As the title implies, the game is a test of the player's Shoot 'em Up abilities, offering a randomized selection of minigames for the player to go through with each playthrough. In one minigame, you're destroying tanks shooting at you to the tune of Raiden-esque music, in another you're dodging spinning balls as long as you can, in yet another you're trying to shoot meteors to prevent them from destroying the Earth, and so on.
At the end, you're shown a graph that shows your abilities as measured by the game, as well as an overall metric of your performance in the forms of a numerical grade and a "Gamer Age" akin to Brain Age.
Shmups Skill Test has had multiple rereleases on different platforms, including arcade hardware (two, in fact; the later of two uses a horizontal monitor orientation, has some new minigames, and supports up to 4 players), the Xbox 360 as part of the Shooting Love. 200X Compilation Re-release, and on Windows via Steam as part of the Shooting Love 20XX series of Triangle Service ports.
Pull off "Nice Tropes"!
- Bullet Hell: Primarily in the "Bullet Bullet Bullet" minigame, which pits you against a Hibachi Expy who shoots out patterns of ever-increasing difficulty until you hit level 100 or die, whichever comes first.
- Button Mashing: Some minigames offer a rapid-fire button, but many others do not. The ones that don't either don't have shooting as the main focus (such as the "Dodge" and "Bullet Bullet Bullet" minigames), are focused on precision shooting ("Drop Time Bombs!"), or are intended to test your rapid-firing ability (such as "Meteors" and 8-Bit). Of course, you can just cheat and use a controller with its own rapid-fire feature.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The game tests your shmup skills.
- Green Aesop: Parodied in the last minigame, where the game starts off by telling you to "save the earth, keep clean", then tasks you with shooting beverage cans into a trashcan in a low-gravity environment above the Earth.
- Have a Nice Death: Some of the minigames have unique lines for getting killed:(in the "Meteors" minigame) "Screw-up"(in "See It Through!") "You didn't see it through"(in the "shoot it when it turns red" minigame) "Give it another chain shot!"(in the "shoot the panels" minigame) "Ouch!"
- It's a Wonderful Failure:
- If you fail "Drop Time Bombs!" by shooting the rocket until it's destroyed, you get to watch it spectacularly explode while the game informs you, "This is a tragedy!"
- If you fail "Protect the Earth from Meteors!" by allowing the Earth's HP to drop to zero, you'll see the Earth turn red and explode, with the same "tragedy" line from above.
- Press Start to Game Over: It is possible to insta-fail either iteration of "Pull Off 'Nice Bombs'!" by failing to pick up the bomb item, and in the case of the first, easier version of the game, you won't even get the picture-in-picture tutorial if this happens.
- Production Throwback: "See It Through!" uses the same grid formation of tanks that first appeared in an optional segment of stage 2 of ΔZEAL, another Triangle Service game, right down to the "WARNING!" prompt that shows up before the tanks appear.
- Rewarding Inactivity: If you stop playing the Steam version for several days, then pick the game back up, you'll get the "Long Time No See" achievement, which is also earnable on Triangle Service's other Steam ports.
- Rush Boss: One minigame has you destroying a boss named Larilari. You either kill it in about a second with sufficiently fast Button Mashing, or get killed because you didn't fire fast enough, fired before the core turned red, or rammed into it.
- "Tank Tank Tank" features a pen of cows, a nod to Raiden's animated background cows that appear in one stage of every game. Unlike the Raiden cows, however, they can be knocked over by shooting them for an insignificant amount of points. Furthermore, the track used for both "Tank" stages is composed by Go Sato, the lead composer of most games in the Raiden series.
- One particularly rarely-shown minigame features the Moai heads from Gradius and tasks you with answering a riddle involving the Konami Code.
- Smart Bomb: The object of "Pull off Nice Bombs!" is to deploy one with as many bullets on-screen as possible, with each bullet on-screen earning you points and bullets dangerously close to your ship being worth more points. Getting hit will end the stage with 0 points.
- Tank Goodness: "Tank Tank Tank", "Tank Tank Tank Tank Tank", and "See It Through!" all feature tanks as enemies.