Click Click Bang Bang: GOG’s Shoot ‘Em Up Sale

It was either this screenshot or one with the play area covered entirely in numbers.

I find shoot ’em ups fascinating and beautiful and exciting to watch but I’m so unfamiliar with the genre I don’t even know where to start, a bit with like fighting games. My fingers can still remember how to strafe-jump after 17 years, but I’m danged if they’ll learn how to punch out a shoryuken or dodge in bullet hell. It’s a shame, as shmups seem to be coming back. One newish shmup I hear mentioned a fair bit is Crimzon Clover World Ignition and hey, it’s only £2.69 in a shmup sale on GOG, which also includes dear old Raptor: Call of the Shadows.

Raptor’s probably the only shmup I’ve played a lot of, though that was all the shareware. I tend to think of it as one of Apogee’s ‘shareware classics’, as it seemed everyone I knew with a PC 20 years ago played it. This may well be a large slap of nostalgia. It’s certainly from a different school of shmup to bullet hells like Crimzon Clover. Look at how wild this is:

The sale’s a small one, only discounting those two along with Humans Must Answer, Raiden III, and Raiden Legacy but hey, I’m aware we should probably post about shoot ’em ups more, so here we are.

Or if you want free things, I had fun playing upcoming shmup Blue Revolver’s alpha demo last week. Just don’t ask me how it compares to other modern shmups.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    As ever, Tyrian 2000 (free on GOG) is a great place to start with shmups. Not too hard on normal difficulty, great soundtrack, amusing writing, good mix of ships and upgrades. Final “bonus” episode (episode 5) is awful but otherwise it’s well worth a play.

    • Prolar Bear says:

      Yes! Tyrian is fantastic. There’s quite a bit of content and it’s pretty fun to play. Oh, and banana guns.

    • kyrieee says:

      Great soundtrack indeed. Composed by one of the guys who worked on the music for UT99 / Deus Ex.

  2. BooleanBob says:

    I wonder if we all join hands and perform the ancient summoning chant, we can get Stuart Campbell to show up in the comments and explain why we’re all terrible for thinking the likes of Raptor and Tyrian were good games.

    Say it with me, folks:

    Derek Smart, Derek Smart, Derek Smart…

    Wait, shit.

  3. Kefren says:

    I used to play shareware Raptor as well; finally played through the full thing (from GOG) last week.

    I tend to prefer shoot em ups on my Amiga emulator. Blood Money and Project X are my faves.

  4. Guvornator says:

    Ah, shareware shmups, I remember them well. Safari Software did some good ones – Highway Hunter stands out as one of my favorites, not least because it was one of the top down driving smups that no one seems to make any more. Really eye catching design.

    As for Crimson Clover, it’s probably the most fun I’ve had in s shmups since I installed DoDonpachi via MAME all those years ago. This is probably because it plays a lot like it. Still, it’s worth £3 of anyone’s money. Double Break Mode for the win!

  5. iainl says:

    Does anyone know if this Crimson Clover does Portrait Mode properly? I finally got a rotatable monitor the other week, and Ikaruga is quite the sight to behold on it.

    • Tim James says:

      It supports it although I don’t know if it’s properly or not since I haven’t tried it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      I doubt it matters, since the actual viewing area appears to be very close to square. Very egalitarian of them, to make equally poor use of both horizontal and vertical displays.

  6. RARARA says:

    I guess the Xerox Alto could foresee the rise of shmups all the way back in ’73.

  7. SominiTheCommenter says:

    Screw shoot’em ups, GOG has Toonstruck now!

  8. deadwanderer says:

    A++ alt text, Alice!