Pick On Someone Your Own Size: Boss Rush

The little bastard's just off screen. The bast.

Paper Dino have been working on this for eons – in Internet time, anyway – so when many of you (of whom Andrew Davis was first) mailed us about Boss Rush, I was convinced we’d already blogged it. But no, we played a Beta before Chrimble. But it’s done now! It’s a shooter where you play the boss, basically. Five (count ’em!) bosses are available to play, and – perhaps appropriately as Bosses are always Rubik’s Cubes with ultradeath – with its carefully designed challenges it can feel more like puzzler than a shooter at times. Go have a shot, or several thousand in a single burst. Trailer from late last year is below…

You can also pay five dollars to get some extra content, which is sorted out in-game. Yay!


  1. Brumisator says:


    I had never heard of this game before, and at the end of the video I was like “wut? OICWUTUDIDTHAR!”

    My interest is redoubled.

  2. feitclub says:

    I enjoyed until I actually had to fight something. The CPU enemies are lightning-fast. My ship is not.

    • Lim-Dul says:

      You have to choose the right tactic to fight them. You can use some of your weapons to force them into a certain spot on the screen to take them out with specific shots or even ram them.

      I thought the game would be just a gimmick but I spent like an hour playing it and appreciating how carefully designed everything is. The various boss designs sport unique control and attack schemes and the storylines are very quirky and funny. :-D

  3. Cinnamon says:

    I like the idea but the game was not running smoothly for me and I didn’t like the idea of the mandatory tutorials. I can’t think of any good arcade shoot ’em up that made me go through a set of dull tutorials when I could just start the game and get into the action. An example of super advanced PC game design making an arcade style genre worse, I fear.

    • Wulf says:

      But it really isn’t.
      I can’t help but think that you’re dismissing it arbitrarily, what I’m getting at is that your objection reads like “It looks like X but it doesn’t play like X, and therefore it is bad” instead of being open-minded to the idea. I might be mistaken here but that’s what the post looks like. I feel differently, because I think that the PC is about evolving genres and creating entirely new experiences, and that’s just what this is.
      It’s actually more of a frantic tactics game than a shmup, you’re not playing the feisty little fighter, you’re experiencing what the boss is. And just think, what if the Captain of the boss ship did need a little bit of help to start out? And what if–as the boss ship–it feels like a fast and furious tactics game to play rather than the shmup experience that the feisty little shooter provides? A little imagination goes a long way.
      I implore you to try it again with a more open-mind to what it’s offering you, and if you don’t like it then then fair enough, I can understand and respect that. But don’t dismiss something as wonderful as this on the grounds that it looks like an old shmup but it doesn’t play like one. There’s a new experience there, one which you may like or not like, but dismiss it on the grounds of not liking the tactics game it represents rather than just because it’s something a little bit new, eh?
      (Edited: Sole, lower-case I’s drive me crazy.)

    • Cinnamon says:

      The bad performance is what it is and I don’t like it when the cursor and key presses lag so much. That is the main reason why I don’t want to play the tutorials but in general tutorials and slow starts are a bete noire for me in games. This wouldn’t be the first well recommended game that I’ve given up on because of them for any genre. For them to show up in a safe genre like the old reliable shoot ’em up does not make me happy. And in general, I would say, many shoot ’em ups do have some degree of tactics when it comes to boss fights. Things like different weapon load outs and modes are not uncommon.

    • Wulf says:

      “The bad performance is what it is and I don’t like it when the cursor and key presses lag so much.”

      I think that is down to the computer running it, and for that reason there’s a low/high-quality graphics toggle in the options.

      I didn’t see any lag when playing it on high-quality, though.

      “That is the main reason why I don’t want to play the tutorials but in general tutorials and slow starts are a bete noire for me in games.”

      I can understand that. You could actually shoot an email off to Paper Dino with your thoughts and there’s every chance they’ll listen. The awesome thing about indie/freeware devs is that they usually do listen. Ask them to implement a way to skip the tutorials, but with the later ships the tutorials are actually helpful, I think.

      “For them to show up in a safe genre like the old reliable shoot ‘em up does not make me happy.”

