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The history of shoot'em'up games

In 1980 the company Williams released the first horizontal shooter ever in the amusement arcade: Defender. The UFO-Shooter with a „capturing“ topic was a big success and got popular in the whole world.

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In the mid 80's Konami released their first game in the shooter genre with stunning success: Gradius had a new extra weapon system and many sequels and clones followed.


In 1987 IREM released probably the best Shoot'em'Up Game of all times: R-Type. A fantastic in-game artwork for this time and an amazing level and game design provided a new experience for players all around the world. A brand new - huge - Beamshoot helped to destroy all those BIG creatures and enemies.

A lot of conversions of R-Type followed as well as a lot of clones. Even today shoot'em'up fans are absolutely crazy when they hear the name R-Type.

Shooter-Games coming to home computers

In 1988 Rainbow Arts released the best Shooter Game for the C64: Katakis. It reminded very much of R-Type. The game was developed by programming legend Manfred Trenz. He achieved an unbelievable technical master piece for a C64-Game considering the very limited hardware. A Conversion for Amiga was also released by Rainbow Arts.

16-Bit Shooters

At the end of the 80's Commodore celebrated an incredible success with their Amiga Home Computer - a 16-Bit Computer with fantastic Graphic- and Sound capabilites. A lot of Shoot'em'Up Games were developed for Amiga. The crown of this development is without a doubt Apydia. A game were you controlled a bee. It was developed by the german team Kaiko, that joined fantastic graphics with superb gameplay and level design. The music was from sound legend Chris Hülsbeck, and he did probably one of his best works ever.

Commercially Apydia wasn't very successful and this was probably already the beginning of the end of one of the most popular home computers ever.