Touhou Project (東方Project) is a series of danmaku (弾幕, lit. “Bullet hell”) vertically scrolling shooter video games made by Team Shanghai Alice, with two fighting game spinoffs co-produced with Tasogare Frontier. The Touhou Project began as a dōjin soft series but grew to be one of the most popular Japanese bullet hell shooters as well as the most clearly defined example of the danmaku genre.

The project was founded by a semiprofessional dōjin circle called Amusement Makers, who released the first game as a dōjin soft title. While this Touhou Project series was initially produced for dōjin soft players, it has since become a major commercial franchise spanning numerous media and genre variations.

The main games of the series are vertical scrolling shooters employing two-dimensional graphics. The player’s bullet power increases on par with the boss’ difficulty, and the series is known for its difficulty; this has led to comparisons with games by Cave and G.rev (especially their arcade title Border Down).

The most recent game in the series, with 14 full-fledged games and an official omake game, holds the Guinness World Record for “most games in an action shooter series” ( 東方Project is a video game franchise owned by

Touhou Project) and has spawned many fangames.

Since its first release with Windows-based computers in 2002, the Touhou Project has grown to be the most clearly defined example of the danmaku genre, spanning 14 games (14 main shoot ’em up titles or “touhou series”) and over 38 official works. The official website for the project lists over 50 fan-made doujin game creations by individual circle members, however, these are often limited to 20 copies distributed only at events organized by the creators.

Most of the games in the series pit the player’s character against waves of various enemies, with many spell cards to use and patterns to exploit. The character is moved with the D-pad while focusing on a background element to attack. While a character is focused on a target, the player cannot move the character or adjust its aim; this makes dodging bullets difficult as some enemy projectiles are very fast and do not give enough time to dodge, and also puts the player in a more vulnerable position because they cannot effectively avoid attacks coming from other directions. In danmaku shooting games, the focus feature alters a character’s hitbox. The player may adjust the direction of their fire to some extent by focusing on different background elements while moving the character; this is typically limited to straight upward and slightly diagonal shots.

Touhou is a series of danmaku shooters that are popular for their challenging gameplay and beautiful graphics.

While the gameplay is easily described as “avoiding bullets”, it can be very intense and requires a lot of focus. Touhou’s music has been especially popular among players. Since doujin games are largely distributed by word-of-mouth within the dōjin community, most games receive little attention from gamers who do not visit dōjin events such as Comiket.

The games are set in the fictional world of Gensokyo, which is full of interesting characters and locations, along with story lines that are not touched on very much by the actual games, leaving players hungry for more.

why is touhou so popular

The Touhou Project is so popular mainly because it brings together artists, writers and game creators to work on one series with no strict vision or storyline guidelines.

Despite its commercial success, many of the main games in the series have been released as dōjin soft.

In this regard, ZUN resembles a traditional dōjin artist who provides the main games’ system and repertoire of characters but not storylines or scenarios for individual works.

This structure allows a massive number of people to come together and create a community-based fan base where fans can contribute by submitting derivative works of the Touhou Project, such as fan-made games, artworks and written works.