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Not all video games are about shooting, which is something we often say to parents. But also, not all shooting games are the same. As you can see in the related lists here there are many ways these games offer competition, collaboration and a challenge to players.On-rails shooting is one niche where you don't control the movement and instead are just tasked with targeting. This may seem like a niche, but there is a smaller niche within this of Light Gun shooting games. These not only task you with just targeting enemies but require you to do this with a pointing device similar to holding a real gun. Light Gun shooting games game to popularity in the 90's arcades. These offered big cabinets sporting brightly coloured large plastic guns. Time Crisis, House of the Dead, Operation Wolf and Virtua Cop were popular examples.These games have become harder to find, but recently are seeing a resurgence. On a console, you need a way to target the screen:
Release Date: 30/11/2012
Out Now: Wii U
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person and 3D Third-Person
Nintendo Land is a collection of Nintendo games that was created for the Nintendo Wii U launch. It uses the console’s tablet screen to create specific roles for different players. In Mario Chase, the hiding player uses the tablet controller screen...
Release Date: 14/03/2013, updated in 2023
Out Now: iOS
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made
Ridiculous Fishing is a fishing and shooting game. Unlike any other fishing game, this isn't a sedate wait for the fish to bite. You frantically collect fish on the hook, and then when they reach the surface it turns into a clay pigeon shoot, where you...
Release Date: 30/04/2021
Out Now: Switch
Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person and Cartoon
New Pokemon Snap is the latest in the series of Pokemon Snap games. It's a puzzle safari where you are guided through the natural world of Pokemon creatures to take pictures of them in the wild. The aim is to time your photos to capture them in specific...
Release Date: 23/10/2020
Out Now: PC
Components: 3D First-Person, Cartoon and Hand-Made
Penko Park is an adventure about exploring an abandoned wildlife park, taking photos of the weird and creepy creatures which you find. Like exploring a children's story book world, you collect these snapshots along with fur samples and fossils to add to...
Release Date: 18/01/2008
Out Now: Wii
Components: 3D First-Person
Ghost Squad is a shooting game where you use a light-gun or Wii Remote for shooting. This was converted from an Arcade game to the Wii (also playable on Wii U) to create a convincing and highly skilled light-gun shooting challenge for up to four players.
Release Date: 11/01/2005, updated in 2023
Out Now: Android, GameCube, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PS5, Switch, Wii, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds
Resident Evil 4 is a survival shooting game where you play U.S. government special agent Leon S. Kennedy, on a mission to rescue the President's daughter from a cult. You play by exploring the different areas, searching for equipment and fending off...
Release Date: 01/08/2018, updated in 2023
Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
Gunman Tales is a retro light-gun shooting game where 4 players target enemies to hit them before they get shot. You control your moving and aiming with a single stick, so the fun is about working within these limits to survive each level. It stands out...
Release Date: 11/02/2017, updated in 2018
Out Now: PC and Switch
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person and Hand-Made
Western 1849 Reloaded is a shooting game designed to imitate light-gun games of the 90s. It's a fast-shooting gallery through different Western locations. The Western 1849 Reloaded version brings it to Switch where it feels at home with Joy-Con...
Release Date: 24/09/2009, updated in 2011
Out Now: PS3 and Wii
Dead Space: Extraction is a shooting game where you only control the aiming, like a light gun game. It's a spin-off prequel from the main Dead Space series and follows survivors of a mining colony as it is overrun by deadly monsters.
Release Date: 13/11/2011
Out Now: Xbox 360
Components: 3D Third-Person
The Gunstringer is an Xbox Kinect camera game where you use your body to control a cowboy puppet and shoot the villains by forming a gun with your fingers. You can play with two people working together, with one player controlling the character’s...
Release Date: 01/01/1996, updated in 2022
Out Now: PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Xbox, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
The House of the Dead is a horror-themed shooting game where you control the targeting but not the movement. Unlike general on-rails shooting games, this was controlled using a light-gun pointing at the screen (or similar controller). This gives the...
Release Date: 26/02/2020, updated in 2020
Out Now: PS4 and PS5
Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds
Ethan Goes to Work is an action adventure game where Ethan McCormick just wants to get to work and not even invading aliens on his home planet of Waffle can stop him. It's a quirky tale featuring hand-to-hand brawling with a briefcase, a gun that turns...
Release Date: 02/12/2006, updated in 2011
Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
Wii Play is a collection of multi-player party games originally designed for the Nintendo Wii and its motion controller.
Release Date: 11/02/2020, updated in 2021
Art's Dream is an adventure game featuring different game styles, including running and jumping, combat and puzzle solving. It's particularly unusual as it has music threading through it like a musical. You play as Art, a depressed double bass player,...
Release Date: 15/10/2014
Out Now: Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Components: 2D Side-On
Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved is an Xbox Kinect camera dancing game using your whole body. Its narrative follows Disney’s Fantasia film as you take a musical journey to earn your sorcerer’s hat. Sweeping your arms to trigger the orchestra, pointing...
Release Date: 17/06/2011, updated in 2011
Out Now: PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Child of Eden is a dance and motion game that uses the Xbox Kinect camera. You use your body to shoot and move. Rather than fruit, however, here it’s beautiful firework-style visuals and music that are the challenge.
Release Date: 04/05/2006
Out Now: DS and Wii
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Elebits (also known as Eledees) is a light-gun shooting adventure. To play you point at the screen with the Wii Remote and use your gun to move objects around and solve puzzles as well as shooting things. It's an unusual combination of hide-and-seek and...
Release Date: 30/10/1996, updated in 2018
Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch, Wii and Wii U
Wild Guns Reloaded is a fast retro shooting game where you control the gun with one stick and your character with the other. It's set in an alternative steampunk Wild West.
Release Date: 01/11/2021
Dead Containment is a shooting game where you only control the aiming. It's inspired by on-rails shooting games found in 90's arcades, played with light guns. You use your weapons to fend off the undead as they race towards you in city locations.
Release Date: 06/03/2014
Out Now: Android and iOS
Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds
Smash Hit is a surreal adventure where you shoot balls to smash the stylised world in harmony with the music. The challenge comes from your limited supply of balls, that must be topped up by hitting key objects. It stands out for offering a meditative...