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Scrolling shoot 'em ups (shmups), have found a happy home on iOS devices after arcade ages. As in the touch screen age now, you need no more physical joystick controls, but the action experience didn't reduce a little. Take a look the most exciting shmups on iOS in 2012.


This is a ported game, but as the original release of Blazing Star on the NeoGeo system back in the '90s was likely not experienced by very many people. Now on iOS it has the ability to find an entirely new audience, as well as allow original fans to relive the title on the go.

In addition to its classic “ARCADE MODE”, this perfect conversion of “BLAZING STAR” includes a “MISSION MODE”, allowing you to select in which stage you want to play!

7. AstroWings2 - space odyssey

AstroWings2 Space Odyssey for the iPhone builds on arcade classics, and does it well. It comes OpenFeint enabled, and in all, is an easy play for which to get used to, but engaging and challenging enough to keep the user playing for hours.

AstroWings2 - space odyssey AstroWings2 - space odyssey
World-class sound, detailed graphics, and spectacular effects AstroWings2 !!


In 2009 Taito resurrected their classic Darius series with a brand new entry in the series on the PSP. It featured impressive 3D graphics and side-scrolling action that harkened back to the originals while still feeling fresh and new. This year a port of the PSP version came to iOS in a big way, and aside from boasting some of the best visuals on iOS it also through a ton of imaginative enemies and gigantic bosses into the mix.

The DARIUS(SAGAIA) series made shooting game history with its unique atmosphere and sound design, and now the latest installment, DARIUSBURST, is available for smartphones/iPhones!

5. iFighter 2: The Pacific 1942 by EpicForce

iFighter2 brings you back to the Pacific War in World War II to challenge the Empire of Japan with their powerful fighter jets and aircraft carriers. iFighter2 is by far the most realistic vertical shooting game on iOS and a masterpiece remake of the classic arcade experience!

iFighter 2: The Pacific 1942 by EpicForce iFighter 2: The Pacific 1942 by EpicForce
iFighter2 brings you back to the Pacific War in World War II to challenge the Empire of Japan with their powerful fighter jets and aircraft carriers.

4. Bug Princess 2 Black Label

One of the cool things about Cave is how they often release special "Black Label" versions of their games, which typically offer tweaked scoring and game modes and a remixed experience from the original. A couple of months prior, we really liked the original release of Bug Princess 2 and the new Black Label version didn't fail to live up to our expectations either.

Bug Princess 2 Black Label Bug Princess 2 Black Label
Introducing an alternate version of the highly-rated series "Bug Princess"! Bringing ""Bug Princess 2 BLACK LABEL"" straight from the arcade!

3. Raiden Legacy

The Raiden series was one of my favorites growing up, and I always wondered why it hadn't show up on iOS. This year we finally got it though, as the original Raiden joined 3 other games in a compilation package. The original game still holds up today, but the Raiden Fighters games are ones I never got a chance to play and surprised me with how fantastic they are. If we can get Raiden II and Raiden DX in a future compilation, I'll be set for life.

Raiden Legacy Raiden Legacy
RAIDEN LEGACY, a four-title compilation of the mega-popular RAIDEN arcade series, includes RAIDEN, RAIDEN FIGHTERS, RAIDEN FIGHTERS 2 & RAIDEN FIGHTERS JET. Originally developed by Seibu Kaihatsu, each of these classic scrolling shooters has not only been authentically recreated for mobile, but also enhanced with brand-new features!

2. DoDonPachi Blissful Death

A prequel to the fantastic Dodonpachi Resurrection, Blissful Death offered yet another solid shooter from the folks at Cave. It was slightly less complex scoring-wise than its follow-up, but it had its own set of strategies and hidden tactics to discover that didn't diminish the experience one bit. In fact, its more simplistic nature might make this one of the better entries to get yourself familiar with Cave's brand of shooter.

DoDonPachi Blissful Death DoDonPachi Blissful Death
The famous DoDonPachi Blissful Death (DoDonPachi Dai Ou Jou) is now back for the first time in 10 years! The legendary shooters is now available for all on iOS.


Cave's brand new designed for mobile shooter hit Windows phones exclusively earlier in the year, but thankfully came to iOS in the fall. It used the pretty cool theme of being a "bullet hell simulator" which through you into various virtual combat situations against a variety of enemies from previous Cave shooters. Because it wasn't a port, it was the best looking Cave game to date and felt perfectly at home on the platform.

A GUINNESS-RECOGNIZED SHOOTER! Beautiful graphics, complete with waves of bullets that fill the screen!

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