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Sunday, 3 January 2016

Unique Games: Afterlife, Part 2


Welcome to 2016, everybody! Let's start this year with a sequel to the Unique Games special episode I did about 18 months ago. Phew! Now, I shall be focusing primarily on properly new games - ones that were released during 2015, but I shall also mention a few interesting titles from the previous two years that I wasn't aware of before. I hope this will be of some interest to at least some of you out there. As before, not all of these games are particularly unique, but all of them are exclusive, as far as I have been able to find out, and most of them have something really specific about them.

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AMSTRAD CPC


Let's start by checking out the new products for the Amstrad CPC. Funny... I think there has been more exclusive titles for the Amstrad since its commercial death than during its official lifespan.


1. Space Pest Control (2015, usebox.net)

Our first title is one of the Top 10 titles from the most recent #CPCRetrodev contest, which I think look good, sound good and play rather nicely as well, which is not something you can easily say of all the games in the contest's Top 10. Space Pest Control puts you in the boots of a... well, for the lack of a better title, a space pest control person, whose job it is to get rid of all the space pests in some sort of a space structure, probably a ship or something.

Space Pest Control is a fairly basic platforming shooter, which uses a very Spectrumesque flip-screen method of showing one screen at a time. The only two more modern features in the game are your ability to shoot while crouching, and use teleports to move around the area, both of which are pivotal for being successful. While the game plays fantastically well, with no apparent problems with collision detection or controls, it has a few small problems: it is fairly short and has no sense of achivement, and there are no weapon or ability upgrades or anything of that sort. But if you enjoy these sorts of games by rule, and have about 15 minutes of spare time to check some new retrogames for your Amstrad, this is one of the better options from 2015.


2. Frogalot (2015, CNGsoft)

One of the more well-known Amstrad cracking groups, CNGsoft, have also made some games lately. Frogalot was ranked at #2 in the #CPCRetrodev 2015 contest, and for good reasons too, since it is an impressive game. But it does look oddly familiar...

Oh yes, it's somewhat of a clone of Hewson's Nebulus (or Tower Toppler for you lot across the pond), although Frogalot plays a bit faster and concentrates completely on the jumping on platforms part of the idea. Although it sounds like a bad idea, the developers have also thrown in some alternative routes that you can try to find, which is a nice touch, and adds some much needed depth into the game to make it more addictive. To make up for the lack of shooting and other fancy things in Nebulus, Frogalot has two sorts of teleports instead of doorways and lifts, as well as little containers that fill up your timer - something that would have been a good idea to use in Nebulus as well.

In addition to the faster and less complex gameplay, Frogalot has more colourful graphics, some nice music and at least as much of charm as the little two-footed piggy from Nebulus. No wonder it earned the Best Technical Achievement award for the compo. Highly recommendable.


3. Space Moves (2015, Toni Ramírez)

I admit I've gone a bit boring and predictable here, since all three games were made for and released in the #CPCRetrodev, but at least in the CPC-Power archives, there were no actual unique or exclusive new titles from 2015 worth mentioning for the CPC. So, the third title here is the winner of the #CPCRetrodev 2015 competition, although I can only wonder why exactly.

At first, the name might sound a bit strange, at least grammatically. But once you start playing the game, the title makes perfect sense, as it's clearly an homage in the way of an unofficial sequel to Dinamic's Moves trilogy, consisting of Army Moves, Navy Moves and Arctic Moves. And really, space is the final part in the series that just didn't get made originally. It probably wasn't even planned, for all I know.

Technically, Space Moves doesn't feel particularly impressive to me, since it doesn't seem to offer anything more than the original Moves series did. But it does honour the original series, particularly the first game, in many ways. You just fight your way through a horde of enemies coming at you, and avoid getting hit by anything or fallen into pits, and the end of each level comes when the timer runs out. Simple, but effective, and for once, a Moves game has a fairly reasonable difficulty level. At first, I had some problems with the collision detection in the first level, but then I noticed the game's logic behind collisions, and the rest was just keeping at it until the end. While Level 1 is a direct descendant of Army Moves' level 1 (with no copters here), Level 2 has the appearance of a more proper horizontal space shooter, where you need to learn the fleet patterns to make it through. Of all the rest, I have no clue yet, but Space Moves has that grasp on you that the best in the original series have - only this is a light version, more friendly towards the less hard-core gamers out there.

