With a monster soundtrack, challenging gameplay and an impressive arsenal of weapons - Power-Up is the modern-retro styled Shoot-Em-Up from one-man game studio, Psychotic Psoftware.
User reviews: Mixed (45 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 27, 2014
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Reviews

“a classic of its time”
5/5 – XBoxer 360

“hours of fun (and frustration)”
8/10 – SA Gaming Portal

“reaches back to a respectfully nostalgic place”
10/10 – Sustainable Gamers

About This Game

POWER-UP is the modern-retro styled Shoot-Em-Up from one-man game studio, Psychotic Psoftware.

Spanning vibrant locations to a monster soundtrack, Power-Up thrusts you into battle with a diverse range of fighters, freighters and titanic level guardians. If you loved retro SHMUP classics like R-Type, Hellfire or Project-X, you'll get a kick out of Power-Up's slick, detailed visuals, challenging gameplay and impressive arsenal of weapons.


SYNOPSIS: The Earth is doomed! As you pilot the prototype fighter, Weapon-F through the debris of your vanquished escape shuttle you come to realise that you are the last human alive. You alone must take on the army of reptilian monsters responsible for the destruction of humankind. You alone must carry out your final mission... Revenge!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista
    • Processor: 2.40GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX drivers for HiDef graphics.
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Hard Drive: 80 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Standard
    • Additional Notes: Compatible with the USB Xbox 360 GamePad.
Helpful customer reviews
29 of 40 people (73%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
In the midst of a great war, humankind now hangs on the edge of extinction. All but one pilot representing the human race is left with nothing to lose, and a thirst for revenge. The story in Power-Up is simple sci-fi fare but is effective through its usage of snazzy dialogue and slick visuals that all give a nostalgic retro flare.

As the first stage starts the massive human vessel deteriorates in the background as I find myself dodging the pieces of its firey debris. The situation is intense and the narrative well thought out, pulling you into the role of this lone human pilot very well. When games were still all about the challenge, shoot-em-ups reigned supreme and Power-Up follows in that classic form. The game follows a horizontally side-scrolling view in the same vein as classics Gradius or R-type but with a visual style of its own personality.

Power-Up gives you a versatile set of weapons displayed on a Gradius style weapon bar and include all of the classic variations you'd expect in shmup arsenal. You've got your standard straight shooting pea-shooter, a spread shot cannon, side-shooters, a back-firing laser, and a powerful but short range plasma cannon. Most importantly is your ability to 'power-up' each weapon individually allowing you to strategically distribute your pickups between desired weapons for specific situations. Personally, I mostly stuck with a high leveled pea-shooter and the spreadshot, but there were still plenty of moments were the game throws situations that require the other guns at you forcing you to think quick and on your feet.

Using a fully leveled weapon is where the intensity begins and the action really starts to shine. The feeling of shredding through a crowd of enemies with a high-powered barrage of bullets is an exhilirating one, and even moreso when you face each of the huge and beautifully detailed bosses and their tricky attack patterns.

The retro atmosphere provided by the stylish visuals, detailed backgrounds, and heavy music are all the work of one man and obviously with a lot of love making this an even more impressive endeavor, as well as a seriously solid entry into any shmup afficianados library in its own right. Power-Up retains everything we love and remember from the classics while giving it a unique makeover, and is something I would deem a modern classic in a dying genre. For the incredibly low asking price this is an easy buy that provides more than just a retro throwback but a completely new experience.
Posted: August 30
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19 of 27 people (70%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Non-biased:

-Old school side scrolling shmup.
-You have 10 lives
-No extra lives through points or pickup
EDIT: -No continues.
-All made by ONE PERSON
-You start off with all 5 weapons, a force field, and a "smart bomb"
-Item pickups are P, X, B, S, and F
P: Power-up (Whatever weapon you're currently using will be powered up)
X: will give you an extra smart bomb (called Blast)
B: Bonus points (I think. It's hard to tell what the voice says since the music is loud)
S: Speed up
F: Force Field
-Your force field lasts as long as you hold the button down. You have a certain number of blocks just like weapons
-Unlockable ship colors after play time or beating the game on different difficulty levels. Weapons are the same.
-When you die, you only lose a life. You keep all your weapon's powers, speed, blast, etc
-A fully powered up weapon makes the screen flash around the edges with every shot

Biased:
-Really good game for $3. 10% discount when first released.
-Music is a bit too loud but it's not bad at all. I would probably like to cover a metal version of the boss music.
-Cannot choose different screen resolutions. Only windowed or fullscreen
-Cannot change audio level. Would be nice to control music, speech, and sound effects.
-Cannot change controller button layout. Note that I've only tried with a controller and not keyboard.
-Cannot turn off flashing screen at full power or at least curtail it. It's nice but it can get distracting at times.
-Having 5 weapons gives it a Thunder Force feel. The power up system feels like Darius.
-Would be cool to have "Options" (as in a little buddy who shoots/rotates/follows). I would also be okay if these disappeared when you died.

Overall: If you're looking for a sidescrolling shmup, get this.
Posted: August 30
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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
I was expecting something that actually played like an old-school shooter, not something that merely looked like one, surrounded by a field of dropped names. This was deeply disappointing, from the terribly mapped controls (who seriously assigns 'j' to 'fire', and 'space' to 'super bomb'? And while I'm at it, nobody ever used QAOP for movement in the 'retro' days.) to the plodding gameplay. This felt like something you'd find tucked away in a larger game as a hacky easter egg.

And for chrissakes, don't make your juvenile splash screens unskippable. Nobody needs to see your 'scary' logo for twenty seconds every time they load your game.
Posted: October 5
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
This game is so good, you will even enjoy getting hit by one of those tiny little yellow pricks.

A fully leveled up weapon gives you so much pleasure when fired, the graphical fidelity of this title is unique and perfect for this game. It's hard as ♥♥♥♥, even on easy; but as I said before, you will love every moment of it. The soundtrack is amazing, fits in with the whole theme well. If you are looking for a SHUMUP this is probably what you are looking for. It's an amazing retro and a modern experience. Do not be afraid to try this. You will not regret it. Especially for this low low price which is less than what I believe this game is worth.
Posted: August 29
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
12.7 hrs on record
Very fun SHoot-eM-UP. I don't have much time in it yet, but I got far enough to have better than half of my weapons fully upgraded before running out of ships.

Takes me back to the 90's. You have several different weapons that are selectable on the fly with power-ups along way to make whichever one you're using at the time stronger. Along with speed and force field power ups that can be picked up too. Like the days of old you get a certain number of ships before it's game over, and there are no continues. The game can be quite challenging, but so far haven't died because of completly impossible situations that couldn't have been avoided if I had been just a little faster or paid better attention (no bs gotcha's in other words). Music and sound are pretty good and match the setting and style of the game (think retro but higher quality than 8 bit).

Defintely worth the modest cost considering once upon a time you could blow $10 on a similar arcade in less than 2 hours and still keep coming back for more punishment.
Posted: August 29
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