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Once a staple of the gaming industry, Horizontal Scrolling Shooter games are rather rare since the latter half of the 1990s.

As the name suggests, the game's playfield constantly scrolls horizontally over the course of a level. The view can either be side-on or top-down, depending on the developer's choice. The most common use of such an engine has been for games with some kind of spacecraft either flying over a landscape or through an installation, with unbreakable obstacles that would kill the player either on contact, or by blocking the craft.

Most such games had the player collect health, lives and weapons as powerups in the levels, although some allowed the player to make purchases with their points between levels.

Complexity varies by having different numbers of layers of parallax and in some cases, transparency effects, such as translucent explosions.

Compare Vertical Scrolling Shooter.

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