After a period of… let’s call it “dormancy”, standalone, non-freemium puzzle games are very much alive and well, and I am 100% here for it.
Petal Crash, a Game Boy Colour-inspired puzzler from Friend & Fairy, published by Freedom Planet creators Galaxy Trail, is a fine example. Featuring gorgeous visuals inspired by 8-bit handhelds and a fantastic chiptune soundtrack — plus excellent gameplay — I was immediately smitten with it when I wrote about it.
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 Planetdeveloper Galaxy Trail. Let’s take a closer look!