Shoot 1UP

words manifested by: AJ Johnson

A game by Mommy's Best Games for PC, Xbox 360, and WP7, originally released in 2010.
Before continuing, you may wish to learn more about the Hidden Agenda behind 8 Bit Horse. Or don’t. You can always eat candy instead.

The second title from Mommy’s Best Games has arrived on the Xbox Live Indie Games Channel (dig deep into your Xbox 360 dashboard… the channel is down there somewhere). Mommy’s Best Games is responsible for the award-winning Weapon of Choice. While Weapon of Choice is a side-scrolling shooter, Shoot 1UP is a shmup with an interesting take on the traditional 1UP formula.


In most games, when you earn a 1UP, it goes into the lower left corner of the screen, coming into play once your ship (or whatever) has been destroyed. But not here. In Shoot 1UP, you play all your ships at once, including your extra ships as you earn them. You start out with the standard 3 ships, but they are all in play, firing all guns at once. And after you earn a 1UP, you’ll have 4 ships flying and shooting at the same time. Then you’ll have 5, 6, 7, and so on. Eventually, you can have a squadron of up to 30 ships on the screen at once!



Getting additional ships also earns you additional abilities, such as being able to shoot to the left, right, and down, skills you’ll desperately need as the alien forces begin to come at you from all directions. Of course, the more ships you have on the screen, the bigger a target you become, and losing some of your ships means that you’ll start to lose some of those special abilities as well. But sacrificing a ship causes it to explode and absorb incoming enemy bullets, giving you a temporary reprieve, and the explosion gets even bigger based on the number of ships in your armada.



You also have direct control over how compact your phalanx becomes. Expanding your phalanx does place your ships in harm's way, but it also alllows you to fire the massive Plasma Auger. The beam gets bigger the further you spread, growing to a maximum size indicated in the HUD.

You can even grab a powerup that tosses ghost ships into play, which mirror your movements and double your on-screen firepower. And you can go into the game in 2 player co-op for up even more insanity, with up to 60 ships on the screen at once! Not since Galaga Legions have you seen this kind of reckless disregard for the number of friendly projectiles on the screen at once. Tired of bullet hell shooters? In this game, you’re the one weaving the bullet curtain, and it can be a joy to watch a wave of enemy ships succumb to the flow of your wide and mighty bullet stream.



Mommy’s Best Games’ trademark hideousness is in full effect here, with colorful backgrounds, and numerous alien creatures ready to be wrecked with your awesome firepower. Per MBG standards, there are several giant disgusting bosses to be had, one of which looks like someone took 2 of the Machine Gun Bosses from Bangai-O Spirits and strapped them together with wires and vacuum tubes to send you off with a blazing 52-gun salute. Fortunately, you’re equipped to return the favor.


2D CRED
Mommy's Best Games is responsible for a number of innovative 2D action titles.

As mentioned, Mommy’s Best Games is the developer behind Weapon of Choice, one of the best action games available on the Xbox 360 (it’s in the Indie Games Channel as well… dig for it!).

MBG is known for encasing the traditional 2D gameplay nougat in a glorious chocolate coating of modern horsepower and innovation.

Weapon of Choice features bizarre and over-the-top weapons, aliens, and bosses, branching paths and multiple endings, and hand-drawn art and blaring guitar riffs to accompany you on your gut-spilling journey to deliver liquid pain to every xeno-bastard you can lay your sights on.



Explosionade falls into the 2D mech combat sub-genre along with a handful of other outstanding titles, such as Cybernator, Metal Warriors, and the Bangai-O series. In these games, the player takes control of a huge mech that is represented onscreen by a relatively small sprite, but which has huge amounts of firepower. Navigation tends to be a bit slow and deliberate, with a focus on pressing forward, defending your position, and choking your enemy with mouthfuls of bullets, missiles, bombs, and whatever else you have stashed away in your arsenal. And, in Explosionade, you can actually double the firepower with some same-screen 2P co-op.

Taking a cue from those games, the mech in Explosionade has a low movement speed, a jetpack-assisted jump, a shield, a machine gun, and an unlimited supply of grenades. That’s right, unlimited grenades. Actually, the grenades are called Meganades because they’re a bit oversized, as are the explosions that they leave behind.


As you might imagine, grenades blow up a lot of stuff. You’ll be demolishing your way through 40 challenge room-style levels blowing holes in the floors, walls, and ceilings, usually with the sole purpose of getting to the other side so that you can blow up even more stuff. Of course, you’ll also be delivering flaming death upon the heads of your enemies, including several varieties of flying critters, hovering sentries, walking soldiers, and mounted turrets. When life gives you explosions, make explosionade!



Defying all logic and reason, Mommy’s Best Games somehow took an over-the-top FPS and smashed it into an equally over-the-top 2D shooter. Serious Sam: Double D is an 18-level romp through time, featuring weapons and enemies that will be familiar to fans of the series, plus new original creations such as the Chimputee and Vuvuzelator, as well as gigundus boss encounters.

But rather than being content with the standard Serious Sam formula, MBG decided to mix in one of their own devious creations: the Gun Stacker. The Gun Stacker lets you carry – and use – multiple guns simultaneously. Wondering whether it would be better to equip the shotgun or Tommy gun? Why not use them both at once and dish out some pain to enemies near and far? You can eventually stack up to six guns, including heavy weapons such as grenade launchers, rocket launchers, lasers, and flamethrowers.


Wondering how you’re going to dodge hordes of enemies in only two dimensions? Pull out your Jump Pad and soar through the air. The Jump Pad acts as your own portable trampoline. Use it to dodge enemies, navigate the environment, uncover the game’s many hidden secrets, or even turn it against your enemies to send them flying into the air while you shotgun their soft parts. The game has all of the action and humor you’ve come to expect from the Serious Sam series… minus the third dimension.



Somewhere along the line, Mommy’s Best Games decided that there just wasn’t enough action in Serious Sam: Double D, and so they popped the hood, cranked the explosionator into the red zone, and unleashed Serious Sam: Double D XXL. Now, instead of fighting mutants and headless kamikazes on his own, Sam can team up with his new gun-loving pal for some solid 2-player co-op. The game is now fully voiced with John J. Dick, the voice of Sam “Serious” Stone, reprising his role as the enigmatic hero of the future.

Everyone enjoys the Serious Sam stable of weaponry, including shotguns, Tommy guns, rocket launchers, and lasers. But why settle for incredible firepower when you can have unreasonable firepower? A shop system allows players to purchase dozens of weapon upgrades, but rather than offering something as simple as increased firepower, these upgrades completely change Sam’s abilities. Turn your grenade launcher into a flesh-eating beetle dispenser, trip your enemies with hot slices of butter, and toss throwing stars from your machine gun Machinobi style!


The total disregard for restraint doesn’t end there, with several new challenges and entirely new levels. Sam can take to the skies on the back of a flying dinosaur and launch heat-seeking missiles at Bio Mechanoids, and he can hang 10 as he races through Ancient Egyptian pyramids on a rocket-propelled snowboard. He even gets to face off against new enemies such as the armored Gnaar and flying fire breathing kittens. Oh yes, gather ye catnip while ye may and prepare to eat bees, you belching furball!

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