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Horizontal Scrolling Shooter

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A subgenre of the Shoot 'Em Up genre, in which the game's playfield constantly scrolls horizontally (and almost universally left-to-right). Most commonly, the view is side-on, giving the player a cross-sectional view of the level.

Unlike their Vertical Scrolling Shooter cousins, horizontally-scrolling shooters commonly use terrain as an obstacle, requiring the player to carefully navigate and avoid solid objects in addition to fighting the enemies that they encounter. Since the terrain is typically static, memorizing the layout can make things easier in such games.

Games are typically divided up into distinct stages with a large and powerful boss at the end of each.

Three of the most iconic horizontally-scrolling shooter franchises originated in the late 1980s, and are still going to this day:

The genre was reasonably popular in the 1980s and 1990s, but their influence has waned considerably since the advent of 3D games.

Compare Vertical Scrolling Shooter.

Common tropes in Horizontal Scrolling Shooters include: