A retro shooter with a new power: the power to become any ship. Lost in the depths of space, you are a being of pure psychic energy with the uncanny power to take over and control anything you see in order to survive. Built for PC, Enemy Mind lets you battle your way through 70+ waves of challenging enemies.
User reviews: Very Positive (138 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 6, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"You can reach out and grab any ship in the entire game, so every new ship is like a new toy to play with. It keeps the game interesting and dynamic."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (16)

March 10

Now with Trading Cards!

We're happy to announce the addition of Steam Trading Cards to Enemy Mind!

6 Cards, 3 Backgrounds, 6 emotes + the 6 badge levels.

You'll get some fun bits of back story from the card descriptions. Go get 'em!

Also, I'd like to plug our Kickstarter for our other GreenLit Game: Orion Trail

We're down to the last couple days! We need more Space Backers!

3 comments Read more

February 4

New Game from Schell Games

Hi Folks. I just wanted to let you know that Schell Games has launched a Kickstarter for a new game called Orion Trail. If you're thinking it's Oregon Trail in space, well, you're right!

The art is done by Evan Brown, the art director of Enemy Mind, and the design and writing is done by Dave Bennett, who was instrumental in getting Enemy Mind the green light at the here at Schell Games.

If you've got a second, go check it out. I think it's going to be great!

2 comments Read more


“Angry fun in local co-op with this side-scrolling shooter”

“I found the interesting parts of the game to be trying out and taking over all these new ships, and in chasing the narrative throughout this overarching space opera. I found all those things compelling enough to drive me through the experience. This week, James recommends Enemy Mind.”
Extra Credits

“The two and a half months of Early Access time saw tweaks, updates, and bug fixes, and the payoff is an Enemy Mind that’s had a nice polishing shine applied to the game from front to back.”
Hardcore Gamer

About This Game

A retro shooter with a new power: the power to become any ship.

Lost in the depths of space, you are a being of pure psychic energy with the uncanny power to take over and control anything you see in order to survive.

Built for PC, Enemy Mind lets you battle your way through 70+ waves of challenging enemies. Deftly maneuver over twenty unique ships, each with different abilities for you to harness. Backed by an all-new chip-emulated soundtrack by the psychoacoustic artist Rainbow Kitten, Enemy Mind features an adaptive story system as innovative as its gameplay. Are you ready to unlock the secrets of Enemy Mind?

  • 8 levels and 70 waves of challenge
  • Side-scrolling space shooter for PC
  • Classic 8-bit art-style
  • 20+ different ships, each with their own unique power and ability
  • Adaptive story system that changes with your individual play style
  • Multi-player co-op supports up to four players at once
  • Original Chiptune-inspired soundtrack by Rainbow Kitten

More Reviews

"It's incredibly addictive!" Indie Retro News March 2014

"The game really is the whole package. GameCola Score: 9 - Excellent" GameCola June 2014

"Overall I was very impressed by what Schell Games was able to achieve with a genre that is not really known for innovation. The game is addictive enough that you will want to complete it a few times in order to piece together the whole story and of course the co-op mode will also eat up a lot of your spare time if you have friends nearby. While shooter fans will obviously enjoy the game the most I urge anyone that has an interest in polished, unique titles to try it out as it is definitely worth the effort. Rating: 8/10" GAMERamble June 2014

"Enemy Mind is an excellent and unique take on the shooter genre. Definitely worth the price at full retail." Nerd Age June 2014

Check out our website: http://enemymindgame.com/
Listen to the full soundtrack on our Bandcamp Page!
This old-school arcade shmup is brought to you by Schell Games, an independent game studio based in Pittsburgh, PA.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo 2.66Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB Graphics Memory and Directx 9.0c Compatible gpu
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Onboard sound card
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Additional Notes: USB wired Xbox 360 controller recommended
    • OS: OSX 10.8+
    • Processor: 2.5GHz dual-core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB Graphics Memory
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Onboard sound card
    • Additional Notes: USB wired Xbox 360 controller recommended
Helpful customer reviews
19 of 20 people (95%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 25
Enemy Mind is a brilliant concept trapped in a game that's less interesting than it deserves.

The hook is simple, but oh so ingenious it begs the question why it hasn't been done before (the closest comparison that comes to mind is Driver: San Francisco): instead of playing as any specific ship, you have the ability to reach out and take control of any enemy ship you come in contact with, and it's just as cool as you'd imagine. Whizzing around as a tiny fighter and then jumping into a bombing tanker or alien starship creates a dynamic I haven't found in another game, one where enemies are less obstacles you need to remove but strategic pieces to manipulate the battlefield with. Prioritizing ships so as to save those with the most desirable features to take over later runs contrary to almost every traditional approach to shoot'em'up combat, and something that makes Enemy Mind feel so unusual to play beyond its novel mechanic.

It's rather a shame then that said mechanic is Enemy Mind's sole strength, and what it throws its entirety behind. Taking as just about every ship often feels weak, and unsatisfying, and though providing you with a finite amount of ammo keeps you from just sticking to a single ship for the entire game, it also becomes rather tiring having to constrain yourself so drastically in order to take enemies out as each shot needs to hit and that's not especially easy to do most of the time. As quickly and often as it comes, death is largely meaningless, with no penalty save the loss of your score and the requirement to replay a little before where you met your untimely doom. This caused the game to almost immediately lose all tension, and once the novelty of taking over enemies wore off I rather lost interest in what I was doing.

And I say this having completed Enemy Mind in a meager 2 hours, which is about twice as long as it has interesting things to show you. New enemy types are continually trickled in, but many of them were immediately written off as being rather a lot less functional than those I'd been using already. I wanted to become invested in the narrative, which pieces together the memories of the pilots you've taken over to try and give context to what exactly is happening, but it's so abstract and difficulty to piece together that I was all but entirely lost by the end and only had the haziest of ideas how I got there. I imagine there's a compelling story here, but it tries to tie itself into elements of gameplay that are more interesting in concept than ideal ways to tell a narrative.

Enemy Mind's genius mechanic is so strong that it's worth checking out for it alone, but it's telling that I'm more excited about its ideas being recreated and innovated on in other games than I am about the game itself. It's a solid curiosity and a great proof of concept, I just wish its broader foundation was as engaging.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
The concept of the game is really cool and it makes for some very interesting gameplay. The game itself is just long enough to stay interesting, and it has some fantastic boss fights that make great use of its concept. I think I would've liked some more enemy types, but beyond that it's a rock solid game.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
So far, I really, REALLY love this game.

If you are looking for a nostalgia hit, you'll get it, but with some extra added in treats.

You get the best of both worlds, esplosive, lazer filled space battles and clever, tactical play.

Don't take the game too seriously, and you will have one hell of a time. :D
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
If you've been looking for an old school shooter with puzzle-like mechanics and an engrossing plot- Oh who are we kidding? Nobody thought a game like this would come out. But it has, and yes, it is awesome.
For you shoot 'em up fans out there, Enemy Mind plays like the love child of R-Type and G Darius. The perfect blend of frentic action, deep thinking and mind control.
What's mind is yours. Play as a psychic entity capable of commandeering a huge variety of vessels from two sides in a space war. Hop from ship to ship, controlling everything from fighter craft, missle platforms, laser squids, inanimate asteroids and ramming drill ships to proximity mines and even segments of the giant boss enemies.
So yes, buy Enemy Mind. It's great.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
One of the few indie games that tries to add an unusual mechanic to an existing genre that does it well. The main mechanic doesnt get old at any point, as the developers have found a number of interesting ways to use it and, most importantly, it still remains polished and exciting in typical combat. Although ideas seem to run dry towards the end, the game is short enough that this isnt a problem.
I bought this in the EC Humble Bundle but would still recommend it at the full price, there isnt a massive amount of content, but the content you get is polished, interesting and most importantly straight up fun.

TLDR if you like 2D shoot em up's and the main mechanic sounds interesting to you its worth playing.

Only problem i can find is a pretty ♥♥♥♥♥♥ encounter towards the end (literally the last thing you go up against before the final boss) that seems pretty unfair. Either that or im just ♥♥♥♥ at the game, check that part out for yourself.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
You get to hop between all the different enemy ships and control them mid-fly in this inspiring and exciting retro space shooter in spirit of games like R-type. The challenge is spot-on and the levels and ships all look and control fantastically for a two-button shooter.

There's coop if you're into that but the single-player game is highly replayable. No achievements which puts you in complete control of what and how much you want to play whenever you want to. There are also fun yet useless side games (one immitates flappy bird with a spaceship and another has you going through an entire chapter as a floating meteor in space) as well as a boss rush mode. Oh and the graphics are sharp, detailed and the soundtrack is pitch perfect.

The only nag I have with the game is that although it has great variety in enemies, there isn't much in the bosses. The later ones are just stronger versions of the original with a new move.

The shooting is frantic and enjoyable and the story is vague enough to justify the happenings, although you're better off ignoring it altogether. Enemy Mind constantly puts you in a strategically action focused situation and all of it is exhillirating for such a small game. It will put a grin of satisfaction on your face the moment you start playing.
Buy this!
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
Enemy Mind is an interesting take on the arcade style space shooter games like Galaga. In most arcade style space shoot-'em ups, you'll pilot your ship through a level, all the while collecting powerups or weapons that may make your craft stronger. In Enemy Mind, your ship has the ability to take over and "transfer consciousnesses" into any other enemy ship. Each craft also has a limited ammo supply, so you'll usually want to expend your entire ammo clip before transferring over to another ship. This creates a gameplay style where the optimal strategy is also the most fun one: blow all your ammo trying to kill everything on the screen, transfer to another ship, rinse and repeat

The playstyles and designs of the enemy ships are varied and interesting enough to make it exciting each time you encounter a new type of enemy craft. It makes the player want to take it over immediately and experiment around with how much armor the craft has and how its weapon systems work. Some craft are agile with fast firing, low damage weapons. Some craft are slower with huge area of effect damage style explosions. Some craft are themselves weapons and are designed to be torpedoed into other craft to drill through their hulls. There's also an accompanying story that is played after each stage in the single player campaign, but I almost entirely ignored it. It was doled out in little text lines one at a time and it seemed mostly forgettable and inconsequential.

Enemy Mind isn't a revolutionary arcade style shooter, but it's a lot of fun. If you like games like Galaga, you'll have a good time with Enemy Mind. Navigating the bullet hell that the enemies throw at you while throwing back a bullet storm of your own while simultaneously possessing and experimenting with new craft and different playstyles felt really good. The boss battles are challenging and unique. There's also a couch co-op multiplayer mode, but I unfortunately haven't gotten a chance to check it out yet. This seems like the kind of game that would be fun to screw around in for a little while with another friend. I wouldn't go out of your way to buy it immediately, but it's worth a look if you find it discounted on a Steam sale or something like that

For more game reviews, check out http://whatisjamesplaying.blogspot.com/
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 13
Enemy Mind is a nifty creative twist on the side-scrolling shooter genre. Instead of controlling your own ship, you play as a psychic entity that can commandeer an enemy ship at will. Just press the button and you can swap into a different ship. It's a simple enough premise, and the game executes on it pretty well--well enough that it feels like a key piece of the gameplay rather than a gimmick.

Each ship has limited ammo, see, so you're forced to jump from ship to ship in order to keep fighting. Levels are designed to nudge you toward playing a wide variety of ships--when you run out of ammo, you won't always be able to hop right into a new copy of the same ship. And the boss fights of each level are built around the mechanic--for example, you might have to jump around a circle of stationary turrets to reach the boss's rotating weak point.

The story is interesting. It's not you against Bad Guy Aliens. You're dropped into the middle of a war between aliens and humans. (You'll get a different ending depending on which side's ships you use more frequently.) The two factions are, visually, very distinct, and when they're onscreen together they'll actually fight each other. Furthermore, both sides quickly become aware of your presence, and you get to hear them reacting to how you're taking over their minds, which is pretty cool.

So I like what they did, generally. That being said, there are some flaws. For one, it would be nice to have more variety in the ships. There are a decent amount to choose from, but a lot of them are just variations on "shoot forward in a straight line." Oh, and another thing, it's always forward. You can't turn around. This is definitely problematic, because the enemies CAN turn around, and they WILL come at you from both sides, and you'll just be, like, well, I can't turn around and shoot the guys behind me, so...bleh. Also, you supposedly have a limited numer of extra lives, but in practice, you get unlimited continues, and continuing puts you at the exact same place as respawning, so...what's the point of having lives, exactly?

