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 (71 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 27, 2014
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Recommended By Curators

"Impressive one man shmup project that captures all of the qualities that made games like R-Type and Gradius great, a worthy homage to the classics."
Read the full review here.


“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

    • 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
5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 19
Uninspiring name for an unoriginal game.

"Power Up", is yet another Shoot 'Em Up we've seen countless of times. Perhaps, it's not entirely fair of me to review a game like this since I'm just not a big fan of the genre and I've played too many of these kind of games.

Truth be told, "Power Up" is not a bad game, it does what it has to do. It looks OK, some of the bigger enemies look kinda cool. I did not have any problem with the gameplay either; you kill a lot of enemies and try to pick up all the ... well... Power up's, of course, which increase things like your shooting power and shooting speed.
You are able to switch weapons the whole time like shooting backwards, shooting sideways or frontal shooting.

I must say I did like the soundtrack, it doesn't get annoying like in many other games.

Overall, Power Up is not the best game in the genre but it's not the worst game either. If there was an option between recommend and not recommend, I would've picked that option. Shooter fans will probably have a good time with this game, besides the game is fairly cheap, which is why I'm recommend this one.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
A small thumbs up (7/10) for this Shump

Lots of lives
Start with all weapons
Made by 1 person (seriously)
Fluid gaming
Most of the cuts and comments can be escaped pass
Steam cards
Low requirements
Cheap ($3)
Unlockable alt ships
Pause option

No extra lives - continues
Can't remap keys - 2 key layout options only
Can't turn down audio
Can't change display rez
Graphics are just ok (then again game made by 1 person - so no art department to help)
No Workshop (seriously this game could use the workshop for new graphics)
No achievements

Fun, cheap, cards what more do you want in a shump?
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4 of 8 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
Another day, another 2D shooter, this time around it's Power-up.
As is typical of the shmup genre, mankind is well and truly screwed. You are literally the last human alive, and you're fighting back against the alien menace. As they say, it's eye for an eye, or..13 billion eyes for 13 billion eyes? Whatever. All hope is gone, so all that matters is complete and utter genocide.

The ship you're going to be piloting is the ugliest thing imaginable. It looks like an electric razor. I mean really, did Gilette build this thing? Way to go humanity. While not aesthetically-pleasing, this ship isn't lacking in firepower. There are five weapons available and they can be switched between at any-time. This is important because enemies approach from all sides, and the weapons have specific angles of attack. Each weapon can be powered-up (shock!) several levels. There are more than enough power-ups to go around, so there's no reason to focus on 1 or 2 weapons. Bombs and a forcefield round out this arsenal.

The five stages are exactly what you'd expect out of a shooter. A legion of battalions will attack your ship, and you must cut through these overwhelming forces. There will be quite a few close-shaves due to all the bullets getting thrown about as well. The construction of each stage is wave-based. For example, in one part of the stage you'll shoot down tiny dog-fighters, next up a crowd of flying laser cannons will approach, followed by some other ships that fire rockets, and so on. It's an organized rank & file approach, one that I'm not fond of. As the game progresses, the stages get longer, until stage 5 actually feels like it's longer than all of the other stages combined. At the end of each stage is a boss, but if you're sufficiently powered-up, they'll go down very quickly.

Despite the lack of continues, this isn't a difficult shooter. The Norelco6948XXXL will breeze through the first few stages on the back of the spread-shot alone (with minor appearances by rear-shot). Stages 4 & 5 definitely step things up, but mostly they just test your patience, because they go on forever. Difficulty-settings are available, but they only affect the amount of lives.

What's most likely going to kill you in this game, is when your eyes eventually lose track of the action. When a weapon is fully-powered, every shot creates a flash that bathes the entire screen in light. These weapons are firing several shots a second, which creates this disorienting strobe effect. It's possible to die, and not know what actually killed you. There was definitely a bullet there, but you probably didn't see it, because all of the flashing lights cause you to miss what's most important. This in my opinion is a serious issue.

While the lighting is the worst aspect of this game and requires a fix, I'm not sure if it'd be enough for me to recommend Power-Up. In terms of mechanics this game is decent enough, and it reminds me of a less-restrictive Hellfire, which is neat. It's pooly-paced though, and doesn't really get exciting until the later stages. I especially don't care for enemies attacking in waves. It comes off as artificial, especially when the environments don't go through any real changes.

Overall, I'm not a fan.
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30 of 43 people (70%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 30, 2014
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.
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25 of 36 people (69%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 30, 2014

-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

-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.
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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 29, 2014
This game is so good, you will even enjoy getting hit by one of those tiny little yellow ♥♥♥♥♥♥.

