if you like action...especially shooters...and in this case arena shooters:
try them, they are worth it
if you should know more good ones, please mention them.
UPDATE September 2010
The Arena Shooter Tribute Video - 93 Arena Shooters In 10 Minutes
(6 sec clips of each game)
for new discoveries and gameplay videos i recommend to check out the arena shooters on my site.
(it is much more convenient to browse through these games....and each game comes also with screenshots and a gameplay video etc)
thats a very well designed arena shooter.
i prefer dual analog gamepad in this game but the other control schemes work also pretty good.
wasd movement + mouse aiming. shoot with left mouse button and hold it down to charge a power shoot.
right mouse button beams you to a random place on the screen.
two different powerups will appear when you reach a specific score:
the bomb or a black hole.
made by a designer from volition inc (descent, free space, red faction, the punisher).
very good game!
massive eye candy.
control with dual analog gamedpad or with keyboard (wasd for directional shooting and arrow keys for movement, but its on you cause its customizable).
psychedelic in some way with the music and the background that looks like a space tunnel in which you fly through.
gain more fire power during the game and shoot the enemies.
this arena shooter is pure awesomness. it plays like a charm.
graphics, sounds, music...great!
seems like asteroids got a huge update, plus its also "a bit like geometry wars" (according to the description of the game page)
the controls are very smooth and you can decide in the options menu which control scheme you prefer
(keyboard, mouse, gamepad...)
i prefer mouse movement (which is very fast and accurate and shooting with wasd)
check it out. superb game. period!
Dual Analog Gamepad Support Version
so whats this? gliding through a blood filled room with your jetpack on your back and shooting enemies down. splatter included.
wasd movement and mouse for aiming. great. switching through your weapons and collect the powerups to survive and shoot down the massive amount of enemies.
controls, graphics, sound effects = very good.
Grid Wars 2
thats the ultimate geometry wars clone.
very well made with nice graphics and effects.
decide between different control schemes and graphic options.
mac and linux ports
so what do we got here?
controlling a fast car while you shooting the enemies in different settings
collecting the different powerups and weapons and drive at good speed.
Pteroglider (its not an arena shooter, but its very fun)
graphics are pretty nice and fluid, 2d gameplay with 3d animated objects.
controls the glider with WASD and aim with your mouse 360°. shoot with Left Mouse Button and fire missiles with the Right Mouse Button.
Ancient Ants Adventure
very cool game...funny...its a top down shooter (so its also a form of an arena shooter) in which you control an ant and your team follows you...
movement is wasd and you aim with your mouse...plus some additional things which i have listed below in the controls section.
graphics are well done and fluid... !
so the ultimate arcade shooter and prime father of all arena shooters robotron:2084 got an great remake...
its mechatron 2154 and the gameplay is the same like in the 80s...frantic, fast and funny...awesome!
Robotron 2084 Remake
very good top down shooter...the controls and the gameplay is great...
when you got enough points you will get powerups such as drones and weapon upgrades.
very funny arena shooter with fluid retro graphics.
controls and gameplay are great.
Engage to Jabberwock
Its Zelda Dungeon Style...but its an arena shooter with lots of bullets and special abbilities...
additionally here is a map to the whole dungeon....its made by a fan of the game
<a href= "http://shootthecore.moonpod.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?p=986#986">Full Map Of "Engage To Jabberwock"</a>
basically a robotron remake...good stuff...there is also a sequel to this one but the problem with the problem is: the controls are soooo slow that i stopped playing before i finished the first level...
Download and Review of the last Freeware Version 1.4 of Crimsonland
well...this is truly a masterpiece...
Neocron Arcade - The N.M.E. Project
top down shooter action with slow motion effect....
action scrolls so its not limited to one single screen.
therefore not an arena shooter...but a top down shooter.
GlobotWars Final Edition
fun gameplay, smooth action and 40 levels...i made it to the 30 level with the second try)
not a classic arena shooter but a great innovative shooter.
you can move left and right while you are fixated on the middle of the screen (or on the bottom) , shoot the enemies and gain powerups while watching all the eye candy stuff.
while you shoot in both directions (with different ammo) at the same time you can turn your ship by presing the right mouse button.