In any case, it's a short game--I'm not very good at shooters and I beat it in 3 hours--so it doesn't wear out its welcome. You don't need to invest much time to enjoy this game. I don't know if it's worth $10, but if you have it in your backlog from some bundle or other, I definitely recommend giving it a look, just because it's interesting and it does something new and unique. It's short, it's sweet, and while it's not the best shooter you've ever played, you've probably never played another shooter like it.

P.S. Make sure to check out the Rock Simulator in the Extras section. It is glorious.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
A very creative shooter. A nice challenge, a great concept. Use your enemies ships as your own weapons. If you're a fan of shooters, give this one a look!
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Frenemy Bind is a game about making friends while taking control of their brains and shooting enemies with their brains. Best bit about it is when your friends join in and take your brains and then F*CK EVERYTHING UP, I JUST WANT THE GOD-DAMN BATTLE CRUISER, DAMN IT all the while theres a plot going on and then sometimes some voice mail you need to read or something. Also theres a squid thing, no wait, several squid things that are like porcupines or something but they want to be on XFactor or something thats why they sing all the time, THIS ISN'T SINGSTAR DAMN IT, THOSE DAYS ARE OVER! Overal its a great game, 10/10 would take to dinner but would probably split the bill because I just paid my rent and money is tight.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 13
This game will eat your hands.

It can be that challenging in spots, but unlike the classic shoot'em up arcade games, if you learn to master it, you can recover from near death over and over by jacking ships. Or, in some cases, asteroids. While my initial playthrough is short (4.1 hours), there's enough here to make me want to try it again, both mastering the stranger ships' playstyles as well as figuring out the story.

With all that available to keep the game interesting, it should be mentioned the art style, animations, and soundtrack are all wonderful in themselves. The alien ships tend to have animations that make them immediately recognizable (if the looks weren't enough, that is) from the human ships, making them even more of a joy to jack, but that doesn't mean the human ships don't also have some creative and fun designs and animations to go with them. They very much do, which makes it a tough choice at times to decide between which faction to try to carry through the game with.

This is only compounded by the differing story perspectives they also each offer, as you get to see each side's perspective in this game in more depth than you ever would in past arcadey games like this. It's a little disorienting at first, but starts to come together towards the end, however I suspect replaying it and trying harder to stick with one side's story might illuminate foggier areas of the story, which makes the length great where it's at. Any longer, and it might feel too tedious to explore the other perspectives in-depth, but as it is? It's great, and I'd definitely recommend it, it's far more than you might expect from a $10 game!
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30 of 32 people (94%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 30, 2014
Early Access Review
Enemy Mind is a call back to 80's style gameplay with modern upgrades that fixes the problems that older games had. It will frustrate you to no end with the learning curve with each level and wave, but that's where the fun of the game is. Its not so difficult that new players will struggle, but its definitely difficult enough to challenge most players.

The main mechanic, jumping from ship to ship, is awesome. I did not expect it to work as well as it does in this game. I highly recommend it for its excellent use of this simple element.
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 22, 2014
Enemy Mind is a really fun arcade shooter with updated gameplay. Instead of collecting powerups or collecting weapons you transfer from ship to ship. Each ship has a limited amount of ammo and a few hp requiring you to jump again and again throughout a level if you want to succeed. Each ship has a different weapon, hp, size, and speed making it suitable for different situations.

The game takes place in during a war between humans and an alien race, with you as a psychic presence jumping between each side. Each side has different flavors. There is a small but well written story told between segments of the levels depending on which faction you are possesing.

It has a classic arcade scoring system with fast gameplay that requires you to make strategic descisions on the fly. Its got solid and repsonive gameplay with nice pixel graphics and a good deal of depth to your gameplay choices. Only weakness is that the bosses are kind of weak, interesting and fun but once you're familiar with they can be quite easy. On the whole its an excellent game.
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 4, 2014
Early Access Review
Overall, it's a damn fine shooter. The mechanics are unlike any I'd ever seen, it actually has a running (and apparently mutable) story, and it doesn't rely on being a bullet hell to be challenging.

The sound is great when it comes to having an old-school sound without sounding too... beepy-boopy.

