The series plays somewhat like a Shoot 'em Up: You move around a 2D plane dodging enemies and enemy shots. However, your sole means of offense is blowing yourself up. When you blow yourself up, enemies caught in the blast will explode similarly, causing a chain of enemy explosions if done properly.
Of course, exploding costs you a life, so you get very frequent extra lives ("extends" in Japanese shmup terminology), hence the title "Every Extend".
The series spans three games:
- Every Extend (PC, 2004)
The first game in the series, and the only entry to be a Freeware Game.
- Every Extend Extra (PSP, 2006)
Features stage-based gameplay, with each stage having a distinct visual and audio theme.
- E4: Every Extend Extra Extreme (Xbox Live Arcade, 2007)
Does away with the traditional lives system and is more focused on score. Features an endless mode, a time attack mode, a "bring your own music" mode, and a completely different mode called "R4: The Revenge".
The Every Extend series contains examples of:
- Action Bomb: You.
- Blackout Basement: Stage 4 of Extreme. You have to rely on a radar sweep to see enemies, hence the name "Infrared Radar Tactics".
- Cap: In Every Extend and Extra, the maximum number of Quickens you can have is 8, made obvious in Extra by displaying number of Quickens obtained as a eight-segment meter. However, the maximum number of Quickens you can have and still allow Quickens to spawn is five; once you get 6 Quickens, no more will show up, so getting to 8 is a matter of getting 3 Quicken items to be on the screen at once so you can scoop them all up.
- Difficulty by Acceleration:
- As you collect Quicken powerups, the speed and quantity of enemies will increase. This does, however, open up more scoring opportunities, so collecting a full stock of Quickens is vital to high scores.
- In Extreme stages 1-3, the music speeds up a few times as you collect Quickens, making it harder to get Beat bonuses. Stage 4, however, remains at a constant tempo.
- Endless Game: E4. The game is easy enough that it's possible to last for hours.
- Every 10,000 Points: That's why it's called "Every Extend". This applies only to the first two games. In E4, finite lives only appear in R4 mode.
- Luck-Based Mission: While E4 has the multipliers for hitting the explode button on the beat, getting a good score, especially in the timed mode, is still largely dependent on getting the right enemy formations to show up, and you don't have direct control over enemy spawning.
- Pinball Scoring: Extreme. To illustrate, not only do scores easily go into the billions, but the online leaderboards show logarithmic score graphs.
- Recycled Soundtrack: Extreme uses the exact same title theme as Extra.
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: Survival is completely trivialized in Extreme compared to its predecessors. In Unlimited mode, if you are fairly on top with picking up Time Extend powerups, it is possible to play for hours without needing superplay-level skill.
- Timed Mission: All stages are timed, often with ways to extend the timer.
- True Final Boss: In Every Extend Heavy mode, you normally fight the KW Motor...unless you fulfill certain requirementsSpoilers , causing you to fight another boss instead, AB-A Hedron.
- Vertical Scrolling Shooter: Subverted in that you don't shoot at all; you have to explode to attack. In other words, it's not a shoot-em-up, it's a "blow-em-up".