(from the same team that made ethe excellent arena shooter echoes)
arena shooter with smooth controls and a special mission:
shoot the colored circles so they will left a paint mark.
color the whole screen that way and get powerups.
(from the same team that made the excellent arena shooter echoes)
a great boss fighting shooter.
only you against a big boss.
movement with arrow keys.shoot with Z, move slowly with X and activate aiming with D.
when you pushed D you can now move around with arrow keys and set your fire direction.
when you now push fire you shoot fixated at this direction while you can move around the boss.
gamepad is also supported.
(info:no arena shooter)
so whats going on here. classic gameplay and good controls combined with nice graphics. i configured it that way:
movement with left and right arrows and thrust with up arrow.
shoot with A and shield with S. but its up to you what controls you prefer.
so your mission is:
1.)collect the little people by landing carefully on the ground
2.)shoot the enemies.
3.)if you want you can fill up your fuel by thrusting carefully beside the fuel tank and activate shield. so the fuel wll be transfered to your ship. dont touch the tank.
3.)destroy the base (countdown begins) and thrust into space
(info:no arena shooter)
this game is in the same vein but its not similar.
so...basically same as above but you have also to collect a pod by activating your shield when you are close enough. with the pod on your rope its extreme hard to control cause it swings and when it hits anything it explodes...and so you.
2.)maybe fill up your tank by thrusting carefully beside the fuel tank while you activate your shield. dont touch the tank.
3.)collect the pod by actating shield.
4.)destroy base. (countdown begins)
5.)escape into space
what to say. great game. geometry wars clone. offers good playability with the dual analog gamepad.
but theres one negative point: its timed and will stop after 6 miutes of gameplay.
i think its because to get not involved into copyright infringements.
well this is a great pixelated retro shooter. its not an arena shooter but it has some similarities with the movement and shooting scheme.
you can fire with wasd and move with arrow keys + space for pause and to see your currenty stats (or if you prefer it you can change it i the options menu)
for ps2 $tyle gamepads (like rumblepad)
for xbox $tyle gamepads
a funny arena shooter with similarities to crimsonland.
shoot your way through hordes of enemies and kil them mostly with your machine gun, your flame thrower and an electric weapon.
screenshot of gameplay
screenshot of controls
Survival Crisis Z
wohooo...lean back guys i have probably found the best free bloody zombie killing survival game ...top down isometric graphics...hm is it fun to kill these zombies in this game you may ask....?
it is...! just move with wasd through the streets , aim with your mouse and kill in a splattertastic way...
so...enough talk her...watch the videoclip and check it out
(download info: scroll down then you see in the right a play offline headline, click "download this game now"
another enjoyable arena shooter with special movement:
control your constantly rotating and shooting ship with arrow keys and stop the shooting direction by hitting Z...so you can shoot straight. release the Z key for rotating again.
in the first 6 levels you have to survive for 30 seconds...then defeat the boss within 30 seconds...easy.
after you have finished them play the "hard levels" in which you also have to survive for 30 seconds...and they are more a challenge.
then there are 6 special modes(two minutes, waves, double fire, bombs, bullet hell, insane) to unlock.
Granny And Snowmen
(download info: scroll down to the "play offline" section in the bottom right and click on "download this game now"
cool arena shooter. grab your machine gun and help granny to defend your house from the invading snowmen.
also get a few more weapons and power ups on your massive defence.
additionally cheats (if needed)
Enter during game:
AMMO - a lot of guns
GOD- god mode on 99 sec
(from the makers of Ancient Ants Adventure and Lost Snowmen.)
Choke on my Groundhog, YOU BASTARD ROBOTS
thats what the game says:
You're Earth's last survivor and with your time traveling groundhog sidekick you have to combat the vast troops of robotic liberation army! Blast your way through dozens of bastard robots and if you die, just travel back in time and use that your advantage.
finally i found out how this game doesnt worked on my machine.
it needs NET 2.0
so i have installed it and it works.
damn that game is funny. you play on a paperblock and have to destroy the robots.
there are the tiny robots and later the stronger.
cool graphical style...
the interesting part is: when you are killed....no problem you start the level again but you are not alone now cause it loads the same level and you see yourself playing in kinda replay style (like any racing games when you choose time race and race against your own best time...and you see yourself transparent)...
so you are two soldiers now fighting the robots...and everytime you get killed your legion grows...MASSIVE FIREPOWER so kinda coop mode...great fun...unfortunately only 4 levels yet...
i hope the developer will make more...
completly controlled with the mouse (except the smart bomb with space).
move your ship with the mouse and change the shooting direction by pressing the mouse buttons.
the game features 100 levels.
the first 10 levels are very easy...then it gets harder.
