Log In  

Cart #praxis_fighter_x-2 | 2024-02-12 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License


  • ◀▲▼▶: Move
  • Hold (X): Fire main weapon (spreadshot)
  • Hold (O)/Z/C: Charge secondary weapon (bomb) / focus mode.
  • Enter: Pause/menu


Praxis Fighter X is a fast-paced single stage retro shoot-em-up. Dodge bullets and fight off the militarized police force defending a corporate toxic sludge pipeline.

Inspired by old-school shmups/STGs, the game focuses on reflex-based action and satisfying destruction while including some modern comforts like a smaller player hitbox and a focus mode.

It's on the difficult side but with dedication and the power of 3 Continues you will persevere.


Build your scoring multiplier and keep your combo meter up by taking out enemies and ground targets. Dealing damage also helps sustain your combo meter — once it runs out, your multiplier will begin falling.

Tip 1: Your combo meter depletes more slowly while charging your bomb weapon.

Tip 2: If your bomb collides with an enemy mid-air, you get your shot back with a shorter delay

Tip 3: Collecting a powerup you already have or a 1UP when at 3 lives will give you points instead of the usual effect. Your current multiplier applies here too.

Tip 4: Your multiplier also applies during boss fights. Try to take out all the boss's destructible parts while continously dealing damage for maximum points.


Praxis Fighter X was created by Eric Billingsley.

Thanks to Krystian Majewski of Lazy Devs Academy for creating the Advanced Shmup Tutorial which inspired me to work on the game. Though I didn't use the solutions from the tutorial exactly, watching the videos was really helpful in understanding what makes shmups tick and what challenges I would need to plan for. Boghog's Shmup Workshop series was also really helpful.

Thanks to Otto, LokiStriker, Louie Chapman, Catto, Glimm, Trog, TheGacko, Jonah Davidson, and Jeep Barnett for playtesting and feedback.

Thanks to Aktane for feedback on my initially terrible bullet visibility and Heracleum for help with turret rendering tech.

And thanks Maria for your encouragement and for being there for me all along the way.

Future Plans

Praxis Fighter X features a single stage and is meant to be a complete experience as is — there are currently no plans to expand it. I do have some potential ideas for other stages, but there are many other projects I'd like to get back to for now.

Praxis Fighter X is also available on itch.io.

Update 2022/2/12

  • Improved outline rendering for aimed bullets (should improve visibility)
  • Added a pause menu option to disable shadows, as some players found them visually distracting/confusing
  • Added a new background tile featuring green sludge leaking over a riverbank

Update 2022/2/2

  • Fixed menu inputs being sometimes ignored on devices that can only run the game at 30fps
P#141025 2024-02-02 16:45 ( Edited 2024-02-12 15:56)


Wow, this is incredible! Lazy devs' tutorials seem to have kickstarted a wave of new high quality PICO-8 shmups. But not just copy cats but ones with beautiful pixel art, lots of personality and playability. Great job on this one, love it!

P#141026 2024-02-02 17:12

Inspiring! Congrats on your release

P#141027 2024-02-02 18:16

Very well done! Thank you.

P#141031 2024-02-02 19:41

This is so good. Another great shmup for PICO-8! Well done 👏

P#141034 2024-02-02 20:19

This is fantastic! Great play feel, effects are just right, not too much. Great bullet hell but survivable. And I love the cinematic intro!

P#141035 2024-02-02 20:44

I've been looking forward to playing this from Discord - you've done a fantastic job!

P#141063 2024-02-03 13:51

Amazing feeling in the game!

P#141078 2024-02-03 21:06

Very fun game, and super polished! The only complaint I can make is that I wish the shadows were toggle-able. They look very good, but they kind of confuse my brain and make the screen more chaotic and harder to interpret.

P#141099 2024-02-04 03:52

Thanks for the kind words all!

@rymsar and thank you for the feedback about the shadows. I've heard similar things from a couple other people -- I'll have to see if I can squeeze that in somehow

P#141100 2024-02-04 04:57

Amazing bullet hell insanity! Congrats on the release, Eric.

P#141104 2024-02-04 09:10

Very well done and executed. Looks great and feels wonderful.

The minimalist story is a nice bonus. It's great you had room to put those little bits in there, adds a lot. I usually run out of space and that stuff gets cut!

Looking forward to Chapter 2!

P#141118 2024-02-04 19:15

this is fantastic! I love the art and music. feels fantastic to play!

