If you constant anime-centric teams online, you might’ve heard the the Japanese indie collection Touhou. The Touhou job (or Touhou because that short) is a cartridge hell collection created by Jun’ya “ZUN” Ota, the sole developer behind Team Shanghai Alice. The lot of depth that goes right into Touhou in terms of character designs, stories, and also levels have popularised the series in Japan. However, it’s hard to acquire into because that a pair reasons.

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First off, numerous of the games don’t have actually official translations. The Touhou ar relies on patchers prefer Thcrap because that translating games. The gamings themselves are likewise pretty difficult—or, at least, a an excellent chunk of castle are. The setting and characters, despite compelling and unique, likewise suffer indigenous a lack of exposition in most of the main games. A “very Touhou” thing to carry out is drop the player straight right into a scenario without much explanation around the world at all.


Most think about Embodiment of the Scarlet devil (the sixth Touhou game) as the series’ starting point in regards to story. However, it’s not easily accessible on Steam. In fact, the very first five games need one emulator come play, and games prior to Touhou 10 (Ten Desires) haven’t to be released on steam yet. That being said, these few games need to serve together reasonable starting points for any kind of interested next looking to gain into Touhou. Take a look at the best Touhou gamings for beginners:

Touhou Fuujinroku ~ hill of Faith

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Mountain of confidence (MoF) serves as a “soft reboot” the the series, through Reimu and Marisa starring as the just two playable characters. Reimu obtain an unsettling visit indigenous a stranger who offers her one ultimatum: close the Hakurei Shrine or wait because that the god the Yokai mountain to take it over. Football player trek increase the hill as either Reimu or Marisa to face the god and save the shrine.

MoF simplifies bombing mechanics v a meter the stores up energy as players collect power items. Players space locked at 3 lives, which might make later levels more daunting if they nothing earn sufficient points because that extra lives. In spite of that, the absence of score systems renders it a an ext accessible point for beginner to enjoy also if it isn’t as complicated for veterans.

Touhou Shinreibyou ~ Ten Desires

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Ten Desires is one of the most basic in the series—both a an excellent and bad thing, depending on the player. Reimu and Marisa notice more divine spirits creeping approximately Gensokyo 보다 usual and decide come investigate. Secondaryr characters like Sanae and also Youmu include their own motivations come the plot; Sanae seeks to harness the spirits’ power while Youmu desires to eliminate them.

Players must collect spirits that come in four colours (blue, gray, green, and purple) to fill up their “trance gauge,” which lets them get in an invincible state when filled. Patterns tend to be slower and easier come dodge, though some argue the the boss fads vary sufficient to keep challengers entertained. However, the heart collecting mechanic isn’t critical of Touhou games as a whole, so it can throw turn off beginners who desire to emphasis on the basics.

Touhou Tenkuushou ~ covert Star in 4 Seasons

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Hidden Star in four Seasons (HSiFS) stars Reimu, Marisa, Aya, and also Cirno in their investigation of the shifting periods in Gensokyo. Areas are unnaturally separation into various seasons, v the Hakurei Shrine grounding in springtime and also more. HSiFS also marked the series’ heavy steam debut (a pair months after its initial release), finishing the require for fans to pirate games.

Instead of spirits choose in Ten Desires, players usage a “sub-season” system that requires seasonal themed items like cherry blossoms and snowflakes because that boosts. These items, likewise known together sub-seasons, have the right to be released together a bomb to clean multiple adversary projectiles at once. HSiFS and its successor, Wily Beast and also The Weakest Creature, embody beginner-friendly gameplay with slower bullets and also forgiving hitboxes.

Touhou Kikeijuu ~ Wily Beast and Weakest Creature

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Wily Beast and also Weakest creature incorporates a mechanic distinct to the video game with pet spirits instead of shot types. Reimu, Marisa, and also Youmu find out about animal spirits supposedly planning to overtake Gensokyo and also travel right into the equivalent of hell to prevent them. Wolf, Otter, and also Eagle spirits appear to aid them on their quest.

Players choose between three pet spirits—Wolf, Otter, or Eagle—to take benefit of their unique abilities. These pets also adjust the personality the the player character depending on which one castle equip. For example, the Wolf spirit increases damages when the player is in focus mode and also changes the character personality to be much more aggressive.

Honourable Mention: Touhou lost Word

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Touhou lost Word is in reality a fanmade game even though it has an main license indigenous Team Shanghai Alice. While not a bullet hell, shed Word is an easily available mobile gacha RPG the faithfully to represent the Touhou world and also its characters. It introduces the setting and main characters, a boon to players brand-new to the series, prior to kicking off the game. It regrettably doesn’t embody the significance of Touhou gameplay because it’s not a cartridge hell game, yet it’s great for lore exposition.

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These are just a few recommendations out of many. If you end up liking Touhou sufficient to want to understand more, yet either don’t have time to pick up the gamings or uncover them too difficult, you can read the manga or wikis to learn an ext about the story. Part Touhou fans even suggest this as the main mode of to teach beginners around the thread of stories behind the series, due to the fact that it’s much faster than traversing v the gamings themselves.