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Specific tags for the title's features


Similarity & Review


Multiple Sources


Compared to VS. Not a review!

Similarity Scale

Percentage of possible points earned scored -1 to 1 in tenths in 60 categories

Genre Controls Modes Progress Builds Stages Content Aesthetic Vibe

Games Currently Being Evaluated (Ranking in Progress)

This section includes games with fan scores submitted via score card or web form or I'm currently playing or researching or discussing with devs.

They'll be moved up top after I've checked it all over and adjusted the feature scores to be in line with how other games are scored.


Raptor: Call of the Shadows


Very Different. This classic vertically scrolling dos shooter has a little more in common with today's shmup rogue-lites than modern bullet hells. You gather a currency during runs, there are meta upgrades available between repeatable stages and while there's a lot of dodging it's not a danmaku game. This entry refers to both the 2015 steam port and the original DOS 1994 Classic Edition available. The reviews on the 2015 port on steam are low due to people, IMHO, nitpicking on details a new player wouldn't notice and recommending the original game emulated in DOSBox. Thus we're using the original game review score. This was one of my favs as a kid, so I was curious to see how it compares to the shooting games I play today, since it's on steam! Note: This game is currently being compared on the scale and notes will likely be in flux!

Arcade Bullet Hell Shoot 'Em Up Vertical Scrolling Shmup
6.4 Combined Ranking Score
-/72 Ranking Position
1193/1600 Total Points
9.0 Final Review
93% Steam
9.1 Scale
8.5 Vibes
146 Steam Reviews
369/400 Review Points
3.7 Similarity Score
69% Diagnosis:
Very Different
824/1200 Comparison Points
78% Genre 4.4/8 genre
44% Simple Controls -0.9/7 move
58% Survival Modes 0.6/4 modes
75% Power Progression 2/4 level
42% Buildcrafting Depth -0.8/5 build
60% Stage Features 1.4/7 stage
82% Content Breadth 5.8/9 stuff
78% Aesthetics 3.4/6 style
83% Gameplay Vibe Check 6.6/10 vibe vibe

Raptor: Call of the Shadows Ranking Notes

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Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 15

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 12/24/2023

Scoring in progress

This classic vertical shmup was a favorite of mine as a kid for probably one of the same reasons I enjoy survivorslikes now: the ability to upgrade your ship between rounds and grind to try and get powerful enough to pass a stage and see more of the game.

While there isn't exactly buildcrafting within the runs, you can get upgrades and bring them back to sell or use tactics like repeating an earlier stage to farm a particular weapon. It's not a bullet curtain danmaku game either - Compared to many vertical scrolling shooters you can take quite a few hits before you're out. When the ship is destroyed it's game over and you have to reload from a save instead of mimicking an arcade credit system.

This is an interesting title to look at historically. I think that there is a history of "arcade game with meta upgrades" on the PC that is often less focused on when examining the shmup genre. Usually study of the genre is very focused on arcade games - and for good reason since the arcade versions often crammed a ton of amazing art and gameplay simply impossible on home computers of the eras.

However, just because Raptor is a little simpler graphically and less elegant mechanics wise doesn't mean it's not an important title. The shareware distribution model meant this game and other similar Apogee titles was played by a very wide player base, likely influencing many future developers.

The PC roots of the title also meant another thing: Save files. The meta upgrades gave a player something to invest time in while waiting for the next episodic release of stages. Doesn't that sound familiar? These DOS shareware games were already doing incremental upgrades and content releases of the sort people love today in modern survivorslikes!

Many people mention Epic Megagames' Tyrian 2000 as like this but better, though I've never played it. It's not on Steam either, so right now Raptor is our pick for classic PC shmups to compare!

Note: There are a few shareware, freeware, and unauthorized ports of this game out there. This is why there are some platforms listed as compatible not currently on the Steam release.

