iPad Quality Index

Top 5 Vertical Shoot-'Em-Ups on iPad

Best ways to have a blast on iPad

In this retro-crazed games industry, you can't get much more retro than the top-down vertical shoot-'em-up (or 'shmup', to give it its trendy name).

Flying up the screen in an air (or space) craft, blasting waves of enemies is what the whole arcade experience was built on, and hardcore gamers still lap these games up.

Touchscreen controls and cheap prices have made iOS the best place to go for fans of the shmup genre, so let's fly through the Top 5 vertical shoot-'em-ups on iPad right now.

Coins at the ready.

Cave is the undisputed master of iOS shooters, and Espgaluda II HD is the first of the company's two entries on this list. It's a stunning vertical shmup with bold colours and a clever gameplay mechanic that sees you turning the hailstorm of enemy bullets into points on the board - with sufficient skill, of course.
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9.4
Cave's second entrant on this list is somehow even more garish than the first. Shocking pink bullets and neon blue lasers turn your iPad screen into a virtual fireworks display here. It's still brilliantly fun to play, though, as you dodge between intense streams of enemy ordnance and take on a host of outlandish bosses.
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9.2
Space Invaders may not have been a vertical shoot-'em-up as such, but it certainly paved the way for the vertical shmup with its side-to-side alien-blasting action. Space Invaders Infinity Gene takes the original formula and literally refines it before your very eyes, until you find yourself playing one of the most stylish vertical shmups on iPad.
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9.2
In AirAttack HD, Art In Games brings things a little more down to earth, placing you in the cockpit of a kind of retro-futuristic World War II fighter plane. That's not to say it's in any way dull or sedate compared to its star-gazey rivals, mind. In fact, with its impressive 3D graphics and screen-filling boss fights, it's just as spectacular as all the others on this rundown.
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8.5
The developer of Shogun: Bullet Hell Shooter explicitly states that the game is inspired by '90s Japanese shmups, so you know what to expect: detailed sprite work, ridiculously oversized laser weapons, and plenty of glowing flak for you to negotiate. Shogun does add a neat bullet time weapons menu, detailed HD backgrounds, and a thumping electro rock soundtrack to the mix, however.
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7.9
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