Retro-styled games are one of the most popular genres for indie developers, and have become a major facet of the indie market. However, so many developers tend to slip on up when it comes to this kind of design, and presents a major trap for new designers to avoid.
Alwa’s Awakening was developed with the intent of releasing a classic 8-bit title in the modern era. Unlike other modern retro games, Alwa is entirely unique in its design without referencing other games. Standing apart, the game is a good example of how old school design can still work, but it’s not without some polish issues.
Cursed Castilla is the enhanced version of the game Maldita Castilla EX and another modern take on old school platformers. Similar to Shovel Knight, the developers wanted to make a game just like classic 8-bit titles. Instead of going for an elevated take, we have essentially the spiritual sequel to one of the most infamously difficult games around.
This year marks Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th anniversary which once again makes me feel really old. Sonic has not been in the limelight for a long time, and it’s easy to forget when the great Sega vs. Nintendo console wars were on. Thinking back, it was always difficult to decide what was better: Mario or Sonic. While Mario has obviously become the winner, I like to remember what made Sonic the Hedgehog such an amazing series back in the day.