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Light Gun Shooting

Not all video games are about shooting, 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:

  • Motion Controller: Games use the Wii Remote, Switch Joy-Con and PlayStation Move controllers in place of a gun,
  • Mouse Controls: Some games offer mouse targeting as an alternative.
  • Kinect: Some games used the Kinect camera or similar devices to let you shoot at the screen with your body.
  • Light-Guns: You can purchase a light gun (such as the Sinden) for use with PC games.

This list includes 18 games from the last 27 years, with 115 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to .

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Collecting, Fighting, Narrative, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports and Traversal
Total Likes: 115
 

 

Nintendo Land

Release Date: 30/11/2012

Platforms: Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Nintendoland is a collection of Nintendo games 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 while the...

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...

Penko Park

Release Date: 23/10/2020

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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...

Ghost Squad

Release Date: 18/01/2008

Platforms: Wii

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.

The Gunstringer

Release Date: 13/11/2011

Platforms: Xbox 360

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...

Art's Dream (Dreams)

Release Date: 11/02/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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,...

The House of the Dead (Series)

Release Date: 01/01/1996, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Xbox, Xbox One and Xbox Series 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...

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...

Child of Eden

Release Date: 17/06/2011, updated in 2011

Platforms: 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.

Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved

Release Date: 15/10/2014

Platforms: Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Fantasia 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 out high notes with...

Elebits

Release Date: 04/05/2006

Platforms: 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...

Ethan Goes to Work (Dreams)

Release Date: 26/02/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: 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...

Ridiculous Fishing

Release Date: 14/03/2013, updated in 2013

Platforms: iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

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...

Wii Play (Series)

Release Date: 02/12/2006, updated in 2011

Platforms: Wii

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Wii Play is a collection of multi-player party games originally designed for the Nintendo Wii and its motion controller.

Dead Containment

Release Date: 01/11/2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

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.

Dead Space: Extraction

Release Date: 24/09/2009, updated in 2011

Platforms: PS3 and Wii

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

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.

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.

Resident Evil 4

Release Date: 11/01/2005

Platforms: Android, GameCube, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ 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...

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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