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SINCLAIR ZX SPECTRUM


It seems like Sir Clive's favourite baby in our eyes is currently the retro platform with the most game developing happening at the moment. Then again, most of the new games are being made with tools like Jonathan Cauldwell's Arcade Game Designer, Einar Saukas' NIRVANA engine or others, so the number of games being developed is bigger on the Speccy due to the relative ease of creation, but simultaneously, many games feel a bit similar to each other. So, I decided to dig through the pile and see what I liked the best at the moment.


1. LIRUS (2015, RetroSouls)

Here's something that the Spectrum folks have not been doing much until in the very recent years. A game with minimalist graphics using huge blocks for building elements, and perfectly smooth scrolling. LIRUS from Denis Grachev (the developer of Alter Ego) is one of these sorts of games, and has become a massive favourite of mine only very recently.

At first, LIRUS feels like a zoomed miniature of Gauntlet, but soon enough, you will find that this is not quite the truth. Your job is to destroy all spreading virus-like blocks from each level by shooting at them with your machine gun. Sometimes, the virus blocks are contained within rooms behind closed doors, but they can easily spread around the entire area, if you're not quick in your actions. You have a limited amount of energy, with 5 lives to spare. You also have a limited amount of bullets to start with, but more can be picked up from respawning ammunition pick-ups. One of the most important aspects of the game is strafing while shooting, which proves to be a pivotal element already in the second level. Also, with careful alignment, you can shoot two rows of virus blocks at a time, since your machine gun fire has two bullets shooting side by side.

LIRUS is definitely something I wasn't quite expecting from the maker of Alter Ego and MultiDude, and is a very welcome entry in the ever-growing modern Spectrum games library. According to RetroSouls' website, LIRUS is currently being developed for PC, Mac and Android, so I have to hurry to get this blog entry out before it happens... =P


2. Stormfinch (2015, Stonechat Productions)

I seem to have developed some sort of softness towards shooters with no weapon upgrades. Stormfinch is a side-scrolling space shooter, which falls into that sub-category, but it has two rather interesting features by default: an attack radar to tell you from which direction you are about to be attacked, and a probe shooting either ahead of you or behind you - the direction is switchable. Also, it is a damn addicting one.

While Stormfinch doesn't exactly boast with its gameplay-related abilities, using the bicolour NIRVANA engine makes the game very nice to look at, even though there's not much more in the backgrounds than stars. All the sprites are wonderfully not monochrome, but still look as good as they usually do on Spectrum. Also, there are 10 long levels in the game, with 9 bosses and a whopping 64 different attack waves, and apparently, even an ending sequence. I haven't managed to get that far, but if I wasn't writing multiple blog entries at once now, I would seriously consider playing this much more. Highly recommended.


3. The Order of Mazes (2015, Tom Dalby)

As with the Amstrad and MSX scenes, there is a similarly titled annual game developing competition for the Spectrum scene, which is called ZX Dev. For ZX Dev'15, Tom Dalby created a very interesting maze game called The Order of Mazes, which is an homage to many of Tom's old Spectrum favourites, but while it's definitely a smörgåsbord of old Spectrum game elements, it does have some new ideas implemented as well, such as procedurally generated mazes (making every new game different), in-built minimap, a field of vision kind of a thing in which you cannot see around corners, a checkpoint system and I know not what else.

In Tom's own words shamelessly copied from the WoS forum, "the basic premise is to navigate your way through 4 distinct levels of dastardly Mazes in order to find the four lost Emblems of ZedX. Once you have all four the exit opens and you can escape and complete the game. There are many chests to loot along the way and monsters that will try and stop you. You can also power-up your adventurer with new spells and potions which will make the quest a lot easier! To start with your adventurer is armed with a lightning spell and has a 10 lockpicks which he/she can use to unlock chests full of treasure. You will need to find more lockpicks in the Mazes in order to open all the chests and also some Master Keys to open the larger chests which have the best loot in them."