      Yeah, it’s not really a shmup though, it just looks like one. Much in the same sense that Half-Minute Hero isn’t an RPG, it just looks like one. They’re both different games dressed up like others for the sake of fun and innovation.

      “And in general, I would say, many shoot ‘em ups do have some degree of tactics when it comes to boss fights. Things like different weapon load outs and modes are not uncommon.”

      Yeah, but mostly it comes down to split-second reflexes rather than tactics. At least, that’s what my memories of R-Type tell me.

    • Cinnamon says:

      Okay, you have nagged me into trying again.

      My PC is not the best but it looks like thisjust performs badly in Chrome. Firefox was alright. Would contact them but there is no obvious email address and I am lazy.

      I did enjoy the game more after the first few target practice missions. I think that you should try more recent shoot ’em ups though if your last was R-Type and you can’t really remember it. If you enjoyed this then you might enjoy something like R-Type Final even.

  4. Wulf says:

    I’m with Lim-Dul on this. My favourite part about it though is how surprisingly different each boss actually is. After playing as the first boss, the second one really mixed things up for me with drones. The humour is really there, too, what with the game trying to ‘sell’ me the second ship I was piloting. Basically, all the mission texts are provided in-character.

    The thing is, it’s a flash game and utterly free, so you could click through and have a look, and be willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and try stuff, and try the other ships as you unlock them, too. If your mind is wired like mine you’ll have a whale of a time and you’ll gleefully embrace this particular bit of role reversal. It’s good to be the boss.

    This is also actually the first time I’ve felt compelled to send news to RPS, and the way I described it there actually seems to work best for my perception of it: It’s like the Dungeon Keeper of shmups. And for being free and costing so little for the full version, yet providing so much fun, it gets my seal of approval!

  5. Calabi says:

    So thats what its like to be a boss.

    Somewhat annoying, why cant they sit their and take my punch’s like a man.

  6. Pod says:

    I couldn’t get past the bits where I had to hit the enemy in my ships :/

    also: the screen was too small
    also: that nivisible line 3/4 of the way down is terribly annoying


    • Wulf says:

      If you use one of the more advanced browsers out there at the moment (Firefox and Opera) then this shouldn’t be a problem. In Firefox I just use Page Zoom (built in functionality). Hold Ctrl and press + a few times and it increases the size of the page, if there are flash elements present then it increases the size of those, too (unless the creator has told the flash app that it can’t be increased in size, there are a few instances of that and it’s really spiteful if you ask me, but Boss Rush is fine with Page Zoom).

  7. PleasingFungus says:

    The tutorials tend to be annoying (especially for the first ship); the ‘invisible line’ near the bottom is a bother; the first ramming level is downright awful

    But the game proper is amazing, some of the writing is great (especially for the Nidhoggr), there’s a depth of strategy and tactics that changes dramatically from ship to ship – from the pinning-tactics of the first ship to the drone-shielding tactics of the second to the KILL KILL KILL of the third (and I don’t even understand the others, yet) – !

    Will probably end up ‘supporting’ this. Five thumbs up!

    • Wulf says:

      The Antonius was the one that made me laugh the most, I think, because the sales rep was obviously just a masochistic mass-murderer parading as a sales rep.

      “Ha ha, isn’t he great, folks? Now watch as we plunge the ship into a hostile base, filled with enemy fighters, just to see how long he’ll last! You’ll be pleased! Our product is great! Ha ha!”
      “You’re going to do what? I’m being plunged into what??”
      “See how brave he is? Give the man a hand!”

    • Shih Tzu says:

      You might be enjoy running a search on “Antonius storage unit” to see where the inspiration for “Drone Storage Unit Antonius” came from.

    • Ian says:

      How the fuck do you even complete that ramming stage? I can’t force the bugger past the monstrously annoying invisible line.

    • SpinalJack says:

      If you spam the laser beam weapon so that it stays on all the time you can edge the fighter up the side of the screen and then you just squish him.

  8. SpinalJack says:

    At first I was gonna say warning forever what with the boss rush title and 2D shapes style but it turned out to be a pretty decent reverse bullet hell game. Well worth my time.