There’s been a quiet revolution happening in gaming over the course of the last year or so. You won’t read much about it in the mainstream games press, for a variety of reasons, but it’s absolutely been happening.
I’m talking about the growing acceptance of games with adult content on home console platforms. More specifically, Nintendo’s seeming willingness to embrace this side of things considerably more than either of its key rivals in the console business — particularly Sony, who have been notoriously heavy- handed with what content they will and won’t allow on their platforms in the last few years.
While we’re still a way off getting fully uncensored, sexually explicit eroge on the Switch, we can at least enjoy games with a cheeky sense of sexuality and eroticism about them on Switch. And, as I type this, the latest game that falls into this category is Eastasiasoft’s port of the excellent Crawlco Block Knockers by Cosmi Kankei. Let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Crawlco Block Knockers: Getting Lewd on the Switch
As we’ve seen a few times already, the Mega Cat Studios Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming platform contains some great examples of new games written for classic platforms.
A favourite of many players is Old Towers, another game from the Russian collective RetroSouls, who specialise in high-quality short-form games for old-school systems ranging from the ZX Spectrum to the Sega Mega Drive. Old Towers has appeared on a couple of different formats, but the one found on the Evercade cart is the original Mega Drive version.
Grab your popcorn and get ready for some brain-bending puzzle action, then — it’s time to climb the Old Towers.
Continue reading Old Towers: Up and Down and Side to Side
It’s fair to say that the PC Engine is primarily known for its huge collection of shoot ’em ups today, but that’s not all that the diminutive wonder-platform was good at.
And, pleasingly, Konami’s excellent PC Engine Mini console features a wide variety of these “other” games alongside some classic shmups, in both the localised Turbografx-16 and unlocalised Japanese PC Engine titles in its on-board collection.
One such example is Chew Man Fu, also known as Be Ball in Japan. This is a solid puzzler from 1990, developed by Now Production and published by Hudson Soft and NEC, and has been a real highlight of the platform’s library for me since I played it for the first time. So let’s take a closer look. And be warned, I’m going to use the word “balls” a lot of times in this article, so you’re just going to have to deal with it like a mature adult.
Continue reading Chew Man Fu: Balls to the Wall
One of the things I miss the most about eras of gaming gone by is the way that different platforms had their own distinct capabilities — and, by extension, their own distinctive look and feel for their software.
On the flip side, one of the things I enjoy the most about gaming today is the fact that a lot of developers are very keen to pay tribute and homage to these platforms of the past while incorporating modern design philosophies. In many ways, this idea of “enhanced retro” gives us the best of both worlds — the comfort of a classic platform’s familiar aesthetic, coupled with all the things developers and players alike have learned over the course of gaming’s history.
A great example of this at work is Petal Crash, a new puzzle game from Friend & Fairy, published by Freedom Planet developer Galaxy Trail. Let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Petal Crash: Like the Game Boy Colour Never Left
As we’ve seen a number of times already at this point, Blaze’s Evercade retro gaming platform is home to a wide variety of obscure titles that many people probably haven’t played — and which certainly haven’t been rereleased many times over the years.
Some great examples can be found on the two Interplay Collection cartridges, which include not only games that are associated with Interplay themselves, but also titles hailing from developers that subsequently ended up under the Interplay umbrella.
Interplay Collection 2, for example, plays host to a rather entertaining puzzle game featuring small, round, furry creatures. Let’s take a closer look at The Brainies, also known in some territories as Tiny Skweeks or The Tinies.
Continue reading The Brainies: Furry Balls
How do you improve on a classic formula? It’s a question many artists have explored over the years, and an easy answer for a lot of them seems to be “add more stuff”.
Atari’s Breakout is an immensely influential game, which subsequently begat Taito’s wonderful Arkanoid and all manner of other imitators from over the years.
French developer Titus Interactive observed that most Breakout clones over the years stuck rigidly to the “paddle at the bottom, single screen of blocks” formula. So in 1988, they set out to make something a bit different. The result was Titan, a title that has been newly resurrected for modern audiences thanks to the Interplay Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming system.
Continue reading Titan: Break Out, In and All Around
Have you found it difficult to get together with friends lately, perhaps due to a global virus pandemic? Are you missing the joy of cooperating with your fellow dudes, and open to an electronic surrogate? Then do I have the game for you.
Multidude is a short puzzle adventure by Russian developer RetroSouls. It was originally released for ZX Spectrum in 2014, then subsequently ported to NES the following year, at which point it was picked up by Mega Cat Studios for a packaged release.
It’s also part of the Mega Cat Studios Collection 1 for the Evercade retro gaming system, and that’s the version we’ll be looking at today. Bring on the dudes!
Continue reading Multidude: One-Player Co-Op
At the time of writing, a new independently developed game called “Helltaker” is all over social media, with all sorts of people sharing screenshots and fanart.
With that in mind, I decided to give it a look for myself. Turns out it’s a free download for PC, available via Steam. As such, there’s absolutely no risk involved in trying it out at the very least — and if you like it, you have a cool thing to add to your library; if, on the other hand, it’s not for you, you haven’t lost anything.
What did I think? Hmm, mixed feelings if I’m perfectly honest; let’s explore all that a little further, then.
Continue reading Helltaker: Hell is Sliding Block Puzzles
Boulder Dash is an all-time classic game from the early microcomputer era.
First releasing on Atari 8-bit computers in 1984, it has enjoyed numerous ports, sequels, spinoffs and unofficial level packs for a wide variety of platforms, with the latest at the time of writing being the Nintendo Switch release of Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary. The official website has a nicely comprehensive history for you to enjoy at your leisure.
The astute among you will note that there are more than 30 years between 1984 and 2020. That’s because this port in particular also goes back a few years, too. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary: The Rockford Files
2001’s Gunbarich was one of Psikyo’s last games before they merged with X-Nauts in 2002 — and the last title in the Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo collection for Nintendo Switch.
It wasn’t one of their last shoot ’em ups, however, because despite technically being part of the Gunbird series in the loosest possible sense (it has the word “Gun” in the title and also features a cutesified version of recurring Gunbird mascot character Marion the witch) it’s not actually a shoot ’em up at all.
Nope; Gunbarich represents Psikyo turning its hand to that most venerable of genres: the ol’ bat and ball. Let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Gunbarich: It’s Flippin’ Psikyonoid