As you familiarize yourself with Sine Mora  EX, difficulty declines: bosses and normal enemies have predetermined flight and attack patterns, the structure of the map doesn’t change. But avoiding a barrage of incoming missiles is nevertheless a tantalizing pursuit. One piece of advice: Know your target and its trajectory, then concentrate on your ship. Concentration and quick reflexes are a must, but if you’re up for a challenge and enjoy this genre, you’ll enjoy Sine Mora EX without a doubt.

Blasters of the Universe is what the 80s thought video games would be like in the future. It's neon-drenched, arcadey, and absolutely addictive; the rare marriage of a great concept and flawless execution. But most importantly: it's a blast.

Not all efforts in nostalgia end in success, but with Nex Machina, Housemarque has crafted a fast and fun twin-stick shooter with crisp visuals and challenging gameplay. Flawed only by a problematic mouse adaptation, Nex Machina is a solid execution of a gaming genre staple that promises long nights with guns blazing (instead of sleep).

Lil Tanks is a solid title, providing four distinct game modes, twenty unique types of enemies, four tank variants, and multiple power-ups and weapon upgrades. The gameplay is uncomplicated and offers an enjoyable experience. However, it lacks any form of customization, and it might become repetitive after a few hours. Lil Tanks succeeds as a side-scrolling shooter, but there is a scarcity of originality in the game. That said, genre enthusiasts should certainly be entertained, especially at its current price point.

Flexible in its appeal to those new to the bullet hell subgenre of shoot-em-ups and to those hardened master grazers, Danmaku Unlimited 3 is a solid entry in Doragon Entertainment’s Danmaku Unlimited series. Despite its lack of plot, its polished audio-visual quality, simplified mechanics, and high replayability makes this title a great addition to anyone’s library.

For new-comers and veterans of side-scrolling, bullet-hell, Shoot ‘Em Ups, Bleed 2 brings forward a fluid and action-packed adventure. Its solid gameplay and stylized visuals improve upon the original title of 2012, but its $10 price tag, considering how quick a playthrough is, might only be worth it to those competitive players who regularly top leaderboards and are casually crowned, “Greatest Heros of All Time.”

Frequent Flyer is a game you can picture yourself shoving fistfuls of quarters into down at your local video arcade (if you're so fortunate to have one locally). The retro, 2-D graphics, waves of different enemies, and variety of fun weaponry are a throwback to a time when blowing things up and racking up points were all you needed to have a good time on a Saturday afternoon...

BUTCHER is a polished, extremely well-built 2D shooter that wears its difficulty on its sleeve. It's an absolute blast to play, but players may find difficulty adjusting to the incredible challenges that await them. If you have the patience to withstand this level of gameplay, you’ll be prepared to feel the rush of adrenaline when completing one of BUTCHER’s insanely hard levels. It isn't Dark Soulism, or Hotline Miamian excellence, but it comes darn close. The game looks great and plays great, and I most def recommend it to anyone looking for some brutal, arcade action.

Madrobot X fails to mix up the genre in any meaningful way, but it doesn’t have to. It’s a cheap game that plays well and is worth checking out for anyone who is a fan of old arcade shoot ‘em ups. If you’ve got a buck and a few minutes to kill, you might as well go for it.

DOGOS is a great idea, a great prospect, but the execution is not as well implemented nor improved as it could have been. Hopefully OPQAM’s next venture into the multi-directional shooter will prove more fruitful. 

Responsive controls, varying ships with unique playstyles, clever level and enemy design, and the classic challenge of quarter-fed arcade shmups (yes, there are areas that you must use a bomb to survive) all culminate into an honorably satisfying package that delivers exactly what a true shoot ‘em up of the 00’s should be. Nothing more. Nothing less.

In a gaming word where top-down shooters are quite overplayed and almost flooding the market, Enter The Gungeon has done an excellent job setting itself aside from the rest. Not many top-down shooters have such well-done mechanics and fun dungeon crawling aspects. Currently available now on Steam, priced at $14.99, this game is definitely worth picking up and giving it a run through. I think you’ll enjoy it just as much as I have.

Definitely worth a try; whether you’re interested in perfecting score mechanics or just wrecking some awesome looking pixelly monsters. Hopefully this is evidence of more arcade ports to Steam, because Deathsmiles has got me hankering to go waste six hours on Progear.

WARNING! Assault Cactus Android is not for wussies. It’s for self-proclaimed bad asses who relish in the delectable misadventures of a cadre of curiously charming sugary sweet femme-bots…

Close Order has the chops to be a great arcade style shmup assuming Raconteur is given the proper time (and space) to address the aforementioned issues. Its a fun little title, and If they manage to pull it off, I for one will be the first one to give it another go…