Norton But Nice: Clean ‘Em Up

Clean ‘Em Up is a neon-drenched twinstick shooter and the first commercial release from Amidos, an Egyptian indie developer. Although it’s unlikely to surprise anyone who has played anything of this sort since Geometry Wars pointed the way toward the abstract, Clean ‘Em Up has a pleasing variety of guns to attach to either your front or your rear. Thematically, your front and rear belong to a particularly belligerent antivirus program, careening through hard drives and shooting all sorts of viruses before they can infect files, making them attack, zombie-like. There’s a decent variety of enemies and herding them makes for a less frantic experience than in the brilliant but Adam-crushing Waves. There’s a demo here, the full game’s on Desura for £2.99 and I’ve concealed a trailer below.

The virus zapping set up reminds me of a game I played ages ago, probably back on Windows 95, which was based on the same idea, but it actually found pictures on your computer and used them as infected files. You were shooting actual things that existed and that you had put on your computer! I thought it was quite magical.

And, no, I’m not thinking of that one game that actually deleted the files that were destroyed in game. Was that even a real thing? I think an infection is devouring all my memories today and, yeah, I could search for them but I’d rather see if anyone else remembers. You are all my Google.


  1. Calpanom says:

    Are you thinking about a game called Operation: Inner Space by any chance?

    It was rather interesting.

    • The First Door says:

      Inner Space was absolutely brilliant! It had so much random stuff in it, like being able to annoy or please different factions so they’d change how they reacted to you in future directories. Or the fact you could go racing, or the huge range of different ships, or the way it changed the power ups around lunch time to food and drink.

      Basically I loved it utterly. I might hunt it down and play it again, actually…

    • Krimson says:

      I remember Inner Space actually deleting quite a few of my files, which it probably wasn’t supposed to do. Then again, the version I played came from one of those dodgy E-games discs, so maybe that had something to do with it.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    I don’t think it’s the one you’re thinking of, but psDoom is (I think) the trailblazer of the destroy-your-system genre.

    Unsurprisingly, I’ve never had the nerve to try it out.

    EDIT: The one you probably were thinking of is Lose/Lose, which got a mention on RPS back in 2009, before games journalism was invented.

    • Premium User Badge

      Adam Smith says:

      And yes, that’s the other one! The one in your edit.

      When will games journalism BE invented?

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        And on that day the Gillen shall rise again and, stepping from his Tardis, shall not mention that what shall not be mentioned, but create before us the final and definitive, the one true Games Journalism.

  3. ScottHarrigan says:

    A modern day 8bit shooter is a wonderful idea. This game looks really pretty and fun and for so cheap. It is a good day when cheaper downloadable games are more fun than many of the retail titles out there. I will take this game over the latest boring sixty dollar releases any day. Steel Battalion is big budget and Kinect enabled and I bet it still will not be nearly as fun as this game.

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  4. Scandalon says:

    I’m curious if the title is a reference to Burrell Smith anecdote about playing Defender:

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