Xbox Live: Shoot1UP Exclusive Preview

We briefly touched on Shoot1UP back in August when it appeared in the Gamescom WP7 sizzle reel. Today it’s time to let the cat out of the bag and reveal lots of details about this upcoming Xbox Live title.

Shoot1UP comes from Mommy’s Best Games, who are best known for their recent Serious Sam: Double D Xbox Live Arcade game. Before graduating to Xbox Live titles, they developed several Xbox 360 indie games, including Shoot1UP. The game is a vertically-scrolling shoot-em-up that stands out for several reasons.

Head past the break for our full preview and exclusive reveal of the WP7 version screenshots.

Even for a shooter, it's a little out there

The first thing Shoot1UP players will notice is the hand-drawn artwork includes such surreal imagery as beached killer whales and a giant robo-babe who fires shots from her chestal area. I think I had a dream like that once after eating way too much ice cream before bed. Anyway, the gameplay also features a unique mechanic: every time players collect 1ups, they actually gain an extra ship that flies alongside the original. The number of simultaneously-controlled ships can grow to a swarm of 30, making for plenty of chaos.

New Controls

The Windows Phone version of Shoot1UP will be an Xbox Live title, and as such it sports many tweaks and additions over the original. It utilizes touch controls, which the developer assures us provides much finer movement than a controller. As such, they’ve managed to pack even more bullets on screen for players to dodge.

Seasoned Windows Phone gamers know it’s all too easy to hit the hardware’s capacitive buttons by mistake in the heat of the moment. Mommy’s Best Games has taken that into account, allowing players to play with the phone inverted and keep their fingers far from the evil buttons. Doing so only flips the HUD itself – the good guy ships stay in the same position, ending up at the top of the screen. This keeps your fingers far from your own ships, making it easier to see them and dodge bullets.

New content is good

The developers plan to add new content as well. A third playable ship mixes things up a bit in that extra ships players pick up fire shots outward in a radial pattern instead of just forward. The gameplay variation should bring some extra replay value.

Speaking of which, shmups tend to be short affairs which find most of their replay value in playing for higher scores. The XBLIG version of Shoot1UP was no different, as a single playthrough went by fairly quickly. On Windows Phone the game lasts longer thanks to an all-new stage with a unique boss and enemies. A new recurring miniboss joins the fray as well, gaining attacks and becoming harder to beat each time it crashes the party.

A different use for tilt

Finally, on top of the game’s three standard difficulties (Chilled, Normal, and Serious), there will be an extra gameplay mode called Score Tilt. This mode adds a twist to the standard levels: tilt the phone away from yourself and the game speed can reach up to 200 percent. Doing so multiplies your score up to 10 times. Pointing the phone in the other direction slows the speed back down; it can even reach slower than normal levels, significantly relaxing the game’s pace. But of course that brings the score multiplier down too.

Windows Phone isn’t exactly swarming with Xbox Live shoot-em-ups, so Shoot1UP will be a welcome addition. The mobile version has no concrete release date or price yet, but it should arrive around January 2012. A $2.99 price is likely as well.

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!