Generic Arena Shmup
well this is another brand new very good arena shooter which is
meant to be played with dual analog gamepad.
(but can also be playeed with keyboard + mouse of course)
i followed through the development process and tried the previous beta
versions versions...and now im proud to present the final version here.
the developer is now working on a new game. cool guy.
fluid gameplay and good nice graphics.
choose from 3 ships: average ship, fast but not so strong ship,
slow but strong ship.
you can also activate some bombs which soaks all the enemies in
with a nice graphical effect.
Screenshots and Game Info
a very well made arena shooter wit great graphics, power ups, anice water effect and cool 3d background.
plays best with a dual analog gamepad...cause its an arena shooter
Theseus - Return Of The Hero
Review on gametunnel
the developers of the alien shooter series and zombie shooter
have released one of their games for free.
its like their other games a cool top down shooter with wasd movement
and mouse aiming.
(select weapons with 1-9 and activate fllashlight with F)
kill hordes of aliens in the survival mode or in the the campaign mode.
- 10 missions, mostly taking place in open spaces;
- lots of playing locations: forest, village, highway, city battles etc;
- 6 types of weapons;
- ability to upgrade the main character;
- inventory shop where you can buy newest equipment between missions.
a very good boss arena shooter.
control your ship with arrow keys, aim with mouse, shoot with left mouse button, boost with right mouse button and change your weapons with mouse wheel.
by destryoing a boss you can choose to power up you "R"= Regeneration "E"=Energy or "P" Power.
hint: before starting the game, first start the config to enable sound by unchecking "dont load sound file" and checking "play sound" and "play bgm".
moreover you can also change some graphics if you want to.
thanks to planetfreeplay i found this game today.
a well done arena shmup with hordes of enemies, many powerups and
many many maps.
smooth controls, cool action and similar graphics to alien breed makes
this a fun game and therefore it becomes the newest addition in the
arena shooters hall of fame.
(interesting:the developer mentioned on his blog that he will make a sequel)
not a real arena shooter but the fact that it has multi directional
shooting plus the fact that it is great fun were enough reasons for me
to put it up here.
the game is very polished and has smooth innovative gameplay.
you have to destroy all the bases on the screen.
when you destroy the blue balls they trigger off a chain reaction
and destroy some parts of the base...but when you destroy the
yellow ball it triggers a big chain reaction and the whole base
the difficulty levels raises progressively.
you can also choose the c.lassic mode (which is the basically
xkobo with improved graphics) or choose the new modes in
which you have a shield and a faster fire rate...
controls are arrow keys and shift for shooting. (you shoot forwards
and backwards at the same time whhich is a important strategic element)
the game is ported to pretty much other systems. check the site out for further informations.
highly recommeded! check it out...!
Alien Deathmatch 2
well the first release of alien deathmatch 2 came out today.
like in the predeccesor hordes of enemies, many weapons + powerups + online hiscores.
choose a level and hit SPACE to start.
controls as usual. wasd + mouse
time for online hi score hunting
Squid Yes! Not So Octopus!
Review on indiegames
SYNSO is a very fun arcade arena shooter with similarities to the great classic robotron 2084...
smooth controls, fine lovely pixel retro graphics and frantic gameplay makes this game a must play for any shooter veteran.
alien robots are invading and disturbing you on your birthday(!).
play a mutated radioactive raging squid and show the invaders from planet thwip what you have to offer: some serious "beams of electro death"!
fight back the alien robots for 8 minutes to communicate a clear message: its not clever to disturb a furious atomic squid on his birthday at home while it has a relaxing cup of tea. ever.
so whos the king of the ring? the arena is open for a squid on his awesome revenge to fight for for his own territory!
control the squid with arrow keys and let him shoot in the direction he is currently looking by pressing z.
alternatively use your gamepad.
press TAB to enter the options menu and choose wheter you want effects (good if your pc can handle it), a time display instead the bonus points (you gain 1 point every minute so i recommend to choose the timer for having more detailed info about your current progress) and some other options like practice mode for training purposes...
chaosspace 2 is an arena shooter which i have found on topshmups.
it is is completly controlled by the mouse.
