Mommy's Best Action Pack

Mommy's Best Games, developers of high-octane shooters and co-founders of 8 Bit Horse (this very site), have unleashed Mommy's Best Action Pack, a compendium of their classic blastfests. The company's more recent releases include the 2D Contra-style entry in the Serious Sam saga, Serious Sam: Double D XXL, as well as the completely mental touch screen horse racing derpaganza Finger Derpy.

Now players can explore the company's history with Mommy's Best Action Pack, a compilation of four games originally released on Xbox Live Arcade: Weapon of Choice, Shoot 1UP, Explosionade, and Game Type. Each game has been re-tuned for its Steam release, with support for keyboard and mouse or gamepad controls, as well as the requisite cheevos and other such Steamy accouterments.

The bundle is currently available via Steam, or games may be purchased individually from the following links:

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.

Weapon of Choice is a high-octane 2D side-scrolling action game where you take one of 7 operatives – each with his or her own unique weapon of choice – into battle against hordes of monstrous alien beasts and huge boss creatures, all of whom are bent on destroying you and everything else on Earth.

The game is a completely over-the-top tribute to all of the things you loved about the 2D shooters of old, with numerous modern gameplay enhancements, including Death Brushing, where time slows down when the player is inches from death; the Spider Pack, which allows you to walk up walls and across ceilings, leaving your hands free for blasting aliens in their tender spots; and the Vengeance Missile, which lets you to launch a 400 kiloton rocket at whatever is left on the screen after your last death. Or, you can take the game on in a higher difficulty that requires you to play at high speed with no Death Brushing.

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 2P 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.

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!

Game Type is both a a looping horizontal shmup and a send-up to how hard it is to find indie games buried under heaps of ads and nigh unnavigable dashboards. The game stars "Hoodie Girl" as she uses the powers of parkour to destroy advertisements and earn cold hard cash in the process. This is a high score challenge offering a single player experience or 2P couch co-op, and the game speeds up with every loop you complete.

Fortunately, you have a limited-use Time Pulse weapon that you can use to slow down time, during which you can shoot enemy projectiles and turn them into even more money. Learn the loops and chain your attacks to grow your score and earn a place on the leaderboards.