Filed under: Video Games, Columns
If we distill 99-percent of games to their core, we’re left with one crucial imperative: shoot stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. The shoot-em-up genre (lovingly shortened to ‘SHMUP’ by aficionados) traces its roots all the way back to 1962, with the creation of ‘Spacewar!,’ an outer-space combat game for the PDP-1 computer. Following those humble origins, the genre exploded with the advent of arcades in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Games like ‘Space Invaders‘, ‘Galaxian‘ and ‘Asteroids‘ were not just integral to the genre’s development, but central to video gaming as a medium. As technology progressed, however, and games became more complex (e.g., the first-person shooter), the genre began to fade away, relegated to the domain of hardcore purists. In a gaming culture dominated by a desperate need to mimic the thrills of Hollywood (although sometimes it works the other way around), it can be incredibly refreshing to just blast away at something without having to worry about the trappings of modern gaming. If you’re in the mood for some simple, visceral thrills (and modern updates on a classic formula), allow us to offer our picks of the best SHMUPs around.
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Games on the Go: Shoot-em-Up! originally appeared on Switched on Fri, 09 Jul 2010 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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