Fun Fact: The Japanese version of Stinger had a choice of difficulty levels and was also programmed for 3-player play.
Stinger was a shooter in the vein of Gradius or Life Force, all of which were developed and published by Konami, but Stinger had a much more lighthearted spirit. Rather than fighting an evil, menacing force the player was trying to rescue Professor Cinnamon to prevent aliens from turning the Earth into cotton candy.
While the story might have been silly, Stinger was a challenging shooter that alternated between side-scrolling and vertical-scrolling levels. Different power-ups canceled each other out, so players had to be careful what they picked up even during the most chaotic sequences, and players could align their ships together in co-op mode to gain access to special attacks.