P#141122 2024-02-04 20:55

how do you get powerups?

P#141147 2024-02-05 15:11

Excellent, thank you for sharing!

Placing the HUD in vertical stripes on the sides is perfect. It presents the game as a proper vertical shmup.

I appreciate the thoughtful details, like how tanks won't fire once they're below a certain point on the screen. That gives players who were focusing on bigger problems a second a chance to score without risking a life.

Enemy variety and their bullet patterns feel good and have high readability. After a couple encounters, I got a decent idea of which threats to prioritize. Bombing those menaces at the expense of spread damage certainly saved me some lives.

Movement while focusing for a bomb is quite slow, however not unreasonable. Both missing out on spread damage and losing mobility can be rough, but the payoff can be worth it once the tradeoff is acknowledged. It took me a few attempts to better understand when it's both useful and safe to bomb. I didn't use focus concentrated fire much due to the mobility loss, and it felt the damage from normal spread fire was almost as good. But for bombing at a distance focusing was very useful, more so since bombing near you pushes you around! I'm not ready to explore the maneuverability value of bomb propulsion :)

Ending spoilers

The final boss is tough! Encountering it straight on caused me to get caught in bullet patterns I couldn't reliably dodge. But it's great there's more than one way to approach this! By dealing with the side cannons just the right amount, there is a path to reduce the time spent in the worst of the fray. I enjoy how you allow players to improve their evasion and/or play around the boss progression.

P#141153 2024-02-05 16:41 ( Edited 2024-02-05 17:50)

wow, this is so awesome!
it reminds me of bladebuster or some other shoot em up.

P#141186 2024-02-05 23:30

can you please add an option for turning off shadows? also very cool ;D

P#141195 2024-02-06 06:32

Fantastic game. Quality graphics, music, and code - attention to detail overall. I've been a fan of your work but this is a masterpiece. Well done mate!

P#141205 2024-02-06 11:50

Graphics: 💯
Sound: 💯
Controls: 💯
Plot: 💯

P#141253 2024-02-07 11:38

This is amazing. The pixel art is great. It's very fast and fluid. I love bullet hell and shoot em ups; this is a very addictive one. And like someone else pointed out, putting the HUD on the sides was an inspired choice.

P#141272 2024-02-08 00:30

@rymsar @851523 I've just updated the game with an option in the pause menu to disable shadows -- hopefully that lets you play the game more comfortably. Also included in this update is improved outline rendering on aimed bullets and a new background tile.

P#141431 2024-02-12 15:59

God I love shooting government workers, mmmmmm yesssss.

P#142474 2024-03-05 21:51

When exactly do powerups show up? I must have killed that first helicopter 50 times, and it's spawned a powerup wheel 3 times. Then there's that drone carrying a 1-up capsule, and and the midboss always spawns a powerup wheel, I think.

Is there anything else? And what makes the first chopper spawn them? Getting Tri-Bomb early on is such a boost.

P#142703 2024-03-10 01:31

@PhasmaFelis that first powerup only drops if you

destroy the helicopter with max multiplier

P#142712 2024-03-10 05:59 ( Edited 2024-03-10 05:59)

This is fantastic. The style reminds me of Raptor: Call of the Shadows, which is one of my favorite games from childhood, even though I was never that good at shmups. The controls are really smooth - not slow yet not jerky. There are lots of enemies and bullets, but it doesn't feel like a full bullet hell and enemies are fair. And the bombs are very satisfying.

P#142776 2024-03-12 03:12

So much fun. Thank you.

P#142894 2024-03-14 04:19

Got 3376 By Just Shooting And No Moving

P#143970 2024-03-20 19:07

My first successful no-continues run!

I have to say, I think this is the best shmup I've ever played. I mean, it was fun enough that I decided to go for a full run without using any continues (I'm not normally a big fan of shmups), and I might still keep playing for high scores beyond this, so good job on making such a fantastic shmup!

P#148283 2024-05-11 21:27

Here's my fourth no-continues run:

This game is too fun.

EDIT: Broke 800k, with lives to spare:

P#148394 2024-05-14 19:29 ( Edited 2024-05-16 21:36)

I really love this game, it is probably the best shmup I’ve played on pico 8(i don’t know, Kalikan was really good too)

P#148407 2024-05-14 23:33


This game is WAY too fun.

P#148577 2024-05-18 03:52

@Kaius dang

P#148641 2024-05-19 17:44

[Please log in to post a comment]