For other uses, see TwinBee (disambiguation).

TwinBee (ツインビー TsuinBī?) is a cartoon-themed vertical-scrolling shoot 'em up game originally released by Konami as a coin-operated video game in 1985 in Japan. It was the very first game to run on Konami's Bubble System hardware. TwinBee was ported to the Family Computer and MSX in 1986 and has been included in numerous compilations released in later years. The original arcade game was released outside Japan for the first time in the Nintendo DS compilation Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits. A mobile phone version was released for i-mode Japan phones in 2003 with edited graphics.

Various TwinBee sequels were released for the arcade and home console markets following the original game, some which spawned audio drama and anime adaptations in Japan.


In space calendar 2801, an army led by the evil King Spice unexpectedly came from outer space and invaded the peaceful Donburi Island.

After Spice the Great had completed the island's occupation, he divided the land into five regions, which were then given to his four generals to be governed by them, while he reigned over the last one.

Meanwhile, a quirky scientist living on the edge of the island named Dr. Cinnamon was secretly developing two airship fighters: TwinBee and WinBee. His two sons, Annamon and Donnamon, stepped in to test the prototype fighters and with them they bravely fought and defeated the invading army, its generals, and ultimately defeated King Spice.



TwinBee can be played by up to two players simultaneously. The player takes control of a cartoon-like anthropomorphic spacecraft, with Player 1 taking control of TwinBee, the titular ship, while Player 2 controls WinBee. The game controls consists of an eight-way joystick and two buttons: one for shooting enemies in the air and the other for dropping bombs to ground enemies (similarly to Xevious).

The player's primary power-ups are bells that can be uncovered by shooting at the floating clouds, where they're hidden. If the player continues shooting the bell after it appears, it will change into one of four other colors:

  • Yellow: The regular yellow bells only grant bonus points.
  • White: The white bell will upgrade the player's gun into a twin cannon.
  • Blue: The blue bell increases the player's speed (for up to five speed levels).
  • Green: The green bell will allow the player to create image copies of its ship for additional firepower.
  • Red: The red bell will provide the player's ship a barrier that allows it to sustain more damage.

The green and red bells cannot be combined together. Other power-ups can also be retrieved from ground enemies such as an alternate bell that gives the player's ship a three-way gun or a star which eliminates all on-screen enemies.

As with other games of the same genre, getting shot by a single enemy bullet will cause the player to lose a life. However, if the bullet only strikes either side of the ship instead, the player's ship will only lose one of its arms. If the player's ship loses both arms, it will lose the ability to throw bombs and the player must wait for an ambulance to arrive. The player must navigate their ship to the ambulance to repair their arms.

If two players are playing at the same time, they can align their ships vertically or horizontally together to perform more powerful attacks.

Home versions

TwinBee originally appeared as an arcade game. It was later ported to MSX and the Family Computer. The Famicom version was re-released only in Japan under the Famicom Mini label for the Game Boy Advance, and the Nintendo Switch Online on November 14, 2018 worldwide, with an SP version titled TwinBee: A second helping of Donburi Island! released on June 12, 2019.

A mobile version titled TwinBee Complete Edition (ツインビー コンプリート版 TsuinBī Konpurīto-ban?), was released on September 30, 2003 in Japanese markets. It also was released for Vodafone on February 25, 2004 as TwinBee Deluxe Edition (ツインビー豪華版 TsuinBī Gōka-ban?) in Japan. There's also another version titled 2 People! TwinBee (2人で!ツインビー 2-Ri de! TsuinBī?) which was released on October 22, 2009, and was released for Windows Phone on January 25, 2010 in Japan.

This game was officially released for the first time outside Japan as part of the Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits for the Nintendo DS in March 2007, under the name RainbowBell in North America, although the TwinBee name was restored for the European release. TwinBee was released in Japan on August 10, 2011 and in other regions on September 22, 2011 for the Nintendo 3DS as a part of the 3D Classics series. This release was featured among other games from the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super NES to be released for the 3DS on a tech demo called Classic Games at E3 2010.[1][2] TwinBee is also available on the Game Room service for the Xbox 360.

Also, the MSX version was re-released for Windows' EGG Project on August 19, 2014 and for Wii U Virtual Console on March 15, 2015 in Japan. The arcade version was re-released for the PlayStation 4 on December 25, 2015 by the Arcade Archives games, published by Hamster Corporation.

Stages and bosses

Stage Boss
Stage 1 Onion Head
Stage 2 Parallel Dish
Stage 3 Tiger Shark
Stage 4 Claw Device
Stage 5 King Spice



TwinBee received a total of 68/100 on Metacritic which is mixed to positive with an average rating of 6.8.


Related products


  1. WebCite query result
  2. E3 2010: Classic NES in 3D! - Nintendo 3DS Feature at IGN
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