Still Great Years Later

HIGH Obtaining 30 ships and then the ghost for twice the firepower!

LOW That ghost always runs out right before a boss battle.

WTF Well hello there, floating half-of-a-lady-robot boss…

Ten years ago after reading Brad’s glowing review, I was persuaded to pick up the indie classic, Shoot 1UP. A decade later, a deluxe version of this intense shmup has been released for modern consoles and I’m happy to report that it’s still a blast to play.

Shoot 1UP DX takes the basic concept of vertical shmups and amplifies it. Instead of waiting until the player has crashed and burned, 1UPs collected mid-level instantly become an additional ship onscreen. More ships equals more firepower – players can amass up to 30 ships at once, all flying side by side to combat the alien hordes swarming the skies across eight levels.

However, there’s a twist besides simply having more virtual wingmen in the skies — the player is able to expand or contract their formation, and each position has different results. When clustered together, the swarm shoot large numbers of small bullets. When spread out, the armada combines their firepower to create a huge single-beam energy cannon.

All this controlled chaos and shmup goodness is backed up with tight controls. Commanding the squadron, even 30 at once, is as smooth as silk, even if trying to avoid 30 different bullets made my eyes cross!

The only negative here is that Shoot 1UP DX is still extremely short! Even with new levels added to this version, players will be able to fly through the main campaign in an hour or less. Fortunately, the “A Score Trek” feature (players get one ship and try to make it as far as they can) and “Serious” difficulty (yes, it’s tough) are included to help extend playtime.

Even though it’s on the short side, Shoot 1UP DX is still a thrill. The ‘multiple ships at once’ concept still feels fresh a decade later, and this landmark indie deserves a spot in every shmup fan’s library.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Disclosures: This game is developed by and published by Mommy’s Best Games. It is currently available on XBO, XBX/S, PS4, PS5 and Switch. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the PS4. Approximately 3 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed on easy and normal modes. Zero hours of play were spent in multiplayer modes.

Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated E 10+ and contains Fantasy Violence and Suggestive Themes. This game is relatively safe for parents who are comfortable having their kids play most shmups. Enemies explode when defeated, but there is no blood or gore. One level appears to have a pod of dead orcas on the ground, but again, no blood. Another level has a large-breasted robot woman as a boss, but no full nudity.

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available.

 Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: This game offers subtitles. The subtitles cannot be altered and/or resized. Some approaching enemies, especially boss fights, are indicated by visual cues, like a blinking exclamation mark, on screen. This game is fully accessible.

Remappable Controls: Yes, this game offers fully remappable controls.

Brian Theisen
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