Sub-genre of multi-directional shooters, defined largely by multi-directional shooter sensibilities but constrained to a small-ish "arena" (usually small enough to fit on screen at all times).
The first video game about Arena shooter was released in 1976.
Even arena shooters that aren't constrained to the size of a screen, players still move across their whole breadth several times in very small period of time (and within single game).
The oldest clear examples of the genre are Asteroids and Robotron 2048.
Unlike other multi-directional shooters, these usually have the enemies appearing out of nowhere and in waves.
Parent groupMulti-directional shooter
Child groupRobotron Like
compare with these groups
|Apple II E||10|
|Mac OS X||6|
|ZX Spectrum 128||5|
|Mac OS Classic||3|