At least to me, this is certainly one of the most interesting Spectrum games of the recent years, and it features so many great modern game elements, that I wouldn't consider it too far fetched to see this game happening on more modern platforms. Hopefully, even on some of Spectrum's old rivals as well.

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COMMODORE 64


The C64 still doesn't have much more in the way of easy game making tools, other than the modified sideways-version of Sensible's Shoot'Em-Up Construction Kit. Perhaps all the better for it, because while there's not as many new games coming out every month, there's quite a lot of quality involved here. And I'm only scratching the surface here.


1. Caren and the Tangled Tentacles (2015, PriorArt)

Somehow, I'm convinced there wouldn't be nearly as much of new games for old machines, were there no competitions to reward the new retrogame developers in any possible manner. One of last year's more interesting compos was the adventure game development compo at the German C64 Forum (Forum64.de), which spawned a small number of high-quality adventure games of different types. Caren and the Tangled Tentacles won the compo, so I shall give it a bit of extra shout here, but for this review, I shall be using the extended and fixed version of it, released a good month after the compo version.

Although C&TT clearly points towards the old Lucasfilm Games classics, such as Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken and even the Secret of Monkey Island, it has plenty of its own ideas. For one, the rather simplified joystick-operated icon-based menu is much easier to use than the old Lucasfilm menus, and even the latter-day (VGA) Sierra adventures' equivalents. Switching between the menu and the action screen happens simply by pressing the fire button down when you need to, and you can tell when you need to by moving the cursor on such an item that will highlight some of the action items on the menu. I shall keep the spoilers to a minimum here, but there are some nice surprises in the game that feel both modern and retro simultaneously, as well as some great humour, great graphics and a very suitable soundtrack, not to mention surprisingly funny sound effects. C&TT has enough of content to keep you well entertained for a few days, and I can only recommend it very highly.

Of course, I could have picked any of the adventure games from the compo, but this one grabbed my attention the most, probably because half of the games in the compo were only German until very recently, when they had their English translations released, and I haven't had the time to test them out properly yet. Now, before I move on to the next item, I might as well mention this year's Forum64 game development competition, which will have strategy as the specific genre. Definitely looking forward to the results of that one!


2. MAH (2015, Retream)

From the quirky mind of Simone Bevilacque, the same developer who gave the C64 community the unforgettably silly Quod Init Exit, came a new surprise last year. The surprise was great, since he originally was supposed to retire from C64 programming, but just couldn't keep himself distanced too long from it. MAH is a sequel of sorts for his earlier games BOH (for AmigaOS, AROS, Linux, MacOS and Windows) and Huenison (for AmigaOS and Windows), and although MAH also looks to be available for AmigaOS and Windows, they are run through the VICE emulator, so it really is a C64 exclusive... at least for now.

In short, MAH is a very peculiar game that is about hacking into a system and saving the world, and it is played in six different phases, all of which play differently, and have their own particular things you need to worry about. The game mixes fairly basic genres, such as shoot'em-ups, snake-games, avoid'em-ups and some sort of puzzles, but this mash-up is done in such a beautiful and natural manner, that it's difficult to say, what MAH really is. And because MAH cannot be properly explained in a few words, I can only give you the link to Retream's own MAH page, so you can see for yourselves, what it's about. Be warned, though - it's quite heavy on information, and the information doesn't make all that much sense until you try the game out properly. Still, if you manage to persevere, you will be rewarded with getting into one of recent years' most interesting retro games. I should also say, that although it looks like a great deal of learning, it's not really, because the game is surprisingly intuitive. The only bad thing about the game I can think of to say is, you will need superbly good reflexes and motoric skills to be able to beat this game. MAH is undoubtedly unique and C64-exclusive, and in my opinion, one of the best games of the C64's afterlife. Let's hope Saimo will keep producing more of these little masterpieces for us retrogamers from hence forth.


