[[quoteright:224:[[VideoGame/SpaceInvaders http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/akkanvader.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:224:Such adorable invaders!]]

A [[SubTrope sub-genre]] of ShootEmUp games, which replaces the spaceships, StarfishAliens, robots and lasers with [[CuteKitten kittens]], [[OurFairiesAreDifferent fairies]], squirrels, candies, and all things LighterAndSofter. The stark space setting becomes {{Wackyland}}, and MoeAnthropomorphism abounds.

But the gameplay is otherwise intact, including the NintendoHard difficulty. Yes, despite the cutesy facade, these games are still very difficult, and need ''a lot'' of skill to beat (especially when they overlap with BulletHell). If you think otherwise, be prepared for a good smack in the face with SurpriseDifficulty.

Sometimes these games have stories, and others just have {{Excuse Plot}}s, just like any other game.

Also, as with many WidgetSeries, this isn't considered ''that'' odd in Japan, since cute is seen more as an artistic style, rather than being considered strictly for young children. That means these games are rarely {{Guilty Pleasure}}s. In fact, these games have found a solid niche among gamers.
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!!Examples:

* ''VideoGame/{{Parodius}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Twinbee}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' mixes this with BulletHell. The plots are also more intensive than typically expected for this genre. Because of this, and the sheer amount of MemeticMutation, [[WatchItForTheMeme Touhou gets a lot of fans that aren't all that interested in the Bullet Hell aspect]].
* ''VideoGame/BulletHeaven'' is an ''EpicBattleFantasy'' GaidenGam).
* ''VideoGame/KikiKaiKai'' (AKA ''Pocky & Rocky'')
* ''VideoGame/TroubleWitches''
* ''VideoGame/TwinkleStarSprites''
* ''VideoGame/{{Gunbird}}''
* ''VideoGame/AirZonk''
* ''VideoGame/HarmfulPark''
* ''VideoGame/MagicalChase''
* ''VideoGame/{{Akkanvader}}'' (better known as ''SpaceInvaders '95: Attack of the Lunar Loonies!'')
* ''VideoGame/{{Otomedius}}'', Konami's combination of their own series, ''VideoGame/{{Parodius}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}}''. Silliness + Plot + Boobs - Drugs. [[RecycledINSPACE RECYCLED IN]] [[WorldOfActionGirls THE WORLD OF ACTION GIRLS!]]
* ''VideoGame/StarParodier'', a cute'em up entry in Hudson's otherwise serious ''VideoGame/StarSoldier'' series.
* ''VideoGame/RabioLepus'' and ''Rabio Lepus Special''
* The ''[[FantasticNightDreamsCotton Cotton]]'' series
* ''VideoGame/FantasyZone''
* ''VideoGame/{{Coryoon}}''
* ''VideoGame/GunNac''
* ''Game Tengoku'' by Creator/{{Jaleco}} qualifies as this, along with being a both of CrisisCrossover (between Jaleco's old arcade games) and AffectionateParody of the arcade gaming history and tropes around it.
* ''VideoGame/KingAndBalloon''
* ''VideoGame/DeathSmiles''
* ''[[http://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=7408 Cosmo Gang: The Video]]'' is an interesting example, in that it's a comical version of ''{{Galaga}}'', but the characters and bonus stages are based on the "Cosmo Gang" redemption arcade machine.
* Strato Patrol EOS, a minigame featured in ''Videogame/KirbyMassAttack''.
* ''VideoGame/SpaceBomber''
* ''VideoGame/GundemoniumSeries''
* The "''Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly''" mini-game in ''NoMoreHeroes'' was a regular shoot-em-up. In ''NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle'', it is now a CuteEmUp.
* ''VideoGame/KeioFlyingSquadron''
* ''VideoGame/{{Kolibri}}''
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' as seen through the eyes of the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUhOnX8qt3I Pyro]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Apidya}}''
* ''VideoGame/MysticRiders''
* ''VideoGame/MrHeli'' is a borderline example: the backgrounds aren't all that bright and cheerful, though the character design is definitely on the cartoonish side.
* ''VideoGame/FlyingHamster''
* The latest versions of ''VideoGame/{{Minesweeper}}'' have an option to uncover the map without stepping on any ''flowers'' rather than mines. This mode is the default on versions of Windows distributed in many countries where someone finding a live mine is a frequent (and usually tragic) occurrence.
* ''VideoGame/{{Kyuiin}}''
* ''VideoGame/LDis''
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