The music adds quite well to the atmosphere to boot!
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28 of 46 people (61%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 18, 2014
Enemy Mind has an interesting concept going for it, ship-switching in Shmups hasn't been done all too often. The problem is, this hinders the game from achieving greatness. Turning it into something more resembling a puzzle game than a shmup at times.

See, you gotta switch ships constantly - because they run out of ammo quite quickly. Eventually you will be switching between the same couple of ship-types you feel are clearly better than the rest thanks to superior attack patterns covering more of the screen and higher armour-ratings allowing you to take more hits. Thus the game quickly becomes samey, with wave after wave of identical craft and similar situations all the time. Enemy Mind fails at keeping things fresh - after the first 20 waves you get the idea what this game is all about and to be honest, it is hardly worth checking the remaining 60 or so waves - even the bosses get recycled twice and it is all a bit dull.

The game also lacks punch, the basic small fighters feel almost like the ship from Defender. Somehow the entire game has a weird eighties-feel to it not unlike a couple of early homecomputer shmups. Everything is kinda small, demanding very precise shooting with beams and projectiles that most of the time are exactly one pixel in height. There is not a whole going on, which may or may not appeal to you - personally, I miss screen-filling enemies, massive explosions, gigantic lasers. Enemy Mind is wimpy at best in that regard - unfortunately the minimalistic aesthetic also becomes problematic on smaller screens (I was forced to go vintage, since the game wouldn't run on my main setup) with easy to miss projectiles and almost invisible mines.

Overall, I feel the game offered too little variation in the three hours it took me to beat the final boss - the weird story only did so much to keep me interested in playing and going for high scores is hardly entertaining and bored me quickly. Might be worth it for that limited eighties-gamefeel, but as far as shmups go I prefer the likes of Astebreed, Satazius or Crimzon Clover.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 23, 2014
Driver San Francisco's hopping gimmick put into a Gradius style shmup. It's only about 2 and a half hours and it feels like it starts to run out of ideas by the end even despite that length but WHO CARES LOOK AT THAT GIMMICK THATS THE GREATEST ♥♥♥♥ING IDEA EVER
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
Definitely an interesting game. I've always been a fan of shmups and the unique mechanic of taking over enemy ships was what sold me on it initially.

The controls are a mixed bag. If you're more accustomed to 16-bit era shoot-'em-up games, you should be fairly comfortable with them. It's about on par with Super R-Type or Gradius III. If you're used to more modern shmups, however, it may be a problem.

The game itself is fairly short, which is to be expected in this genre. There are 8 levels in all, each with multiple waves of enemies. Each level ends with a boss fight. Some involve fighting a large formation of standard enemies, others involve fighting larger crafts which utilize the ship-swapping ability in different ways. The game can be difficult at times, but considering that you have infinite continues and you continue from the beginning of the last wave you've reached (which is also what happens when you lose a life, oddly enough), it's a little on the easy side. I managed to beat the game in about 3 hours. The replay value for the game stems from the storyline, which varies based on actions you take. So if you don't really care about that kind of thing, it's kind of a wash.

Fortunately, there are also some unlockable extras, like an arcade mode that does away with starting at the beginning of each wave (but eliminates contiunes), a boss rush mode, the original proof-of-concept game and two parodies of other games.

Gamepad support is great. I had absolutely no problems with my 360 pad. Best of all, there's even an option to switch between both analog sticks and the D-Pad to control both the ship in-game and the menu controls.

In summary, if you're looking for an old-school horizontal shooter with some unique mechanics, I'd definitely suggest picking this up. On the other hand, if you're looking for a bullet-hell shmup, this game probably won't offer much.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 21, 2014
This game has a great narrative and the way they go about weapon changes is excellent. Definitely the best Shoot 'Em Up I've ever played.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 25, 2014
Well-polished side-scrolling shooter with great music and solid 32-bit graphics. Clever abuse of the swap system is heavily rewarded, and the story is dynamically revealed depending on what faction you 'side' with.

Also the baller synthsized voice for the title screen / game over / stage clear gives it a real classic feel.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 27, 2014
It's a real throwback to the feel of games like Gradius, Xevious, and Galaga, which I honestly prefer to straight bullet-hell. It's so fun to possess the different ships, too. 100% worth playing *stamp*
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