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Shoot 1UP for Windows Phone features the strap line 'Why play shoot 'em ups one ship at a time?' and it certainly lives up to this mantra. The game is essentially an old skool vertical scrolling shooter in the vein of 1942, but the twist is that instead of just controlling one ship, the games allows you to create a fleet of ships that you control all at the same time in order to inflict more damage on the enemy.
In fact, you can have up to thirty ships onscreen and under your command at any one time and these can be operated as if they were a single ship or you can spread them out in formation by using the equivalent of the two-fingered zoom-out touch gesture. You add ships by collecting 1-Ups that appear periodically on the screen once you've defeated a wave of enemies. As soon as you pick up a 1-Up, a new ship is instantly added to your fleet to increase your fire power. However, if one of your ships gets hit by an enemy bullet it immediately disappears and when all your ships are destroyed it's literally Game Over. As you collect more ships you also get a powerful Plasma Auger laser beam added to your stream of fire and this widens out as you spread out your formation.
All the ships are set to automatic fire, so all you really need to worry about is moving them around into different positions and formations. You can also activate the ships' shield by tapping on the screen. Naturally you can’t just use the shield as often as you like, instead it operates on a recharge mechanism, so sometimes it'll be unavailable. The shield doesn't just deflect enemy fire, it actually acts as a weapon in itself and sometimes you pretty much have to use it to defeat some of the harder foes.
The game's graphics are, on the whole, quirky and fun, but they're also relatively simplistic and look quite flat. On top of this, although the way in which you are given a lot of control over the difficultly level of the game is impressive, it does take a while to get the hang of controlling multiple ships and some people may just find it a tad too frustrating to play.
Shoot 1UP Verdict
Shoot 1UP adds a nice twist on the traditional vertical shoot 'em up and is a lot of fun to play once you get the hang of it. It's not the most advanced game ever, but it more than competently fills a niche for those who like a bit of 'bullet hell'.
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