The 9 Best Shoot 'em Ups for Android

AKA shmups, these intense games will test your skill.

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The shoot 'em up, aka shmup for short as inspired by shmups.com, is full of fantastic games, such that coming up with just 9 to include on this list was difficult enough itself, with many great classics and modern takes on the genre left off. Great games that involve you flying around in a ship and taking on endless waves of enemies are listed below:

Sky Force Anniversary
Infinite Dreams

Developer Infinity Dreams returned to their 2004 shmup that predates the modern App Store era of gaming with this 3D reboot. It's a great shmup that delivers gorgeous visuals and a slower pace of play than many entries on this list, with objectives that force you to play well. If you have an Android TV device, I recommend playing Sky Force Anniversary – the game is virtually the same between the two platforms, but the TV version allows you to just buy the game outright instead of the separate IAPs it offers. More »

Danmaku Unlimited 2
Doragon Entertainment

One of the finest examples of Japanese-style bullet hell shmups. Bullet hell is described as a kind of game where you have to dodge massive hordes of bullets, though you have a small area of vulnerability for your ship. That's about the only thing you have going for you. Massive numbers of enemies, gigantic lasers, and all the bullets you can possibly imagine await you in this shmup. Oh, and the production values in this game are second-to-none in the genre.  More »

Super Crossfighter
Radiangames

One of my all-time favorite mobile games, and a title that is one of the first games I install on a new device. This shmup lets you flip between two different sides of the screen to fight, allowing you to get the jump on enemies and hit their specific weak points. Meanwhile, you have to ration your upgrade points wisely in order to dominate your enemies. With controller support to boot, this game is an amazing must-have. More »

Raiden Legacy
DotEmu

 This collection of classic shoot 'em ups from SNK are perfect examples of the kinds of games that inspire modern games to this day. This one features controller support, and five different coin-guzzlers that will test your shmup skills to their limits. More »

Glorkian Warrior
Pixeljam Games

Comics artist James Kochalka teamed up with Potatoman Seeks the Troof developers Pixeljam Games to make this fun Galaga-esque shoot 'em up that has you running around and taking otu enemy patterns. One of the key differences is that the game has you playing as  character that can run and jump, which comes in to play with enemies that will attack you on the ground. More »

06
of 09

 
The glowy shmup, one of our favorite one-handed games on Android, stands out a lot thanks to its variety. You have all sorts of types of levels to play through, with different formations, bosses, and whatnot to try and fight through. You never quite know what's coming next, and it's quite the fun little game. More »

07
of 09

 Tyrian is a game that is well, well ahead of its time. In an age where shoot 'em ups were coin munchers, it featured a story with branching paths, ships with upgrades, and just plain great action. This was in the early 1990s, well before these features became seen in modern games. Tyrian holds up quite well to this day, and OpenTyrian brings this classic to mobile in great form, as a port of the now free and open source game. More »

Shooty Skies
Mighty Games

Two-thirds of the team that made Crossy Road partner up with a couple other Australian developers to make this fun shmup that's actually aimed toward a casual audience. That's not to say that it isn't difficult, because it is. But everything about the game is designed to get even people who aren't well-versed in the genre to have fun with this. More »

09
of 09
Sine Mora
Digital Reality

 
This side-scrolling shmup, originally released back on console and PC, makes its way to Android with full controller support. You'll be manipulating time, and delivering huge weapon payloads to giant bosses and hordes of enemies. The production values are second to none thanks in large part to the game's genesis on consoles, but it's still a great fit on mobile. More »