(you move into the direction your mouse is pointing and you shoot only in the direction you are currently looking.)
in many situations its essential in the game to move your mouse only slightly so that you not move your ship but change your shooting direction.
this game grows on you. it gets better and better...
the graphical s.tyle is very professional with the abstract glowing shapes
and the smooth movement. the music (electro and classical music) fits perfect to the game. (the game offers only music and no sound...but this alone matches the gameplay very good)
you can collect different powerups and score multiplier.
the game has also an online score option but when i tried to upload my score it appears an "error while connecting".
the game needs a few minutes to get into
and it needs some skills in the later levels.
i ask myself if the game would be better with wasd movement and mouse
hmmm...dont know but it would be a total different gameplay experience for sure....maybe this optional control scheme would be a good feature in a future release...
the game is in german but it can be changed to english in the options menu:
go to “optionen”(options) and then click on “sprachee”…sprache means “language” and “de” stands for “deutsch” which means “german”…
now the menu is in english.
SUAVE- Sport-Utility Assault Vehicle Extreme!
a polished 3rd person tank game with pretty graphics. very fast and smooth gameplay.
it takes a few minutes to get used to the fast gameplay and the controls.
its very fun to race with your fast tank through the arenas.
furthermore it features also a top down view which has direct controls (for example: if you press D you roll to the right..unlike the 3rd person view...when you press D you turn your tank)
wasd for movement and mouse to turn your weapon 360°...left mouse button to shoot and right mouse button to pick up weapons. (the volcan weapon is great. chaingun style)
moreover you can activate a limited so called time device...which is basically a slow motion mode.
configure the controls in the menu and adjust the graphic options
(hint: i run the game in windowed mode cause when i choose fullscreen the game crashes...)
the game has also an editor.
jayenkai (developer of the excellent alien deathmatch 1+2 [arena shooter greatness] and centipong [breakout on drugs] ) has made a new very cool fast paced asteroids clone with mouse controls.
shoot the rocks and avoid the fragments that are caused by the explosion.
collect powerups like: tripleshoot, doubleshoot, shield, freeze and bomb.
it features online hi scores and abstract and nice swooshy graphics.
its also pretty hard.
oh and if you want to have a not so frantic and more easier gameplay then hit TAB to start the game.
its the "chill mode" which has no exploding fragments included.
(the hiscores will be not submitted to the hiscore table in that mode...)
for fullscreen mode:
Just open the program using -full as it’s parameter.
right click the icon, create shortcut, and add -full to the target...
it should look like this
Download Site with Screenshot (scroll down)
Direct Download Link
after stumbling over an article on the2bears.com about the very good vertical bullet hell heli shooter demolition gunner(Direct Download Link)
i gave tank domination from the same developers a closer look...and its a great bullet hell arena shooter in which you - obviuosly - control a tank.
shoot with Z and throw bombs with X (the longer you hold it the further you throw it)
pretty important to use the bombs, especially for the bigger enemies.
btw when you shoot and hold down Z you lock your shooting direction (as usual drive in one direction and shoot in another)
this game is level based and there are also bosses to destroy. (first one appears in level 5...the 2nd in level 11...)
moreover the implemented level select function is pretty useful. that way you can continue from every level you have already beaten.
