Such adorable invaders!
of Shoot 'em Up
games, which replaces the spaceships, Starfish Aliens
, robots and lasers with kittens
, squirrels, candies, and all things Lighter and Softer
. The stark space setting becomes Wackyland
, and Moe Anthropomorphism
But the gameplay is otherwise intact, including the Nintendo Hard
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 Bullet Hell
). If you think otherwise, be prepared for a good smack in the face with Surprise Difficulty
Sometimes these games have stories, and others just have Excuse Plots
, just like any other game.
Also, as with many Widget Series
, 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 Pleasures
. In fact, these games have found a solid niche among gamers.
- Touhou mixes this with Bullet Hell. The plots are also more intensive than typically expected for this genre. Because of this, and the sheer amount of Memetic Mutation, Touhou gets a lot of fans that aren't all that interested in the Bullet Hell aspect.
- Speaking about Bullet Hell games, Bullet Heaven (an Epic Battle Fantasy Gaiden Game).
- Kiki Kai Kai (AKA Pocky & Rocky)
- Trouble Witches
- Twinkle Star Sprites
- Air Zonk
- Harmful Park
- Magical Chase
- Akkanvader (better known as Space Invaders '95: Attack of the Lunar Loonies!)
- Otomedius, Konami's combination of their own series, Parodius and Gradius. Silliness + Plot + Boobs - Drugs.
- Star Parodier, a cute'em up entry in Hudson's otherwise serious Star Soldier series.
- Rabio Lepus and Rabio Lepus Special
- The Cotton series
- Fantasy Zone
- Gun Nac
- Game Tengoku by Jaleco qualifies as this, along with being a both of Crisis Crossover (between Jaleco's old arcade games) and Affectionate Parody of the arcade gaming history and tropes around it.
- King And Balloon (the original cute-'em-up!)
- Death Smiles
- 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 Kirby Mass Attack.
- Space Bomber
- Gundemonium Series
- The "Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly" mini-game in No More Heroes was a regular shoot-em-up. In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, it is now a Cute 'em Up.
- Keio Flying Squadron
- Team Fortress 2 as seen through the eyes of the Pyro
- Mystic Riders
- Mr. Heli is a borderline example: the backgrounds aren't all that bright and cheerful, though the character design is definitely on the cartoonish side.
- Flying Hamster
- The latest versions of 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.