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As such, players tend to fire indiscriminately, and their weapons only damage legitimate targets.

Fixed shooters (such as Space Invaders) restrict the protagonist to a single axis of motion, enemies attack in a single direction (such as descending from the top of the screen), and each level is contained within a single screen.

"Bullet hell" games feature overwhelming numbers of enemy projectiles.

The genre's origins can be traced back to Spacewar!

In a shoot 'em up, the player character moves forward automatically, often in a flying vehicle such as a spacecraft or aircraft, shooting large numbers of enemies while dodging obstacles.

There is no consensus as to which design elements compose a shoot 'em up.

Space Invaders was a massive commercial success, causing a coin shortage in Japan, That same year saw the release of SNK's debut shoot 'em up Ozma Wars, notable for being the first action game to feature a supply of energy, resembling a life bar, a mechanic that has now become common in the majority of modern action games.