May 8, 2014 4:45 PM | John Polson
Think "WarioWare meets Parodius," said our own editor Anthony Sandwich (yes, his name sounds tastier that way), who contributed to one of the latest Ludum Dare games to tread commercial waters. Today, shmup Shutshimi hits Windows, Linux, and XBLIG for $1 with an ocean of fishy firepower packed in 10-second waves.
Neon Deity's game contains 3 bosses, 5 types of bullets, lots of game altering hats, and 3 game modes to master, where each wave of enemies lasts only 10 seconds. Instead of enemies dropping weapons during play, you have another 10 seconds to read through quickly 3 descriptions to decide which powerup to pick.
Some of the powerups you can choose stack: triple-armed, fish-bowl shielded, cannonball-armed fish and slowed-down, laser-armed fish are two favorites. Other choices merely last one round, and some make you worse off. With intentionally misleading weapon icons, learning the relationships between the descriptions and powerups and being able to read quickly are just as important as being able to dodge enemies swiftly.
While sticking to the 10-second Ludum Dare theme, the $1 Shutshimi has evolved in many ways: all of the bosses were put in, more hats were added as were variable difficulties, you now have more than one life and the ability to get more every 5000 points, there are twice as many enemies, the graphics were spruced up, Anthony wrote triple the amount of songs (some hidden), and the game has unlockables.
"Warioware meets Parodius." Yes, I agree that the wacky horizontal shmup action and time-based pressure cooked to pick your powerup in Shutshimi make that description seem apt, and the resulting game is challenging fun. While you'll clear Guppy mode easily, Normal and Heartless modes will school (fish joke!) you repeatedly.
Shutshimi is available for PC and XBLIG via the Humble Store, with a Mac version coming soon.