3. Jam It! (2015, Throwback Games/Psytronik Software)

There haven't been too many sports games around lately for the old machines, at least outside of the few odd arcade driving games, which don't really serve the purpose too well. In fact, the only two proper sports games that I can think of post-2000 for any retro machine are VecSports Boxing for Vectrex - which I mentioned long ago in A History of Finnish Games, part 3 - and Hockey Mania for the C64. Now, Jam It! by Throwback Games is a brave attempt at trying to bring the fun back into sports games for the 8-bits, and all I can say is, it's an utter success.

I wasn't expecting too much when I started testing the game, because I had never been much of a fan of any basketball games on the C64, or any other platform for that matter. Only the original One on One from EA was any fun in my books, although even that one has always felt a bit slow and awkward. Jam It! manages to fix pretty much everything for me that I ever had a problem with regarding basketball games: you get pretty good A.I., responsive and inventive controls, the possibility to play with a friend on the same side, an energy meter for each player that actually affects the player's performance, and even instant replays and slow-motion cameras - things that you wouldn't have even dreamed of in 1983.

Since this is a two on two game of basketball, the developer of Jam It! made it also playable for four players, using the Protovision 4-player adapter, but it can definitely offer plenty of fun for two players. One thing I wouldn't call it is unique, but it does have some interesting elements in it that haven't been done on the C64 before, and is definitely one of the better C64-exclusive titles for 2015.

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NINTENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM


Even the good old NES has plenty of support these days, but the problem is, quite a lot of the new games are only available on real cartridges through several different online retailers, such as retroUSB, and the price tags are way too often too much for my taste. Not that I wouldn't gladly support homebrew game developing, but since the cost of NES cartridge hardware is so steep, so must the selling prices be, and being the cheap bugger that I am, I tend to avoid buying real new cartridge games that cost more than I care to spend. So, I have only had the chance to take a look at some videos available on YouTube, and test some demo versions if available. Of course, there are some freely available full games available as well, but more often than not, they tend to be lesser in quality to the physically available ones.


1. Star Versus (2015, Studio Dustmop)

I shall start with something I will probably never be able to play myself, unless I move to the United States and buy myself a real NTSC-formatted NES, or Studio Dustmop decides to sell the game as emulator images. The problem with this, at least for now, is that since it doesn't work on emulator-based systems, such as Retron 5 (as the Dustmop store informs us), it probably would not work on emulators at all. But who knows. It's a pity, though, because Star Versus is an interesting game with plenty of promise, so I shall have to say a few words about it based entirely on the game's videos on YouTube, the information given on the Star Versus website, and some of the reviews and interviews.



Sorry for the obvious video link, but it's the only real option I had for this one. According to the game's designer and developer Dustin Long, there is a certain punkness about Star Versus, following the philosophy of taking things that weren't meant to be yours and making them yours. Perhaps I'm taking the words out of their proper context slightly, but Star Versus does look and feel (by the looks of it) like the bastard child of Stardust and Star Control, both of course hailing back to Asteroids. You can play Star Versus in single player mode or in a deathmatch mode, and there are four arenas to play in, four characters to play as and "much more". As I said, there's plenty of promise in this one, but unfortunately is only available in NTSC-land, and only on a real cartridge that costs $40. As I said, the price tag is justified with the cost of producing an actual cartridge, but you could easily get a few high-quality C64 games for that money, which is pretty much why I originally chose cassette-based machines over strictly cartridge-based ones.


2. The Mad Wizard: a Candelabra Chronicle (2015, Sly Dog Studios/retroUSB)

Sly Dog Studios should be a familiar name for anyone who follows the NES homebrew scene, having released such great new titles as NES Virus Cleaner and K.Y.F.F. The Mad Wizard is the first part of their Candelabra series, which are only available from retroUSB as physical cartridges, although you can download demo versions of both Candelabra games on their respective retroUSB pages. The reason why I chose the Mad Wizard here is simply because I enjoyed it more.

