INTRODUCTION / OPENING PARAGRAPH
Before modern games like Halo or Call of Duty, those who considered themselves gamers played what we now consider old school games. These games weren’t on super powerful consoles or upgraded PCs—no, these games were in places called arcades. Games like Pac-Man and space invaders were the games you showed your gaming prowess as well as a title released by Namco called Galaga. This amazing game was, for its time, flashy and lots of fun as players blasted the heck out of small alien ships to rack up points and hopefully put their names on the high-score listings till someone tried to dethrone them. As we here at Honey’s Anime continued our spiral into nostalgic games—which would last a bit mind you—we thought why not make a new gaming list? That’s right folks welcome to our 6 Games Like Galaga list.
Now to describe Galaga to the modern age gamer, we would consider labeling it as what is known to be a shmup game or shoot’em up game. The concept is to blast either alien ships or some form of aircraft all while dodging a mass amount of enemy fire to gain points and or advance to the next level. While there are thousands of shmup titles on the market, we here at Honey’s Anime wanted games that reminded us of the older gaming age. That’s why with many hours of talking we decided on what we feel is a pretty solid list. Every title down below captures the feeling of Galaga but they also have their own unique gameplay mechanics that truly make them special. Now then let’s end our nostalgia trip and get into a semi nostalgic list of games like Galaga.
Similar Games to Galaga
1. Space Invaders
- System/Platform: Arcade, Various consoles
- Publisher: Taito, Midway (NA), Leisure & Allied Industries
- Developer: Taito
- Release Date: June, 1978
So before Galaga, there were many pre-shmup titles. These games required players to survive wave after wave of enemies in order to gain some points. One of those titles happened to be Space Invaders. Players took control of a human tank like object that shot lasers. The goal of the game was to prevent alien forces from reaching the bottom of the screen—meaning you’d better be ready to shoot fast and frantically.
The reason why we started our list of games like Galaga with an even older title like Space Invaders is because these two were the early emissaries of shmup games. The concept of having to dodge aliens that shot lasers all while your only defense was a messily small laser tank and some stationary bunkers meant gamers had to really rely on quick reflexes and planned out movements for those high scores. Space Invaders is a famous example of the older generation of gaming and was just as much of a coin eater like the game Galaga. We could also explain every single system Space Invaders is on, but we’d find ourselves looking at a page in of itself of consoles. Bottom line: boot up nearly every modern day console and you can find a means to download Space Invaders because it’s a game that truly created a legacy all too like Galaga.
- System/Platform: PC
- Publisher: Epic MegaGames
- Developer: Eclipse Software
- Release Date: Jun 10, 1995
Set in a very far off future, humanity is reaching galaxies far off to find habitable worlds and landscapes. Trent Hawkins just so happens to be one of those responsible for finding such worlds when he finds himself in quite a bind. Trent’s friend is killed but with his dying breath, he warns Trent that an organization is aiming to kill Trent as they know too much about a mineral. Trent doesn’t delay and heads off to escape the planet with a fighter ship he happens to find. However, if Trent wants to survive he will having to fight back against an armada of enemies.
Tyrian is easily one of the coolest shmup games you can play that much we can say for certain. The reason why Tyrian is such a cool game comes from the epic gameplay and the amazing OST. Players will shoot loads of enemy space ships all while gaining power ups and new skills. Also unique to Tyrian for its time was that it offered branching paths to make multiple playthroughs a must for those who want to see every mission available. If you’re a huge fan of Galaga then you need to try out Tyrian as these two games are just awesome in their own rights.
- System/Platform: Arcade, Dreamcast, Gamecube, Xbox 360, PC
- Publisher: SEGA
- Developer: Treasure
- Release Date: Dec 20, 2001
Tenro Horai gained god-like powers when he discovered an ancient hidden power which has lead to a slew of unstoppable events. Tenro used his power to begin taking over various lands and nations seemingly unopposed. A man named Shinra alongside his team fight against Tenro’s increasing army but find themselves nearly wiped out. Luckily Shinra survives but when he’s shot down again, he finds himself in a small island named Ikaruga. Feeling as Shinra is worthy, the island inhabitants give him their legendary ship named Ikaruga to hopefully defeat Tenro.
