Nathan threw together an early build of Shoot 1UP in 7 days as an entrant in an Experimental Gameplay Project competition (which astute readers will also recognize as the origin of In the Pit) after he hit a few snags in the development of Grapple Buggy (I told him he was tempting fate by putting the word “buggy” in the title. 🙂 ). He realized immediately that he had hit on a great idea, so he spent the next four months fleshing out that “proof of concept” into a full game, and the end result is fabulous.
Shoot 1UP has the foundations of a solid “bullet hell” shooter, but what it adds to that is the clever mechanic of adding every 1UP you collect not to your stock, but to your immediate on-screen fleet. Starting with a cluster of three ships, you’ll soon be controlling up to 30 ships onscreen at once, using the game’s simple and intuitive controls to expand and contract your formation. The smaller your formation, the easier it is to dodge enemy bullets, but the larger your formation the greater the power of your “plasma auger”, a giant, devastating, “wave motion gun” that plows through enemies but only as long as you’re willing to risk spreading your ships out across the screen. In addition to your maximum of 30 ships, the second player also gets a maximum of 30 ships, and with the “ghost” power-up that creates a ghostly duplicate of your fleet you can effectively have 120 ships on the screen at once, frantically battling against dozens of enemy ships and their hundreds of bullets. On top of that you have some wonderful super-gigantic bosses, an unlockable second ship class, an unlockable, more traditional, “single ship” mode, wonderful artwork (in a truly inspired move, the ground of the first level is littered with the remains of dismembered super robots), four different difficulty modes, diverging paths within levels, and… some other stuff.
I’ve had the opportunity to play several different builds of this game as it’s progressed through development (a process that Nathan has documented here on his blog), and have seen it grow from that initial “rough but with potential” prototype to the first beta of the Xbox version, to the final version, and now that it’s getting released I’m very happy that I finally get to tell people to go play it. Come for the robotits, stay for the rock-solid and addictive gameplay!
Get the free demo here!! And then buy the full version for a dollar!