Games Like Gaming

10 Games Like Contra

Discover games like Contra packed with action, nostalgia, and unique twists. See why games like Broforce, Valfaris, and Savage Halloween are revitalizing the run-and-gun genre.

Craving some old-school Contra action but can’t get your hands on the classic game? Brace yourself because we’ve gathered several spectacular indie games to fuel your nostalgia while offering fresh and exciting twists. From destructive environments and thrilling multiplayer options found in Broforce to the captivating aesthetics and diverse weapon roster of Valfaris and Oniken, these games are set to bring the Contra fire back to your screen.

Don’t miss out on the unique gameplay mechanisms of Savage Halloween and Nex Machina or the distinctive weapon and gameplay selections from Axiom Verge and Super Time Force. Let the acclaimed Cuphead charm you with its unique aesthetic appeal and boss fights. Don’t forget to check out Blazing Chrome, notorious for its striking similarity to the Contra gaming experience.

Now, prepare for a healthy dose of nostalgia, adrenaline, and new-age innovation as you explore this remarkable lineup.


If you’re a fan of the iconic run-and-gun shooter game Contra, this article is for you! Part of the charm of games like Contra is their focus on skill, quick thinking, and fast-paced action. Since the heyday of Contra, many indie game developers have taken inspiration from its classic gameplay and incorporated it into their own titles.

This article introduces ten indie games with a similar ethos to Contra that you will surely enjoy.

1. Broforce


Game Release Date

Gaming enthusiasts first welcomed Broforce on 15 October 2015.

Game’s Genre

This particular game falls under the category of a side-scrolling run-and-gun platformer.

Available Platforms

You can use Broforce for PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, macOS, Linux, and Classic Mac OS.

How Broforce is Similar to Contra

If you’re seeking a Contra-like experience with a twist, take a look at Broforce. Broforce offers a similar run-and-gun action but adds layers of humor, destructible environments, and multiplayer options. This game distinguishes between paying homage to Contra and carving out its unique identity.

2. Valfaris


Game Release Date

Valfaris was released on 10 October 2019.

Game’s Genre

The game is considered a 2D action platformer.

Available Platforms

Valfaris can be played on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Linux.

How Valfaris is Similar to Contra

Valfaris and Contra share common ground when it comes to action-packed gameplay. Blasting through enemies is as satisfying as ever with a similar weapon set. Its brutal aesthetics complement its hardcore gameplay, setting an atmosphere where Contra fans will feel right at home.

3. Huntdown


Game Release Date

This thrilling game was launched on 12 May 2020.

Game’s Genre

Huntdown really shines as a 2D cover-based shooter game.

Available Platforms

Huntdown is playable on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and MacOS.

How Huntdown is Similar to Contra

Huntdown is a love letter to Contra but isn’t just a simple imitation. Its cover-based system and detailed pixel art style add a modern twist to the fast shooting action that makes Contra so captivating.

4. Savage Halloween

savage halloween

Game Release Date

Savage Halloween entered the gaming world on 22 April 2020.

Game’s Genre

It fits comfortably in the genre of 2D shooter.

Available Platforms

You can immerse in Savage Halloween via platforms like Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.

How Savage Halloween is Similar to Contra

This is yet another title that skillfully blends Contra-esque combat with new gameplay mechanics. Undead monsters and quirky power-ups keep the whole game experience from getting monotonous during your nostalgic trip down the Contra memory lane.

5. Super Time Force

super time

Game Release Date

Super Time Force was launched on 14 May 2014.

Game’s Genre

Super Time Force immerses you in the action genre, platform, and shoot ’em up.

Available Platforms

Available platforms for this game include Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Microsoft Windows.

How Super Time Force is Similar to Contra

Super Time Force is a wonderful callback to Contra with its retrofuture settings, diverse weapon selections, and time-rewinding gameplay. The tongue-in-cheek humor and multiple playable characters add a twist to the Contra formula.

6. Axiom Verge


Game Release Date

Axiom Verge was released on 31 March 2015.

Game’s Genre

The game is considered an action-adventure platformer.

Available Platforms

You can play Axiom Verge on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation Vita, and Microsoft Windows.

How Axiom Verge is Similar to Contra

Axiom Verge uniquely blends Contra-style shooting action and intriguing exploration elements. A diverse roster of weapons and power-ups keeps your gameplay varied and exciting.

7. Oniken


Game Release Date

Oniken was released on 5 July 2012.

Game’s Genre

Oniken is an action platformer game.

Available Platforms

You can play Oniken on several platforms, including Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Xbox One.

How Oniken is Similar to Contra

With its 8-bit visuals, solid controls, and diverse weapons, Oniken channels a strong Contra vibe. Fans seeking an old-school action game would find this one particularly engaging.

8. Nex Machina

nex machina

Game Release Date

Nex Machina came into action on 20 June 2017.

Game’s Genre

The game is a top-down shooter.

Available Platforms

Nex Machina is playable on PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows.

How Nex Machina is Similar to Contra

Nex Machina offers a unique blend of Contra-esque combat with fresh gameplay mechanics. The game’s frenzied action sequences and lighting-fast reflex requirements capture what makes Contra games so thrilling.

9. Cuphead


Game Release Date

Cuphead launched on 29 September 2017.

Game’s Genre

This game falls under the genre of run-and-gun platformer.

Available Platforms

Cuphead is available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Macintosh operating systems.

How Cuphead is Similar to Contra

Cuphead, with its charming aesthetics and challenging boss fights, is another excellent game Contra fans would enjoy. The game’s hand-drawn animation and jazzy soundtrack depart from Contra’s alien-blasting aesthetics but should satisfy anyone craving a run-and-gun experience.

10. Blazing Chrome

blazing chrome

Game Release Date

Blazing Chrome was unleashed onto the gaming world on 11 July 2019.

Game’s Genre

This game is aptly categorized as a run-and-gun shooter game.

Available Platforms

You can enjoy Blazing Chrome on Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.

How Blazing Chrome is Similar to Contra

Blazing Chrome is an indie gaming jewel that comes the closest to matching the Contra gaming experience. Developed by Joymasher, this game has achieved an impressive balance between homage and originality. Using a dynamic mix of side-scrolling shooting, fast-paced action, and boss-battling, Blazing Chrome might be one of the best Contra games ever made.

In conclusion, all these fantastic indie games offer something unique and fascinating. Whether you were charmed by Contra’s run-and-gun mechanics, iconic soundtrack, or competitive co-op model, there’s something in this list for you.

Just grab your controller or keyboard; it’s time to indulge in some quality gaming!

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By Jupiter Hadley

Jupiter is an avid indie gaming journalist that covers lesser titles. She highlights thousands of game jams and independent games on YouTube. She judges several jams and events and oversees, a global game jam calendar.