This is an unusual magic-based platforming adventure with some RPG elements, where you as the titular Mad Wizard must defeat the evil summoner Amondus' underlings. From the start, you have the power to levitate and shoot some sort of magic bullets, but your abilities will get better and more varied by picking up upgrade items. The game is a bit Spectrumesque, as it is a flip-screen platformer, and the full version of the Mad Wizard features over 120 screens of varied terrain to explore, many different enemy types and boss fights. Unlike Star Versus, The Mad Wizard has been tested to work on PAL machines, and this one also costs $40 at retroUSB. Merely for the sake of better compatibility, I would recommend it highly, but I urge you to try the demo version out first. Having been able to test it as a demo, I can say it really is a good game, so buying it might not be so utterly and completely out of the question.


3. Study Hall (2014, KHAN Games/retroUSB)

Our final NES title for this bunch is also only fully available as a real cartridge, but there is a four-stage demo version you can try out at retroUSB. The price tag for Study Hall is surprisingly low at $33, so you might think it's a cheap game.

Well, in a way, it is, but KHAN Games have really taken the cheapness factor to its full swing, and made it Study Hall's biggest strength. The game plays pretty much like an altered version of Donkey Kong Jr., but looks more like Crayon Physics, if anything, because the basic style is based on pencil-doodle graphics kids draw in their notebooks in school. But the animations are very nice to look at, and as the game progresses, more little details are drawn onto the pages. Also, for all us 80's fans, the game has a brilliantly executed soundtrack, filled with familiar 80's tunes, such as "Don't You Forget About Me" (a reference to Breakfast Club, perhaps?), "Time After Time" and "Sledgehammer". The full version even features a separate soundtrack section (80's Radio), which is a nice extra.

If you happen to be lucky enough to live in an area where the postage costs are not stupidly high, as they are here for orders from North America, and you're an NES fanatic, you should definitely buy at least one of these games featured here, because it is a small wonder - and highly commendable - that this sort of thing is still happening, and it should definitely be supported as much as possible... within reason, of course.

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COMMODORE 16 & PLUS/4


For the last two featured machine types, I have only been able to find two games even nearly fitting the bill here, although there have certainly been new games released for these. Most of the new releases just happen to be either remakes or demakes of games from other machines, or new conversions of games that hadn't been converted back in the day.


1. MOS: Majesty of Sprites (2015, Bauknecht/Psytronik Software) - PLUS/4

While this game is still waiting for its actual physical release through Psytronik, for all you cheapskates out there, it should be noted that it was already released as freeware in August. Still, I can safely say that for any Plus/4 owner, this is definitely a must-buy, because it's quite literally one of the best platformers that has ever come out for the machine so far, and I know you want to support such fine work by giving something back to the developers.

There are certain elements in MOS that are clearly loaned from Super Mario Bros and its clones, but the basic premise of the game is more particular for this game. The main goal is to reach the end of the game and rescue your sister, so obviously there is no two-player mode available here. Also, in every level, you must collect a certain number of hearts before the door to the next level is opened. Like in Super Mario and Giana Sisters, there is a midway checkpoint in each level, but in MOS, it is an actual gateway, which you have to activate, like in Giana's original sequel, Hard 'n Heavy. You also have some sort of balls for your weapon, but here, you can only carry nine of them at a time, and you can collect them from item bricks, similarly to coins or diamonds and bonus items in Super Mario and Giana Sisters. The game's approach to a world and style structure is closer to Mayhem in Monsterland, but with less depth, although the depthful bit is in the size and structures of the levels: in MOS, the screen scrolls vertically and horizontally. That said, the scrolling in MOS is the only thing that I'm not too crazy about, since it flips the screen half its height when moving vertically, and about 1/4 of its width when moving horizontally, and the game pauses for a notable fraction of a second when the screen flips.

