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Cart #spaceranger-3 | 2024-05-17 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA


This game may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.


Move: Arrow Keys
Shoot: X
Bomb: Z
Pause: Enter
NOTE: Shoot / Bomb buttons can be swapped in the Pause menu


  • Defeat 30 waves of space pirates and recover the doubloons they leave behind.
  • The ring around your ship indicates the range which will attract doubloons
  • Destroying space pirates will increase your score multiplier. Letting a space pirate escape the area or taking damage will reset this multiplier to zero
  • Collecting 100 doubloons will grant you a temporary shield which will absorb damage once without resetting your combo
  • Once you take 3 hits your ship will be destroyed

    Power Ups:

  • Powerups will appear throughout the run, cycling between three abilities: Power, Option, and Magnet. Powerups can be upgraded 3 times, after which bomb pickups will appear in its place.
  • Power (P): Increases the fire rate and potential damage of your ship
  • Option (O): Options will orbit around your ship, firing additional shots, widening your range.
  • Magnet (M): Increases your pickup range, allowing you to collect doubloons easier. It will also increase the range of any Options that orbit your ship.
  • Bomb (B): Bombs will clear all enemies and their projectiles on the screen., awarding additional points for each enemy and projectile cleared. You start with 3 bombs.



Enemy Improvements

  • New enemy "Freighter": A slow moving gunship that soaks up damage and fires 3 projectiles at once. Don't leave too many of them onscreen or you will quickly be overwhelmed
  • New enemy "Miner": Moves in a zig zag pattern, bouncing off edges of the playfield. Doesn't attack but explodes when destroyed, shooting projectiles and leaves a stationary projectile which must be avoided
  • Existing enemies have had some of their shot patterns tweaked to make them more unique from each other

    Boss Improvements

  • Boss health increased (and now has a health bar)
  • Boss now moves all over the screen so you can't camp at the bottom
  • Boss has several more shot patterns of varying complexity
  • Boss earned its own theme music

    Powerup Improvements

  • Collecting 100 doubloons now grants you a temporary shield which will absorb one hit without resetting your combo and help you survive longer, as well as making the "Magnet" powerup more useful -- UI has been updated to show current doubloon count (replaces "PILOT" text in top-right corner)
  • "Power" fire rate and potential damage increased for your ship/options
  • "Option" fire rate reduced to prevent player from becoming too easy
  • More powerup opportunities for the player (or bombs to be collected

    Bomb Improvements

  • In addition to enemies, all projectiles cleared by bombs will spawn doubloons
  • When pressing the bomb button, a sound will play instead if there are no bombs remaining

    Visual Improvements

  • Several new color palettes added (these may come unlockables later)
  • Tweaked some existing color palettes for improved clarity
  • Options now use sprites
  • Several other sprites adjusted to be more thematic with space-pirates
  • Added more juice when hitting enemies as well as impact particles

    Scoring Improvements:

  • Scoring system simplified: Score is primarily calculated by enemy score value multiplied by combo
  • Enemies now have different score values
  • Bombs award bonus points based on the number of projectiles that were cleared at once
  • Bonus points awarded for lives remaining at the end of a run

    Misc. Improvements:

  • Auto-fire mode is now available in options for better accessibility (and since there's no benefit to not firing)
  • Levels now progress more evenly
  • Adjusted stars generation in the background for better readability


  • Added option to disable screen shake
  • Added option to swap Shoot / Bomb buttons (NOTE: Shoot / Bomb default buttons were swapped to be more consistent with other games in the genre)
  • Added option to reset high score (ignores left/right buttons but use carefully nonetheless)
  • Added version number to title screen
  • Added functionality to theme menu -- it now changes color palette in real time to make previewing them easier
  • Added bomb functionality -- bombs now destroy all enemy projectiles on screen and not just enemies themselves (should make bombs more useful overall, especially during boss fight when overwhelmed with shots)
  • Changed starting enemies so they will now shoot more than once
  • Changed explosions size slightly to improve readability
  • Changed doubloon spawn count when enemies are destroyed to improve readability -- They will always spawn one doubloon, but doubloons are worth more now so high scores can still be achieved
  • Changed size of powerups so they are larger/easier to collect
  • Changed boss health, shot cooldowns, speed, to balance difficulty
  • Changed boss phases so they are clearer to the player -- will now explode doubloons between phases, not just on death
  • Changed menu functionality so all options have similar controls -- X / O no longer close the menu, use Esc or Continue instead
  • Fixed bug where player couldn't collect powerups near bottom of screen
  • Fixed bug where boss could receive damage during its entrance
  • Fixed bug where boss wouldn't move, now it should move from side to side
  • Fixed bug where player could die during boss' death animation
  • Fixed bug where both victory and loss themes would play when dying at boss
  • Fixed bug where doubloons wouldn't award points properly


