Thoth Turns What You Know About Arcade Shooters Upside-Down

Thoth [Steam page] is an interesting exercise in deconstructing the twin-stick shooter from the developer who brought us 140. Jeppe Carlsen, who also works with Limbo and Inside devs Playdead, has come up with something fairly unique here that you might want to try out if you enjoy Games That Feel Out of the Ordinary.

It’s not fancy-looking, nor is it a study on who the developer is as a person. There’s no pseudointellectual babble about love and life and peace and laughing under the trees. But there is a lot of fun to be had, and a lot of weirdness, too.

For instance, you play as a small dot. You control said dot via the left and right sticks of your gamepad and take out foes left and right. Then a boss. Until your enemies start fighting back in important ways. Sometimes it’s a projectile that you’ll end up being killed by, most likely. Others they leave behind obstacles that feel a little more sneaky, but you’ll still find that you’ve been caught by them a few times.

All of this from colored dots and surrealistic backgrounds. To look at the game you probably wouldn’t even know what’s going on, and that’s part of why it goes so far to flip the genre on its head. Its minimalistic essence is quite interesting, as is its ambient soundtrack. Lends a bit of a creep factor, I’d say.

Try it out for yourself via Steam at 20% off right now for £5.59/7,99€/$7.99. It’s on Windows and Mac.


  1. poliovaccine says:

    I’m afraid neither this piece nor the short video really express to me, an admitted arcade game illiterate, precisely *how* this turns the genre on its head… I could do with some further explanation from somebody…

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Looks like when you destroy enemies they become black voids you have to avoid.

  2. shagen454 says:

    That looks pretty cool. But, it also reminded me that I haven’t played Space Giraffe in a long time, I need to do that!

  3. Eichhorn says:

    Got this from the current Humble Monthly bundle. I’ve finished the main campaign in 45 minutes, the price point of $10 seems a bit too high because of that.

    It contains 64 levels in sets of 4 and you have to complete a whole set for the game to save your progress, otherwise you’ll reset to the beginning of the set on your death. The mechanics are simple yet engaging enough, I’d wait for a bigger sale though…

    ( There are procedurally generated levels after that if you’re still interested in playing the game. )

    • Beefenstein says:

      I thought I’d replied to this thread for a solid 10 seconds because that squirrel in a hat is the picture I use on Steam.

      [EDIT FUNCTION!!!] Anyway, I have a question: is Humble Monthly worth it? I’m prejudiced against it because so little of the money goes to charity and also I find that the games I actually want (and don’t already have) end up on key reselling sites due to supply increasing far above demand.

      • TheLetterM says:

        For what it’s worth, I find them a very good deal. I’ve bought every single one since March, after deeply rueing not buying several of the early bundles. Definitely feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth.

        One big caveat though, is that it greatly helps if you’re a game generalist. If you only like a small set of genres, you’re likely going to end up with a bunch of games you’ll end up trading off, as each bundle is a pretty broad smattering of stuff. It also helps if you’re open to the hard-to-categorize stuff like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

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    syllopsium says:

    Can’t say I see the point. I’m a shmup fan. Not seeing new mechanics here, decent graphics, or awesome sound.

    VVVVVV improved platformers. This… I accept that a lot of shmups are similar to older ones, but with smoother action, better visuals, and sound. This is not really a problem.

  5. allthegoodonesweretaken2 says:

    This definitely has a Devil Daggers vibe in sound and enemy design.

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    particlese says:

    Ooooo… I really liked 140, and this does look interesting. The unsettling aural aspect puts me in mind of Thumper, too, though obviously without the percussive aspect.