Game series to look for: Touhou Project

Game series to look for: Touhou Project

This is a mini-series that may help students to find games to play (or at least watch) that they may have not heard of before these trying times. For this first entry, here’s an overview on the Touhou Project, which may be a little familiar for some people.

The Touhou Project consists primarily of danmaku games, or games that can be simplified to shooting the enemy down while avoiding the enemy’s attacks. With how colorful and flashy the danmaku itself can be, this may not be the best franchise for those with epilepsy.

Regardless, what sets this franchise apart from most other shoot ‘em ups or danmaku games is the use of cute girls/women instead of flashy ships or aircraft. Also, the series tends to be more Japanese-oriented, featuring concepts and mythological creatures from that region.

Yet another thing that makes this series stand out is the music. Instead of one standard track for most bosses, each boss character gets their own unique theme. The same goes with the stage music.

Touhou got started in 1995, with the demo of the first Touhou game, Highly Responsive to Prayers, created by Jun’ya Ota (pen-name ZUN), released the year after. Since then, there have been over 20 titles to the franchise, the first five being PC-98 games and the rest being Windows games, with each era named after the computer systems they were made for.

In addition to having danmaku games, Touhou has other types of things to entertain students, from fighting games to music albums to manga. Some of the manga in particular get monthly updates, such as Lotus Eaters and Cheating Detective Satori.

Despite appealing to a niche market, the franchise has garnered many fans across the globe who produce a variety of fan content, from ZUN-style music, fan characters, and fan games. 

Touhou games, both official and fan-made, can be found on multiple platforms and services, such as Steam, Windows, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. These games tend to be rated T at most, so keep that in mind.