Raptor: Call of the Shadows Similarity Scale Heatmap

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Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

3.7 Similarity Score
69% Diagnosis:
824/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 0.4/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 0/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 0.5/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) -0.5/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 0/1
Move Only 0/1
No Dash ?/1
No Trigger -1/1
No Special Move 0/1
No Aiming 0.1/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty ?/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 0/1
Endless Mode 0/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 0.5/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 0.1/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 0/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 0/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 0.2/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 0/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy -1/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible -0.5/1
Explorable Map -1/1
BIG Maps 0.2/1
XP on Ground 0.5/1
Health on Ground ?/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 1/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 0.2/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 0.5/1
Enemy Variety 0.8/1
Bosses / Elites 1/1
Many Interesting Characters 0.8/1
Many Challenges 0.2/1
Multiple Stages 1/1
Difficulty Modifiers 0.4/1
Bestiary / Lore 0.1/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 0.5/1
Retro / Pixel Art 1/1
Damage Numbers 0/1
Lofi Charm 1/1
Bumpin Music 1/1
Fun Writing 0.3/1
Subtle Humor 0.1/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 0.1/1
Over the Top 0.2/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 0.8/1
Fun Ramp 0.6/1
Low Price 1/1
Technical Check 1/1
Controls Check 0.8/1
Fun Check 1/1
Feels like VS 0/1

Raptor: Call of the Shadows Review Scale Heatmap

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The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

9.0 Final Review
93% Positive Steam Reviews
146 Steam Reviews
8.5 Pure Vibes
9.1 Review Scale
369/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 0.9/1
Not Janky 0.8/1
Good UI 0.8/1
Controller and Deck 0.8/1
Lots of Content 1/1
Good Theme 1/1
Good Graphics and Sound 1/1
Fun Feel 0.9/1
Unique Twists 1/1
Vibe Check 0.9/1

Metacritic Scores

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This title has metacritic data! The "fuck the man" score is adjusted so each person's review is equally weighted, regardless of critic or fan status.


- Converted 10 Point Score
0 Number of Critic Reviews


8.4 User Review Average
7 Number of User Reviews


8.4 Direct Average
- "Fuck The Man" Combined Mean

Raptor: Call of the Shadows Tag Cloud

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More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

iOSLinuxMacMS-DOSSteam DeckWindows PCReleased

Sorting Categories

Very Different

Genre and Control Style Tags

ArcadeBullet HellShoot 'Em UpVertical Scrolling Shmup

Aesthetic Tags


Setting / Story Tags


Control Styles


Game Mode Tags

Currency Based UnlocksLevel BasedUnknown

Features and Extras



3D RealmsApogee EntertainmentCyngus StudioMountain King StudiosScott Host

Game Features

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Listing various features we've got info on.


  • Local: ?
  • Online: ?
  • Player Count: ?
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: ?
  • Steam Achievements: ?
  • Steam Leaderboards: ?
  • Steam Workshop: ?
  • Steam Trading Cards: ?

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: ?
  • Demo Available: ?
  • DLC Available: ?
  • Soundtrack Available: ?

Critic Review Excerpt

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Here's another perspective to evaluate the game.

Marketing Blurb

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Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"The great action-crazed, guns blazing, shoot ‘em up game comes back straight out of the ‘90s. Raptor: Call of the Shadows and its futuristic world are ready to challenge your flying skills."

"Become a mercenary of the future and pilot the super-tech Raptor. Embark on interplanetary missions to knock off top competitors of MegaCorp, battle against hordes of relentless enemies and spend the bounty to expand your devastating arsenal"

"Discover secrets, find bonuses, and battle boss ships at the end of every wave. With each ship and ground target you destroy, you'll earn more cash to increase your ship's technology for the next wave. You'll be driven to kill and destroy until it's in your blood!"

Game Modes

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Level Based, Score Attack

Game Mode Notes

The game is level based, broken into "Sectors" that were originally released episodically as shareware. In each area, players destroy enemies and ground topics in order to get money, which they can spend on upgrades between the levels that persist on the player's save file.

The sectors can be repeated to get more money and the difficulty goes up when you repeat them.

Run Times & Speedups

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Average Run Time: Unknown

Run Time Notes


Speed Settings


Player Power Progression

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Detailed notes on progression systems.

In Run Progression

During the play

Meta Progression

You gather cash from the runs to upgrade your ship with purchases between stages.

Content By The Numbers

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"Hardcore Harold: Up to 16 ship upgrades can be bought from Harold's Emporium between waves.

Get Ready, Rookie: 27 killer levels, each with at least one unique boss ship to destroy.

Zero to Hero: Four insane skill levels - higher skill levels introduce new opponents!

In Game Lore & Extras