Shoot! Dodge! and... Get Hit!? "Ikaruga" is a vertical shoot 'em up that features an unique polarity-switching gameplay. Switch the ship's polarity and "get hit and absorb" enemy bullets! Achieve High Score with the chain bonus!
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (649 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 18, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Infuriatingly difficult, but perfectly constructed. Ikaruga is the PC's best bullet-hell shooter."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (8)

August 13

Updated (Build 354142)

  • Added 'APPENDIX' menu. Gallery and SoundTracks mode.
  • Change title screen pictures to HD
  • Chapter 1: Fixed slowdown of the scene after the chapter title.
    (Change far objects to billboard, and speed up)
  • Fixed minor bugs

アップデートしました(ビルド ID 354142)
  • おまけメニュー(APPENDIX)追加。ギャラリー、サウンドモード。
  • タイトル画面を高解像度化、調整
  • Chapter 1 雲海上のシーンの高速化
  • 他、バグ修正など

19 comments Read more

About This Game

Shoot! Dodge! and... Get Hit!?

Ikaruga is a vertical shoot 'em up that features an unique polarity-switching gameplay.
Switch the ship's polarity and "get hit and absorb" enemy bullets!
Achieve High Score with the chain bonus!

Features

  • The player ship, all enemies and bullets are black or white.
    Player's polarity can be switched at will.
  • Your ship can absorb enemy bullets of the same polarity.
    Filled energy goes to fire powerful homing lasers! (Release Power)
  • Defeat 3 enemies in a row of the same polarity and get the chain bonus!
    Building up high scores feels like a puzzle game?
  • Spectacular 3D graphics. Fast and smooth game play.
  • 2 Players game (Local) and
    Double Play Mode: You can play 2 Players game with one controller.
  • 5 levels. Tactical level design and boss battles.
  • 3 difficulty levels: EASY, NORMAL, HARD.
    Change your tactics depending on the difficulty.
  • 2 Game modes: ARCADE, PROTOTYPE (not hidden).
  • Replay data save is available.
    You can also download them from the Leaderboards.
  • Vertical screen mode support.
    You can also play the game like a side-scrolling shooter by rotating only the game screen.
  • Xbox360 controller, Keyboard and Mouse support.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 8 / 7 / Vista / XP
    • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo / Athron64 X2
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0c support (256 MB VRAM)
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 512 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c support
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel or AMD multicore processor recently 5 years
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA or AMD in recently 5 years
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 512 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c support
Helpful customer reviews
20 of 20 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
Ikaruga is a diamond- beautiful, and also REALLY REALLY HARD. The difficulty is probably discouraging for some, but for players who enjoy trying again and again and feeling the improvement every time they try, this here is top tier. I've worn the Ikaruga as my internet face for ten years now; let that be testament to how much I love this game.

I mean, I'm awful at it. But I love it.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
132.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
I first played Ikaruga for the GameCube and instantly fell in love with it. At first I treated it like any other shooter before I even started learning how to chain combos properly. The combo system is where this game really shines, it turns from a "shut your brain off and shoot enemies", to a fast paced twitch puzzle game. I've spent countless hours on the GameCube version of the game and the PC port holds up well. When you get into the groove of the polarity switching and memorize enemy patterns there really is no limit to what you can do next to improve your score.

What kept me playing is i never felt like I’ve hit a plateau in what kind of score i could achieve, there is always positive reinforcement to keep playing because you can see what the guy ahead of you on the leaderboard has done... don't go way above your means and watch the number 1 player and think I’ll never be able to do that... watch the guy who's only 2 million points ahead of you and mimic the style he's using... you'll quickly learn that the game that's touted as "impossibly hard", is actually very doable to get a high score.

I recommend giving it a fair chance turn the BGM off and play some of your own chillout tunes and enter the meditation that is Ikaruga.

Pros
-very forgiving hitbox often times you feel like "how did i just survive that?!", rather than "oh man how did i die there!?"
-mesmerizingly intelligent level scripting.
-addictive
-intuitive design
-perfect integration of the Microsoft controller, and also very good response when linking a ps3 controller via 3rd party apps.

Cons
-no longer has slow mo, and training that was included in the GameCube release.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
This Shoot Em Up game is one of the best of it's genre.
It is hard and it feels rewarding to beat the stage without taking hits.
The gimmick of switching between black and white stand is fun, you collect the same color pellets for the so called bomb power.
If you like games like Touhou or Gradius, this game is for you.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
this is the business-class airline ticket to bull-sh|tville.