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.
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16 of 27 people (59%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2014
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.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
A really enjoyable retro indie game.
Addicting Gameplay
Amazing Music
Decent Controls (easy to get used to)
A Story (i haven`t really payed attentioin to the story but it does have one)
no sound options (can get really loud and annoying)
checkpoints would be usfull
Other Spaceships Look Pretty Similar

overall i`d give thiis game a 7.5 out of 10 and you should check it out if you are into this kind of stuff, way worth £2
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 13, 2014
You gotta respect when one man makes entire game.
Decent graphics, Challenging gameplay (and no save game makes this like an old school side-scroll shooter).
And extremely cheap!
Give it a try.
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8 of 13 people (62%) found this review helpful
13.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 29, 2014
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.
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9 of 15 people (60%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 30, 2014
This game reminds me a LOT of thunder spirits for super nintendo.
i like both games a good deal.
very fun and entertaining.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2014
Another 2D side-scrolling space shooter. No achievements but gives you 8 card drops. Okay, if you can get it in a bundle (like I did)...
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 4, 2014
Simple side scrolling shoot em up but done really well. If you are after that 16bit nostalgic side scrolling shoot em up go for it.
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5 of 10 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 31, 2014
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 15, 2014


Great value for 3$
Fair difficulty
Very fun when weapons are powered up
Great Level and boss design

Did not care for unlockables
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12 of 25 people (48%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 29, 2014
Pre-Release Review
Power-Up does exactly what it says on the tin. This is s SHUMUP 'Shoot-Em-Up' developed by 1 man. I am always impressed when 1 person can develop a game from start to finish you have to give these guys respect. Power-Up has a great classic retro vibe to it.


All the best SHUMUP's add something unique and different. Power-Up does that with its choice in how to power your weapons up. The 1st time you play you learn enemy formations and tactics, the 2nd time you play you start to adapt and power-up accordingly as you progress, the 3rd time you play you get your butt kicked again! It's a tried and tested method that keeps SHUMUP fans coming back for more. These types of games will never get old, there's always room for 1 more, so make room for this. - Superb Stuff!
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3 of 7 people (43%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 30, 2014
I was waiting for this game! Now im really happy with it. I wanted to be surprised by it and thats what i got now. Gameplay is very inteligent, i love the progresion of power ups and the enemys variety and routines. I like the paced of the game, it´s not a frenetic piece of chaos that i don´t like in this kind of games. The music is really good! i like it very much! Graphics are good too (i love the diferent scroll layers) A lot of work for only one person! (Final boss 2 had is awesome desing, i liked very much).
The game has challenge and it´s adictive. There is no continue credits but there is reward for only play for hours or minutes. In sumary. Power up its a must have for that ridiculous price! Congratulation to Psychotic! You did a really god job!


-Adictive! a challenge!
-gameplay desing and good 2d graphics with good scroll.

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3 of 7 people (43%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 29, 2014
I've played it only twice, so it's an early review, but as a fan of shmups I feel like I've gotten a fairly good grasp of the game.

Gameplay: The gameplay reminds me of a hypothetical Gradius clone for the Amiga. That is a good thing. It's the first old school shmup I've played on Steam that actually feels oldschool without being too simple. While the enemies are fairly basic, they are better than similar games at this price point. The weapon switching and power up system is the highlight of the game design. They are well balanced for various play styles. Switching on the fly and strategizing is excelllent.

Difficulty: It's difficult, but not that bad. It's much, much easier than something like Strikers 1945 or Ikaruga. Using no forcefields, on the first play through on the hardest difficulty (Psychopathic - 1 life) I made it to the end of the third stage. It's suitable for people new to the genre. Thankfully, it's not cheap.

Control: I played with the keyboard and it was okay, except for when I got to about speed level 5 it became a hinderance. A slowdown button would be helpful for navigating bullet fields.

Sound: The music is good. The sound is decent, but occaisionally a bit repetitive. The voice samples for the weapon switching are at the perfect volume and sounded awesome.

What is missing:
* No score keeping? For a game that places quite an emphasis on score, it is a strange, glaring omission.
* Slow down button.
* A more difficult, extreme difficulty to satisfy the veteran shmup players.
* Sound control. The laser effects can grate after awhile.

What would be nice (but, hey - it's a solo developer):
* Score-based challenges.
* A few different playing ships.
* Online score competitions.
* More enemy types (down the road).

Overall: It's good. It's not perfect, it's a bit clumsy. However, It's worth the pricepoint and a good oldschool intro to the genre for new folks. Support the dev and hopefully the game will grow a bit to meet it's potential.

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2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 25, 2014
Power-Up is a fantastic retro shoot-em-up, amazing what one man and a bit of time can achieve :)
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2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 31, 2014
Played this at a Games convention back in May this year. Now that is out on steam i can say that this is a blast to play. Highly recommend this is for it being a fun game and also a bargain at its current price on steam.
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