Twinbee is a 1985 shoot 'em up that, after originally being released to arcade, was released on numerous platforms including the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the first game in the Twinbee series of games that includes both shoot 'em ups and platformers. It has been rereleased most recently as a "3D Classics" title for the Nintendo 3DS.
Twinbee is a vertical scrolling shoot 'em up that is unlike any others during the time. Instead of "gritty" alien and military plane shooters, Konami decided to make a very cutesy shoot 'em up that retains all of the fun of others in its genre, but paints it with a thick coat of famed Japanese cuteness.
Twinbee has fairly typically shoot 'em up gameplay. You are in a anthropomorphic ship named Twinbee, you scroll upwards and you can shoot enemies. It is all in the visual design of the game that makes it different. The game has very bright colors and everything is designed in a very cartoony manner.
Levels are structured in a standard shoot 'em up manner. The player flies through an area and at the end has to fight a larger boss ship.
Twinbee features multiplayer co-op in which the second player commands a pink ship named Winbee.
- Health: Twinbee can be hit up to two times. The first time he is hit he loses his wings, moves slower and can not use his ground attack.
- Aerial Attack: Mash the primary button and Twinbee will shoot pellets forward that will damage enemies. This is Twinbee's main weapon.
- Ground Attack: Perhaps the primary original feature to this game is the separation of aerial and ground attacks. Twinbee's primary attack only does damage to air. If he is being fired at by an enemy on the ground the player can toss a bomb towards the ground that will destroy whatever baddie is shooting from there. When Twinbee attacks the ground a crosshair shows up that shows where the attack will go. If Twinbee is within reasonable distance of an enemy then he will automatically aim for that enemy so that the player doesn't have to worry about perfectly aiming the ground atacks.
There are a number of collectibles in Twinbee that will either give the player points or power up Twinbee.
- Fruit and Pellets: Twinbee can collect both various kinds of fruit and pellets to simply give the player some extra points.
- Bells: Bells can be found by destroying enemies or shooting clouds. When a bell appears it floats towards the bottom of the screen and Twinbee can either collect it or shoot it to juggle it. Juggling the bell awards more points to the player once the bell is actually collected.
- Twinbee Orbs: These items that resemble a fatter version of Twinbee cause Twinbee to bloat then shoot out the orb a second later. The orb inflicts a large amount of damage on enemies.
Throughout Twinbee, while juggling the bells to award you points, you can also hit them to change their control between a flashing red, pale blue, and white. Collecting these bells during this event causes different power-ups to be applied to the ship.
- Flashing Red: This Power-up adds an extra two ships that follow Twinbee and fire an identical stream of bullets like the Original Twinbee.
- White: When collecting a white bell, the power-up changes Twinbee's weapon to a smaller white dot that build's every time you collect another White bell.
- Pale Blue: Pale Blue bell's enhance your ship's speed, stacking the more you collect. These are the most common bell.
- Enemy Bell: Sometimes the bell will turn into an enemy and the player needs to be careful when attempting to collect. Simply shooting this enemy once will destroy is and allow you to collect your points.
Be careful, hitting a bell too many times causes you to destroy it and lose the points you may have collected.
Throughout the game Twinbee fights a number of regular household objects including flying vegetables and flying kitchen utensils. The basic ground enemy resembles an animated pine cone. Twinbee has to fight boss enemies at the end of each level that often look more like a airplane/spaceship.