covered. This 2D, top down shooter looks and feels like an arcade game from the nineties, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s got nonstop action, tons of different enemies to shoot at and enough upgrades to keep you coming back for more. Three difficulty levels and plenty of achievements add to the replay value, but we would have loved to see more than 12 levels. Nevertheless, the game is entertaining from start to finish and we had a blast with it.
Gameplay: Shoot things to earn cash for upgrades so you can do it all again with even more powerful weapons.
Graphics: Not as sharp as we would have liked in high resolution, but packed with detailed.
Sound: No speech, but the effects sound like they’ve been plucked straight from an arcade
Space Invaders Extreme is a prime example of how to remake a classic game without completely ruining the gameplay or boring fans of more modern games. The frantic mix of fast paced action, psychedelic visuals and pulse pounding soundtrack makes this a must have experience for all retro shooter fans and newcomers alike.
Gameplay: Classic retro style shooting action.
Graphics: Pretty basic but the backgrounds bring it to life.
Sound: Integral to the game and very well done
As if there isn’t enough diseases with scary names and even scarier symptoms, the government has cooked up a new one, code-named H7. It is a form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which sounds terrifying enough without even knowing that it turns people into zombies. Not content with simple lab tests, the government started experimenting on people, which as any horror fan will know, caused the virus to spread like wildfire. The good news is that you are one of the very few people who are immune against the effects of H7. The bad news is that everyone else have turned into ferocious zombies and they all want to use your head as a chew-toy
Not everyone enjoys navigating a hail of bullets with pinpoint precision while retaliating with excessive firepower, but if bullet hell shooters are your thing then you can’t go wrong with DoDonPachi Resurrection. The story will probably be lost on most players and the game can be very daunting at first, but it packs a wealth of modes and options. The action is relentless and chasing highscores is undeniably addictive. This Steam version does suffer from a couple of minor issues, but overall it is a great example of the genre and one that all shooter fans will want to add to their collection.
Gameplay: The action is relentless, but very addictive.
Graphics: Good, but the playing area is rather small and mostly filled with bullets.
Sound: The soundtrack is fast paced and upbeat while the sound effects deserves to be cranked up high
If you like your top-down shooters, fast, frantic and a lot of fun then don’t miss out on Wings of War – London Squadron, which is out now on Android. Players get to strap into the cockpit of a propeller-driven aircraft and are tasked with fighting Hitler’s secret Nazi super weapons. The aerial dogfighting takes place over the city of London and in this 360° shooter death can come from any direction
RefRain is a great shooter that strays a little from the usual formula to offer an action packed experience that is based more on skill than luck. Mastering the use of the M.E.F.A2 and Concept Reactor attacks are immensely satisfying and also allows you to play more aggressively. Players used to power-ups and weapon upgrades will find that RefRain has a bit of a learning curve, but this also provides it with more longevity and replay value. Overall, if you are a fan of the genre, then RefRain certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Gameplay: Challenging, but very rewarding when mastered.
Graphics: The designs are a little bland compared to other shooters, but the game is very colorful.
Sound: Features a very fitting electronic soundtrack