Shmup fans get ready for easily one of the most challenging titles ever: Ikaruga. Now unlike the simplicity of Galaga, Ikaruga is one of the true definitions of a shmup game as players will find loads of black and white energy blasts launching at them. However, the player has a defense against all these bullets and that comes in the form of Ikaruga which is able to switch colors and absorb damage from the color it takes form of and only get damaged by the opposing color. Trust us though folks, this is a tough but fun game that really shows how far games have come since Galaga. Now then if you’ll excuse us, we have to restart the game again…we’re going to make it to the end!
Any Games Like Galaga ?
4. Gradius III
- System/Platform: Arcade, Super Nintendo, PS2, PSP, Wii Virtual Console
- Publisher: Konami
- Developer: Konami
- Release Date: Dec 11, 1989
The Vic Viper returns in Gradius III and it’s ready to once more do battle against the Bacterion Empire. Players will control the little—but powerful—starship as they face a never ending myriad of enemies. Thankfully the Vic Viper is a powerful ship and players will rely on once more finding various power ups thrown around the levels. With a strong soundtrack, improved graphics and a tough difficulty, players will once more feel ready to jump into this entry of the Gradius franchise. Now go forth pilot and defeat the enemies that stand before you with your powerful ship!
The Gradius series has been well-known to fans of the shmup genre and Gradius III is easily one of the best from the Gradius series. Players will once more go from right to left—screen wise—to reach the end of the stage all while avoiding death from the numerous threats that lie before the ship’s path. Gradius III and the series as a whole are all too similar to Galaga as these titles harken to the genre so closely. Its why we know for a fact that if you need to play a game like Galaga, you’ll easily want to choose Gradius III as it’s the superior of the series. Actually now that we talked about it here at Honey’s Anime we feel like playing it also now.
5. Radiant Silvergun
- System/Platform: Arcade, Sega Saturn, Xbox 360
- Publisher: SEGA, ESP, Microsoft Studios
- Developer: Treasure
- Release Date: May 28, 1998
When an odd artifact appears on Earth, Chief Igarashi orders it to be examined. However, it isn’t long before the object goes wild and unleashes destruction. Buster, Reana and Guy are three pilots who use the new spaceship type called Silvergun and find their skills to be needed now more than ever. What secrets does this artifact have? How does it relate to the Silvergun planes? These questions and more will be answered in Radiant Silvergun.
One thing we love about shmup games is that no two are really alike. Sure they may share similar traits like the example of Radiant Silvergun being similar to Galaga in nature but that doesn’t mean they are just clones of one another. Radiant Silver gun plays like a shmup but doesn’t have power ups or such, instead players can choose what equipment they want before each stage and switch out weapons as they play the level. This concept allows for some interesting ideas and ways to take down enemies as each weapon has its pros and cons associated to it. Radiant Silvergun is a game we don’t hear mentioned enough and that makes us here at Honey’s Anime kind of sad. If you’re one of those people we highly recommend checking out Radiant Silvergun as it is a fun shmup game.
- System/Platform: PS4, PS3, PS Vita
- Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Developer: Housemarque, Climax Studios
- Release Date: Nov 15, 2013
Our 6 Games Like Galaga list ends with us looking at the PlayStation exclusive game Resogun. Players take one of three ships as they rescue humans who have been trapped in prisons in a circular world. Players will have to shoot and plow through wave after wave of various enemy ships till eventually reaching the end stage’s boss enemy. With 5 different planets and multiple difficulty levels, Resogun has some longevity to it even after the final level is completed. Plus with multiple game modes like arcade mode and the ability to play online with a friend, there’s a lot to love thanks to developer Housemarque.
Galaga and Resogun may be decades apart in terms of release but as you can see there is a lot of similarities outside the alien shooting aspect. Fans of Galaga know that at times it can be frantic, ships flying at you from all angles at various speeds. Resogun is all too similar with the various enemies that seem all to crazed to take down your ship even if it costs them their own. Where Resogun shines more than a lot of the games on this list is the additions of cooperative play and even the ability to make your own ship. Resogun is easily one of the greatest shmup games of the last few years and we know once you pick it up and play yourself…well you may be lost to the world for a bit.
Resogun-Official Trailer (PS4) (Official Trailer)
We here at Honey’s Anime want people to understand that games like Galaga stand as the beginning of video games becoming more and more popular. It’s because of titles like Galaga that the newer age of gaming even exists. That’s why the above list is all over the place in terms of years because it shows how different years have established the shmup genre. Though with that, we here at Honey’s Anime have reached the conclusion to our 6 Games Like Galaga list. Feel free to comment down below what are your favorite shmup titles and why? As always stick around to Honey’s Anime for future articles that will be sure to make you go nostalgic all over again.