CSPSP: the online multiplayer homebrew

CSPSP is one of the most fondly remembered homebrew games for PSP.

It was one of the best known unlicensed games for the system before Lamecraft led to a flood of Minecraft clones on PSP.

It was probably more widely played than that other homebrew giant - the Cave Story port. And while the concept behind CSPSP is not original, it is not a source port from another platform.

So what is CSPSP? This is a fast-paced 2D shooter, inspired by the CounterStrike series of games. All the focus is on online multiplayer here. Unlike many official games, it requires no special plugins or intricate methods to get online.

The ease of setup is the first reason of its success, making it very straightforward for anyone to join the online action.

And secondly, it is just fun. Hiding behind corners to frag online strangers is just enjoyable. There are homebrew puzzle games that are more polished and more solidly put together, but they’re not the sort of games you feel like telling your friends about.

The history

CSPSP was created by Kevin Chen (aka Nataku92) for the Summer 2006 edition of the NEO Coding Competition.

Here is how the release post, dated 18 August 2006, explains the game:

This is a VERY early version of a top down shooter based on Valve©'s Counter-Strike. Basically you are a counter-terrorist and you run around the map shooting the terrorists. Once all the players on either team dies, a new round will start.


While inspired by CounterStrike, and even more by Unreal Software’s CS2D, Kevin’s CSPSP uses no code from either of those games.

The game was rather built on JGE++, a game engine created by James Hui and previously used for StarBugz, a well-crafted but unambitious Space Invaders clone.

The Summer 2006 NEO Competition was as competitive as PSP coding jams would ever get, featuring entries from giants of the scene like Shazz and 71M.

At the same time, this first release of CSPSP came when the game was still in early development, so it’s no surprise that it did not make it into the top 10 of PSP games at the event.

A more mature build of CSPSP entered the contest’s next edition - in spring 2007.

This time, the game came in third, ranked behind two puzzle games - Hexaxis XXI and Go!Go!Goo!.


CSPSP would enter no further game jams after that. At the next edition of the NEO contest, in the Summer of 2007, Kevin decided to present a new work instead - a game called QQ Manto.

That did not mean that he was done with CSPSP - quite the contrary. The number of players registered on the game’s official website continued to grow, eventually stopping at just over 34,000. The developer would work on the game for over six years altogether.

The project’s demise was announced only in November 2012, a time by which the PSP’s successor had been on the market for nearly a year.

Ports and afterlife

The game’s existence did not quite end in 2012, either. Two coders - UnLuck3R and MasterMen - continued Kevin’s work in later years.

The game was ported to the 3DS, in a version predictably known as CS3DS. And it can now be played even as a browser game.

The PSP version of the game still works, and a Discord for the game is still active, at https://discord.com/invite/K2Ene4y.


Make no mistake though - the game is definitely dead. This is because CSPSP relied on something few PSP homebrews ever had - a community. This is what sets apart this game from other homebrews of similar (or even superior) quality.

The game’s excellent online features made it quite unique amid the homebrew games of the day. Other homebrews had some adhoc networking capabilities, but CSPSP had actual online servers. And a small, niche community grew around the CSPSP servers and its forums.

In its heyday, the game managed to gather a global following, with players in places as far apart as Japan and Russia.


The game supports custom maps, and countless people made use of this feature. I just recently found a pack with over 700 maps, which is no doubt just a fraction of all the ones that were created over the years.

Some community members modded the game itself, releasing builds inspired by Matrix, Halo, paintball and anything in between.

And the people who formed this community - players, modders, mapmakers - they are just no longer there.

Back to CSPSP?

I started this blog because I wanted to let PSP owners know about the many great little homebrews that have been forgotten over time.

Uploading 3,600+ homebrews to the Internet Archive doesn’t achieve much, if the homebrews just rot unnoticed on their servers for the next 15 years.

Having said that, I wouldn’t recommend that anyone play CSPSP in 2022. This game is worthy of remembrance, but first-time players will find an online game with wonky controls and empty servers. Beyond the nostalgia, there isn’t much to be found in this game today.

Lead image credits: Chiu Jake on Youtube