Return To Sector 9
its basically a collection of 9 different (arena)shooters.
crisp graphics, nice sound effects and good gameplay...
fantastic arcade fun.
the best in my opinion are:
return, jellyfish, protection and goldrush.
when a sepcific score is reached there will be new ships, new colours and medals.
get the bronze medal in each game to unlock the next game mode.
there are 2 control schemes:
1.)control your ship with cursor keys and turn your shooting direction with Z and X (or 1 and 2)
no need for a fire button because of autofire.
but you can press space for a power shot (limited)
(for the games return, ambush, jellyfish, protection, gold rush, rescue, doomball)
2.)or mouse controls
(for the games windmills and last stand)
here the game modes in detail:
destroy waves of enemies and kill a boss at the end of each level.
destroy massive waves of enemies.
escort motherships from the left side to the right side and destroy the attacking aliens that want to bring the ships down.
control a jellyfish, destroy the enemies, eat spaceman to grow. when you have eaten a few of them you will transform into a big jellyfish and then you are invincible for a limited time. in that form try to destroy as many enemies as possible to gain massive scores.
collect little spacemen and bring them back to the mothership.
watch out for enemy waves and asteroids.
you fly towards the direction which you are currently facing. look at the bottom of the screen for coordinates.
similar to rescue but better (no asteroids and better enemies)
...collect gold and bring it back to the mothership.
a puzzlegame in which you have to bring 2 bombs of the same color together. when the bombs have found each other they disappear with an explosion as usual. attach a bomb to your ship by touching one and detach the bomb by pressing Z.
defend your windmills. mouse controls. (similarities to the classic game missile command)
defend your ship which is placed at the middle of the screen by shooting the enemies. mouse controlled. you cannot move you ship, only your cannnons.
gunroar (from kenta cho) is a pretty abstract vertical scrolling arena shooter that evolves progressively into a bullet hell shooter.
different control schemes providing a different gameplay experience.
also worth to check out are his other games, especially Torus Trooper (an extremely fast third person tunnel shooter)
and Tumiki Fighters (a horizontal sticky shooter...attach pieces of defeated enemies to your ship)
no arena shooter this time but a psychedelic music shooter.
synaesthete is a brillant mix between an arcade shooter and a music rhythm game.
walk through abstract psychdelic levels and tap the buttons in the right rhythm to shoot at your enemies.
2 tasks at the same time:
moving around (and avoiding the enemies) while tapping the buttons to the beats.
"Synaesthete has won the IGF award for Best Student Game!"
wasd for movement
jkli for shooting
(choose old version at the botom of the site)
wanna play some innovative fresh shooter with interesting gameplay, abstract vector graphics and a matching soundtrack?
then check this game out:
you control a energy field with the mouse...
and you draw energy with Left Mouse Button.
to push them in the desired direction, and shoot the enemies that way, you have to place your energyfield behind them and then press the Right Mouse Button.
with Middle Mouse Button you attract those sparkles.
you can also use 3 special abbilities with SPACE. (storm, electric, and shield)
switch beween them with ALT
to understand the gameplay mechanics i highly recommend to play the tutorial first.
a somewhat different arena shooter.
you dont shoot yourself, you collect little fellow ships that shoot the enemies for you.
so you collect the ships and then they follow you and swirl around you.
when you press Z you send out some kind of a wave and when your wave touches an enemy the enemy becomes a target for your little helpers....and they attack them.
when your mates are hit by enemy bullets they become inactive and you have to touch them to give them fresh energy. then they will fight again on your side.
the little tutorial and the first 3 levels are extremely easy.
the fun starts in level 4 when some tactics are needed.
Z - send out wave
X - dash
cursor keys - movement
more multidirectional shooting...?
check out this MASSIVE MASTER LIST OF MULTIDIRECTIONAL SHOOTING!
was made by neist of shmups.system11.org.
this list covers hundreds of multidirectional shooters for many different systems.
i think this list is pretty unique. great work.
SYNSO 2 - Squid Harder
Review on Tigsource
Review on Indiegames
the sequel to the already awesome frantic arena shooter synso.
the game has lots of eye candy and requires laser sharp attention!
check it out!
arrow keys - movement
z,space,shift,ctrl - shooting
(gamepad is also supported)
Grid Defender 2
@ Pixel Prospector
Gameplay Video (Arcade Mode)
Gameplay Video (Asteroid Defender Mode)
Grid Defender 2 is a good looking arena shooter with neon graphics inspired by Geometry Wars.
Kill the enemies, earn money and upgrade your ship.
WASD - movement
Mouse - aiming
LMB and RMB are used for different weapons