From what can be gathered from the game's Plus/4 World page, MOS has 13 levels to play through, with plenty of wonderful things to look at that I have not seen on a Plus/4 game before (though my experience with the machine is admittedly a bit wanting), and having so far gotten to the sixth level (3-2), I can safely say that the level design is very nice as well. The music is great, too, and there is plenty of it to be heard, because each new world has its own theme, in addition to the loading bits and the title screen. All this greatness comes with a small price, though - it is only available on disk, and the game loads between every level, but as I said, it is a small price. While Majesty of Sprites is by no means a properly unique game, it has its very own sort of charm, and it is a Commodore Plus/4 exclusive.


2. Dork Dave and the Dirty Trick (2015, Mika Keränen) - C16

A Finnish programmer that I hadn't heard of took my notice when browsing through Plus/4 World's archives a couple of months ago. Two games from Mika Keränen can be found from the website's archive, Dork Dave being his newest entry.

There's not too much I can write about Dork Dave and the Dirty Trick, simply because I couldn't get too far in it. But for a very simple and regular-feeling side-scrolling platformer, Dork Dave feels like a proper achievement on the humble C16. It has smooth scrolling, even parallax scrolling, plenty of colours and sprites that don't blink. It also features a bit of humour that is always welcome in almost any sort of game, as it makes fun of the whole Super Mario Bros. school of building a storyline in a platformer. You have to save the stupid princess again, and she's always in another castle. Like a proper early 80's platformer would, it has disappearing floors, pits you can fall into, difficult to reach collectables and a few impossible enemy encounters, and it doesn't really help much that Dork Dave moves with a slightly irritating inertia. All of this is spiced up with a parodic rendition of the first sequence of the Giana Sisters theme tune, making this game feel like the flipside of the same coin with MOS on the other. I'm not sure if I could count this as anything even remotely unique, but Dork Dave certainly gives its own unique twist in the age-old genre, and as a C16 exclusive, it's highly recommendable - particularly if you're a C16 fan.

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ATARI 8-BIT COMPUTERS


Finally, let's take a look at a couple of 8-bit Atari titles that hadn't been finished in time for my previous UG: Afterlife article, but I knew about them at the time. Unfortunately, I don't think there really was anything quite as interesting worth mentioning from 2015, so we shall have to do with these two.


1. RGB (2014, MPG Productions)

First, we have a very colourful little thing here, which seems at first like a fairly simple colour-based shooter/platform/puzzle game. It also kind of looks more like a C64 game than an Atari game, but there are more colours here than you would usually find in a C64 game, and the colour-shift effects are definitely more Atari-based. In addition to that, the game's soundtrack is also very SID-like, which in my books is not a bad thing at all. But is it unique?

I honestly cannot tell. It feels so familiar in many ways, but I don't think I have ever seen these gameplay elements combined in such a way. The idea is to get rid of all the droids in each of the game's rather unfortunate amount of merely 8 levels, but you have to be wearing the same colour as the droid(s) you are about to eliminate, and you have to finish each level within a given time limit. For a change, the time limit is what makes the game challenging in a good way, because otherwise, the droids offer no particular challenge. Some of them shoot faster bullets and more often, but never at an impossible rate. Your colour can be changed to either red, green or blue, but some droids can be even yellow - you have to change their colour as well as yours in order to be able to destroy them. Your colour can be changed by using some sort of colour-altering stations, or by collecting colour items - the ones that have no letter inside them. The ones with letters within contain bonuses, such as energy refills and brief invincibility modes.

If you're worried about the game's longevity, RGB has two difficulty modes, which should offer enough of challenge for a while. That said, it could still do with more levels, and if nothing else, a level editor would be more than welcome, since the concept is still simple enough to make a level editor a good addition to RGB. Let's hope MPG Productions will do one, or perhaps even a sequel. Conversions for other machines wouldn't be unwelcome either.


2. The Great Return of the Penguins (2014, Silly Venture)

Second, and thereby the last, we have something even more familiar. This is basically just another variation on the gametype most likely started by Nintendo's Game & Watch title "Manhole" in 1981, but Penguins definitely has its own particular twist.