Okay jokes aside, it's definitely one of the hardest shmup I've played. Its unique polarity mechanic provides interesting gameplay and difficulty unique to its own way, Ikaruga keeps players vigilant since it might catch the players off guard when they are collecting projectiles to charge your homing laser, there might be a bullet of opposing polarity hidden beneath the huge numbers of bullets you're trying to absorb, or giving players short time to make decision on which polarity they should switch to while being surrounded by huge numbers of bullets more than enough to block the sun.

the non-gameplay elements are impressive, eye-pleasing art-style and ship designs, another aspect that stick out the most is the soundtracks. Nothing gets you pumped up more than listening to the music accompanied with flying through the beautifully designed background. albeit I ought to say it might need some polish on its 3d renders.

I'll give it 8/10
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19 of 32 people (59%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
If you have too much happiness in your life then this is the game for you.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
This is as close to the Dreamcast build as it gets, the perfect way to experience Ikaruga in the age of digital displays.
  • Developed and published by Treasure
  • Supports both DirectInput and Xinput
  • Extensive screen rotation and heads-up-display placement options
  • Online scoreboard with replay function
  • HD art assets with gallery
  • NESiCAxLive arcade build based off Steam build
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 22
True Japanese shooter
1. Bullet Hell
2. Insanely Hard
3. Great MUSIC
4. Little sayings that make no sense..

I have spent hours on this game = 1 acheivement.
I can't get past level 2.

Get It!
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 25
This is a classic shooter that's hard but fun. Unlike the Gamecube version, you can have unlimited credits. The 360 controller works nice with the game. I paid $5, which was less than I'd spend trying to play it in the arcade.

If you like hard shooters and want more arcade shooters in Steam, support it.

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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
This game is hard as hell.

Patience, this game requieres skill.

If you manage to dedicate yourself to uncover the secrets requiered to finish this game. you will like it.

if you like easy challenge. you will not like it.

RECOMMENDED
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
Galaga + Cocaine = Ikaruga.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
If you are a bullet hell fan, and you don't have this game, you are dead to me.
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8 of 13 people (62%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Playing this game and listening to it's music is the best alternative to viagra.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
This game is insane. I will probably never beat it but even attempting the first 2 levels over and over again has been more fun than you'd expect.

It's a bullet hell (meaning there is a ton of bullets on screen and you're expected to dodge them all) but mixed with a polarity-swapping technique. Enemies are of 2 colors, and you have the ability to be 1 of the 2 colors at a time. You absorb bullets of the same polarity and die to bullets of the opposite. You shoot the same color as your polarity, and shooting enemies with matching polarity does double damage. Shooting the correct polarity across multiple enemies rewards you with a chain, which leads to a higher score (which is the point of this game).

It's one of the hardest games I've played, and this is supposedly not even nearly as hard as other games in the genre. If you like a challenge you will certainly find it in this game. I don't think anyone with any amount of gaming experience can just pick up this game and get to level 5 even within a few days. It takes lots of practice and memorization and on top of all that perfect execution to proceed through the entirety of the game.

The level design is basically art. It's amazing how they've used the polarity technique to actually generate level obstacles that, in tandem with the spawning enemies, create an entire level that you're expected to dodge and blow up while maintaining a combo and getting the highest score possible. You can tell a lot of work went into the precise timings and enemy types of enemy spawns. The bosses are very unique and well designed as well. You almost never feel like they've repeated anything in the game. Every 5 seconds you're facing something new.

This game is easily a 9/10, more or less depending on your individual taste for bullet hells.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 28
Excellent PC port! It supports a plethora of controls, multiple graphic options within the game, and performs extremely well.

The game itself is a very good game. While the story may be minimal, the presentation is great, and is hard as balls in normal shmup style. However, if you are going to achieve the highest score you can, you will also find a complex and deeply rewarding shooter that has aged extremely well.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
Always was and always will be the best SHMUP you could ever play. The game's a work of art and a piece of history.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
44.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 22
Ikaruga is amazing not just because it's a good game. It challenges you to master YOURSELF, since completing every level is a matter of keeping your cool, achieving almost a zen-like status and fighting ever onward for further mastery.

As you play, duality becomes a thing of second nature and every level is like a yin/yang dance of beauty. It's not just a video game. It's art.

10/10
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
Instant humiliation available from the Leaderboard
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
35.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
The best SHMUP ever made. Finishing the game is a challenge in itself for new players, but there's a whole other layer of difficulty below the surface which you'll only discover when going for the higher ranks and scores. Every level is meticulously designed to be completely possible but also fiendishly difficult at the same time - every single enemy is placed in such a way that with perfect memory, technique and skill you can maintain your maximum chain throughout the entire stage which you'll need to do to attain the higher ranks. This game will take hundreds of hours to master - I can only get an S++ rank on Chapter 1, and I have probably spent 400+ hours on this game across three platforms (GameCube, Xbox 360 and Steam) since I first played it in 2003.

Oh and it has beautiful artwork and stellar music too. Incredible game.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
I am going to die with regret.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
Great bullet-hell game and will make you want to keep playing to perfect it.
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