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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 13 games from the last 26 years, with 33 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 MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Rhythm, Shooting, Simulation and Sports
Total Likes: 33
 

 

New Pokemon Snap

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Release Date: 30/04/2021

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single player game

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

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 23/10/2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure and Simulation

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: Ghost Butter (@GhostButter)

Players: This is a single player game

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

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 18/01/2008

Platforms: Wii

Genres: Action, Narrative and Shooting

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Sega (@Sega)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

Ghost Squad is a shooting game where you use a lightgun 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

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 13/11/2011

Platforms: Xbox 360

Genres: Action, Narrative, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle and Shooting

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Twisted pixel (@Twisted_pixel)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Western 1849 Reloaded

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Physically Active and Shooting

Developer: Nawia Games (@NawiaGames)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Art's Dream (Dreams)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle and Shooting

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: @Media Molecule (@MediaMolecule)

Players: This is a single player game

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,...

Ridiculous Fishing

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

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

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Action, Shooting and Sports

Developer: Vlambeer (@Vlambeer)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Dead Containment

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/11/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action and Shooting

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Grump Dog Games (@GrumpDogGames)

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

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

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

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

Platforms: PS3 and Wii

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Shooting

Developer: EA (@EA)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

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.

Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 15/10/2014

Platforms: Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Physically Active and Rhythm

Accessibility: 2 features

Developer: Harmonix (@Harmonix)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

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...

Wild Guns Reloaded (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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

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

Genres: Action, Platform and Shooting

Developer: Natsume Inc (@Natsume_Inc)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

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.

Child of Eden

Content Rating: PEGI 7

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

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Physically Active, Rhythm and Shooting

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Mizuguchitter (@Mizuguchitter)

Players: This is a single player game

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.

The House of the Dead (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 01/01/1996, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS2, PS3, Switch, Wii and Xbox

Genres: Action and Shooting

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

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...

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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