  • Added music to the game
  • Added alternate color palettes
  • Added "play time" stat that appears at the end of a run for lite speed running
  • Changed boss functionality to be more challenging
  • Changed enemy behavior to allow more variety
  • Changed visuals to improve readability (all player shots are blue, all enemy shots are orange instead of mixing the two)
  • Changed powerup names to be more consistent with "shmup" standards
  • Fixed a bug where enemies that spawned later in the game only had 1HP, making the game easier than intended

Thanks to everyone who checked out the game! Let me know your thoughts on the latest update, or what you'd like to see in the future for Space Ranger!

P#147898 2024-05-04 10:07 ( Edited 2024-06-06 08:07)


Gold star for a very smooth game.

My first few runs I didn't last long because I was trying to get all the doubloons. Then I read just how the combo system worked and concentrated on keeping that high.

Here's my score from getting the upgrade sequence S, S, W, T, T, W. No enemies got past and I lost no lives, so my combo reached 99 and stayed there.

I like the bold 4-color palette, but I think there might be too much use of all colors on every object. Could you try making all the player shots and coins blue/white and all the enemy shots orange/white and see if it makes the game easier to "read"?

P#147931 2024-05-04 22:44

Thanks for the feedback Cowirrie! Readability has been tricky with the limited palette. I'll try out your suggestion though to see if it improves readability!

I didn't have room to include an instructions screen but am glad the written instructions helped out!

Based on your score / upgrade sequence, did you feel like the game was too easy at that point? Or was it still fun?

Thanks again for playing!

P#147936 2024-05-05 00:42

"Based on your score / upgrade sequence, did you feel like the game was too easy at that point? Or was it still fun?"
It was fun, and having reached 99 combo I was really worried about taking even one hit.

I do feel like picking up at least two "S" upgrades achieves a lot more than any "W" upgrades, but that may just be because my aim is terrible, so I need a wider spread of shots more than I need narrow damaging shots.

P#147947 2024-05-05 09:40

Really dig the presentation! I think a sequel is totally worth it with more variance in baddies. I got to the sphere and died and haven’t played again yet. Dunno if that guy is mid-boss or final…thinking some bigger baddies thrown in after a while would help change up the pace.

P#147959 2024-05-05 15:43

@Cowirrie Thank you for the additional feedback on this. You're correct that collecting S upgrades is easier than W upgrades in some ways.

I was trying to design them in a way to let the player adjust their own difficulty depending on the upgrades they focus on, but still having all three be useful and benefit each other.

'S' upgrades make it easier to hit more enemies, but won't destroy them as quickly, and spread is dependent on how much you've upgraded your pickup range.

'W' upgrades increase damage and destroy enemies more quickly, but requires more accuracy, as well as more movement to collect doubloons.

'T' upgrades make collecting doubloons much easier, but limits your overall damage which means destroying enemies is more difficult.

If I had to assign a difficulty to each upgrade, I'd say an 'S' focused build is best for beginners / casual play, 'W' focus is a bit more challenging, and 'T' is the most difficult since you are limited on both damage and range (but can increase your score the easiest).

I'd love to hear people's thoughts on how this can be conveyed better in the game or in future titles, as it's not something I explicitly mention in the instructions.

P#148041 2024-05-07 03:44

@morningtoast Thank you for playing! The sphere you saw was the "oh crap I'm out of tokens, guess I need to wrap this up" final boss lol.

Originally the game was meant to have around 100 levels and 10 types of enemies, but I'm not a skilled enough token cruncher to fit all that in there.

I would like to make a follow up game to this either as a direct sequel or spiritual successor though!

I made this while waiting for Krystman's Advanced Shmup Tutorial to be completed and for Picotron to release. Now that Picotron is out and there's no token limit restrictions, I'd like to try making another shmup with a bit more experience now.

If you have any suggestions on what kind of variety you'd like to see with the enemies, let me know! Right now they're all pretty samey but there may be some opportunity to tweak things in a future update.

P#148042 2024-05-07 03:48

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