Your mission is to help a certain number of penguins from one igloo to another through their predefined routes. Every level has at least two different routes the penguins march through, and each route has a number of holes in the ice that you can close for a few seconds by pushing the joystick in the direction instructed above each hole. Pushing the fire button will launch another penguin from a randomly selected igloo that the penguins start moving from, although sometimes, they start marching on their own accord. If nothing else, the next penguin starts automatically once the previous has reached its destination. There is also a time limit, as there usually is in these sorts of games, and you must have the necessary amount of penguins in their destination before the time is out.

Visually and sonically, The Great Return of the Penguins isn't anything particularly special, but it does have a certain charm that games of a certain age usually do - this feels mostly like an Amstrad game from 1985-86. Also, I cannot help but feel that this game was inspired by Luc Jacquet's 2005 movie "March of the Penguins", at least indirectly. Penguins are always cute, so must The Great Return of them be. It's not unique, but at least it's a fun and challenging game to play, and definitely an exclusive one for the 8-bit Atari.

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There are also some new productions for machines like the Sega 8-bits and 16-bits, Super Nintendo, MSX, and even some less known machines like Tangerine Oric-1/Atmos and TI-99/4A, but so many of them are ports of flash games, conversions of games from other machines, or just slightly edited games known better as other titles, which makes it insanely difficult to get all the necessary information gathered for the proper sort of exposure. I don't want to write about "new" games that I feel I've seen before, but I just don't know where or under what title. Flash games and other indie games are too difficult to trace down, if there is no proper information in the game conversions themselves, and I have noticed that often some websites tend to treat these sorts of games as originals - even exclusives for whatever machine they happen to be on.

Of course, the above list of 16 games is pretty much just the icing on the cake, as there are plenty of other games well worth trying out, if you care to do some digging. Good places to start digging would be the Commodore Scene Database, World of Spectrum forums and this little website listing recent Spectrum games that haven't been updated for the WoS archives yet, CPC-Power, TI Game Shelf, the AtariAge forum, MSXblue-dev, and the homebrew section at NESworld. New games on old machines are not so uncommon anymore, and often they seem to have more commercial potential than you would think. The retro scene is particularly alive and well right now, as there are so many flash games and indie titles being demade and old games from old platforms being finally converted for machines that didn't have official ports back in the day.

Perhaps I shall do an article on that sort of stuff later on, but for now, that's it for today. Feel free to give a shout out to some more new retrogames if you feel like there's something you like, but hasn't yet had the exposure they might deserve. Other comments are welcome too, as usual. Until next time, then...

10 comments:

  1. Glad you like Space Pest Control!

    I mostly agree with the problems you have mentioned in the post. The game was put together in a very short period of time in order to enter the CPC Retro Dev competition and because of that it is short and not as fun as it could be.

    Hopefully at some point in 2016 I'll release a revamped and much improved version of the game.

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    1. Hey, thanks for the comment - always great to hear from the developers themselves! :) Looking forward to the revamped version, and more great games in the future! ;)

      Delete
  2. Hey, thanks for the great review of MAH! I'm gonna share it on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/541M0) ;)
    Regarding the closing sentence: I've started working on QUOD INIT EXIT II (sneak peek video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZgkkQjeQv8), but what will come out of it is still unknown...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Saimo! Thanks for the comment, and even more thanks for the great work you're doing for the C64 community - great stuff! Looking very much forward to QIE2, I've been following the dev thread at Lemon64 every now and then. =)

      Delete
    2. Hi there, I don't know if you kept on following the thread on Lemon64, but I remembered about this and I thought I'd better let you know that QUOD INIT EXIT IIm is out now ;)
      If you feel like, have a look at http://www.retream.com/QUOD_INIT_EXIT_IIm

      Delete
    3. Hey, yeah - I already got the game and tried it out briefly, but I'll give it more time after I've finished with the blog for this season. Seemed like a great little platformer, though; well done! =)

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  4. Really it a great game machine, with more inbuilt games.
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