xop.gif Good news over at the Shmups forum, which is featuring a post announcing the freeware availability of a neat-looking Windows PC shooter named XOP.

As coder 'Udderdude' explains: "I wrote a 2D overhead shooter called XOP, and released it around 2002. It took me close to 1 1/2 years to make...I attempted to sell it as shareware, from toastsoft.com; however, this failed. Mostly due to the game's difficulty, low-res graphics, the fact that shareware shooters don't usually sell well (kiddie puzzle games sell much better), and my complete lack of any real marketing skills. I am now releasing it as freeware [.EXE link]. I feel this is better than letting it collect dust behind a $20 shareware fee. Download it and give it a try."

The game's screenshots look pretty darned neat, and the follow-up comments enthusiastic ("XOP is one of the best PC shooters I played for a long time", or "I'm really enjoying this. The gameplay is fun and the scoring system is just the way I like it"), so there's really no excuse for checking it out. Oh, and Udderdude also mentions his very Crystal Quest++-esque free Java shooter Space Dudes, also worth perusing. [Via The2Bears.]