Derek Yu (the Aquaria artist) has been a very busy bunny lately. He’s recently published an explanation of what Doujin Shoot ’em ups are and his personal top ten.

As a quick recap…

Shmup is short for “shoot ’em up”, which applies mainly to spaceships blasting away other flying objects on a technical 2-D playing field (I say technical because some games like Ikaruga use 3-D graphics). Doujin is a Japanese term used for small publishers, somewhat similar to the word “indie” in English-speaking sections of the world. So a doujin shmup is generally a 2-D flying shooter made by a just a few people or a small software house.

Soot ’em ups have always been something of a mystery to me so this small break down helps considerably. Unfortunately my total lack of twitch gaming skills holds me back but I will be trying at least a couple of the games mentioned in this article some time soon.


A keen video gamer and web developer I have been making games and designing websites for many years. Binary Joy is the combination of my two passions.

You can also see me on my personal website, Binary Moon, and try my games from my online game store, Binary Sun

1 Comment »

  1. A while ago I bought a digital joystick and played a load of hot Japanese shooters one night for hours until I was totally in the zone – weaving in an infinity pattern round all the bullets – it was crazy! Then I got tired and it all went pear shaped,

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