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Gaming 101: Shooting Games

In this series, we are learning how different aspects of video games work by playing games that offer an easy introduction to this one concept. This is designed for people new to gaming, and aims to identify games with the least barriers. In this entry we are looking at Shooting games.

Video games have had a long history of including shooting play. Like the instinct of children to pick up sticks for imaginary gun-play, this offers players a chance to step into dangerous situations that raise the adrenaline and require high levels of skill and precision.

Often called shooter games, or shooters, they test the player's spatial awareness, reflexes, and speed against computer characters and human other players in online games. They usually offer players a range of weapons, each of which behaves differently and require practice to use efficiently.

While the main aim of most of these games is to shoot enemies in the head to kill them, there are many other things also going on. Players need to consider their environment, other opponents, team-mates, mission objectives, which weapon to use and how much health they have got. This level of systems work extends beyond quick reflexes to social understanding, layered decision making, long term strategic thinking and rigorous practice.

This list includes 15 games from the last 26 years, with 388 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play your first shooting game.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 16
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB TEEN
Australian Ratings: G to M
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy
Total Likes: 388
 

 

Boomerang X

Release Date: 08/07/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Boomerang X is a shooting platform game where you explore worlds and fight enemies with a boomerang-like shuriken weapon. Unusually, you can warp to your boomerang once thrown meaning you can slice, fly, and blast through arenas swarming with evil...

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Release Date: 11/12/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is an adventure game where you play as a young girl who starts a wildlife conservation club. When Alba visits her grandparents on a Mediterranean island, she is excited for a summer of exploring with her friend Ines. But when...

Splatoon 3 (Series)

Release Date: 21/07/2017, updated in 2022

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Splatoon on the Wii U, Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3 on the Switch are games where you shoot ink rather than bullets in this deeply skilled combat game. As well as taking out opponents, teams work together to cover the arena with their colour of ink. This...

Portal (Series)

Release Date: 10/10/2007, updated in 2011

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

You are in a science laboratory where you seem to be being tested. Watched by the artificial intelligence GLaDOS, you have a gun that can create a pair of magic portals on any surface: one is an entrance and the other is an exit. Through a series of...

Plants Vs. Zombies (Series)

Release Date: 04/09/2019

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare is a series of third-person shooting games about the battle for supremacy between weaponised plants and attacking zombies. It's good for families because the comedic zombies and funny plant powers keep things away from...

PowerWash Simulator

Release Date: 19/05/2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

PowerWash Simulator is a puzzle game where you clean different objects and locations using a pressure washer. It's designed to be soothing with sounds of high-pressure water and satisfyingly clean results as you blast away every speck of dirt and grime.

Superhot

Release Date: 25/02/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Web and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Superhot is a shooting game with a twist. Time only moves forward (bullets, enemies, damage) when you move your character. This is still a violent game, in fact, in slow motion, it feels more violent.

New Pokemon Snap

Release Date: 30/04/2021

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

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...

Halo Infinite

Release Date: 15/11/2021

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Halo Infinite is the latest release in the longstanding Halo series of first-person shooting games. This latest entry continues the story, while adding new abilities, such as the grapple and weapons, differentiating it from the other...

Nerf Legends

Release Date: 19/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Nerf Legends is a shooting game where you use Nerf guns to defeat enemies and bosses. It offers a gameplay experience similar to games such as Call of Duty, but without the realism of those games, making it...

Recore

Release Date: 26/08/2016, updated in 2016

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Recore is an adventure platform game where you control Joule Adams, one of the first volunteers for the utopian colony of Far Eden, who wakes after centuries in cryo-sleep to find that nothing has gone according to plan. With her three robotic machines...

Western 1849 Reloaded

Release Date: 11/02/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Western 1849 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 motion-aiming to...

Singled Out

Release Date: 03/07/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Singled Out is a spot the difference shooting game. Like the classic Guess Who game you have seconds to identify your target in a crowd. Make sure you only shoot the character matching the eyes, nose and mouth clues and you score points. The quicker you...

Wild Guns Reloaded (Series)

Release Date: 30/10/1996, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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.

Air Twister

Release Date: 24/06/2022

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac and iOS

Air Twister is a shooting game that focuses on aiming and dodging, like the classic Space Harrier game. As you race through a series of exotic locales you chain together multiple targets to score more points. This, and the strategies you need to defeat...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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