Betty IX: old school arcade shooter [Game Saturday]

Martin Brinkmann
May 25, 2013

I like to play shoot'em up games, especially those that let me upgrade my ship in a way or two. This week's Game Saturday game Betty IX is one of those games. My first impression of the game was that it was slow-paced, as I selected normal on the selection screen thinking that this was linked to the game's difficulty level. It was not however. Instead, it is linked to the speed of the game.

My suggestion therefore is to select Fast or Turbo instead as it plays better this way.

You can control your ship with the mouse, the arrow keys or the WASD keys on the keyboard. Wait, what about firing weapons? That's all done automatic for you, so that you can concentrate on maneuvering your ship around on the screen.

You do so to dodge enemy bullets that fly in your direction, and to position your ship so that the bullets it fires hit enemy ships on the screen.

Some enemies drop crystals on the ground which you can pick up if you fly over them. This is extra cash that you desperately need to upgrade your ship between missions. While you do earn cash from destroyed enemies automatically, it is the extra cash that can make the difference.

The following upgrades are available:

  • Damage - Increases the damage of your attacks.
  • Attack Rate - Increases the speed in which your ship fires bullets.
  • Shield - How much damage the shield deflects.
  • Drive - The speed of your ship.
  • Energy Source - How fast the shield replenishes.
  • Tractor Beam - Collects crystals automatically in a radius.
  • Multishot - Adds multi-shot projectiles.
  • Burst - Adds burst projectiles.

Upgrades are all available in five levels with each level costing a lot more than the previous one. It is usually a good idea to buy all the cheapest levels first to improve your ship all around before you pay more (it is 500, 1000, 3000, 5000, 10000, 20000) for additional upgrades.

You may notice that some levels become extremely difficult to beat until you bought upgrades that help you out here. Most notably damage of course, but also attack rate and energy source. From level 13 on it is shield that you need to boost as new attacks are introduced at this stage.

You encounter boss ships at the end of every fourth level group which take a punch. It is not that difficult though to defeat them, you just need to spend more time doing so.

You can replay the game in a higher difficulty level after you beat it if you select to do so. You keep all your upgrades and four additional levels


  1. One Tractor Beam upgrade helps you out a lot getting crystals that you are not able to reach otherwise. It is however not necessary to put additional points into the upgrade as others are more important than that.
  2. Bullets have different sizes, with larger ones hurting more than smaller ones. Make sure you dodge the larger ones to avoid being hit critically.
  3. The hit box of your ship is rather large. The satellites on the other hand can be hit as your shield is not reduced when this happens.
  4. The 360 degree bullet circles that some enemies fire when they die are particularly nasty. It is better to eat one of the bullets than to move frantically around as you will be hit by more than one then often.
  5. Your satellites upgrade twice in each level once you have defeated a certain amount of enemy ships.
  6. Artifacts drop in dark stages on the interesting difficulty level.  You need to find all parts to assemble them.
  7. If you can't beat a game, try picking a slower speed level for the game as games become easier when you do.


Betty IX is an entertaining game, at least for a while. It is definitely a fun game to play even though I could not convince myself to beat the game a second, third and fourth time to play the unlocked bonus levels. More diversity in terms of enemy formations and attacks would make the game more interesting in the long run as well.

Still, if you like arcade shooters give it a try. And if you are particularly good at them, play it in turbo difficulty level.


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  1. ilev said on May 26, 2013 at 1:05 am

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