Posts from ‘Remakes’ Category

Robotz DX

By: Derek Yu

On: July 22nd, 2010

Robotz DX - James Monkman

James “Heavy Stylus” Monkman might be best known for RGCD, the downloadable disc magazine about retro games, but it looks as though he’s got a future in retro game development as well! Monkman’s Robotz DX is a reboot of an old Atari ST game called Robotz. Even though DX borrows a lot from the original game, including some of the graphics, it’s not a straight remake – many of the mechanics have been changed to make the game more fast-paced and less annoying, and the levels have been built from scratch to take advantage of these changes.

The game features 30 levels, and the goal for each level is to destroy all of the enemies within the time limit. There are two basic types of enemies: daleks, which come in various flavors and are protected by shield emitters, and swarmers, which produce mobile bombs at regular intervals. In each level, the placement of the enemies, shield emitters, and destructible walls is random, which makes replays more interesting but can be frustrating due to how much the randomization can affect the difficulty. Thankfully, the player very generously receives an extra man every 5,000 points, so with smart play it’s possible to build a comfortable buffer for those unlucky draws.

I don’t know much about the original Robotz, but I’m enjoying Monkman’s reboot quite a bit.

TIGdb: Entry for Robotz DX

NES Love

By: Derek Yu

On: February 22nd, 2010

This is kind of amazing: homebrew developer Sivak has just released Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril, a new NES (actual NES) Metroidvania that’s inspired by Kayin’s I Wanna Be the Guy and NES classics like Mega Man. It features 550 rooms, 30+ enemy types, and 8 bosses. There are 5 difficulty settings and a password system, too.

The cartridge, which is region-free and works on clone systems, can be purchased for $27. It comes with a full-color instruction manual and black dust sleeve.

Sivak has released a few other homebrew NES carts, I believe, although the only one I could find was Mystic Pillars, a Columns-like. Here’s a short interview that Screw Attack did with him earlier this month about Battle Kid.

(Thanks, Luke!)

Speaking of Mega Man, Cutman Mike (I really like that name!) is working on an FPS deathmatch based on the venerable Capcom series. Mega Man 8-bit Deathmatch, which is being made using the Skulltag engine, will let you play as every single Robot Master from Mega Man 1 through 6 (48 in total) and use all of their abilities (Mega Man himself is also a playable character)! The game will be released some time in 2010 as a free standalone title.

(Source: Duncan Bell, via Twitter)

P.S. This reminds me of Mega Man 2.5D, another fan game that’s based on Mega Man 2. That game is also planned for a 2010 release.


By: fuzz

On: January 29th, 2010


Gnop is a clever reinvention of the similarly named arcade classic, in which the player’s role is inversed. Instead of playing as the traditional Ping-Pong paddle, here you play as the ball. Since the game is so short, not a great many applications of this gameplay mechanic are explored, but what is here makes for a surprisingly fun and challenging game. To account for the ball’s horizontal movement, Bit Battalion has moved the game space from a single room to a collection of interconnected rooms that can be progressed through by consistently avoiding the right paddle. In each room, a different strategy must be used in order to continue successfully. Any description of these puzzles would prove to be a bit spoilerish, so do go and play the game yourself. It’s very much worth the five minutes it takes to complete.

Play Gnop in your web browser here.

Retro Remakes 2008 Competition

By: Derek Yu

On: September 8th, 2008

Retro Remakes

I forgot to mention, Retro Remakes is having a MEGA competition, with six categories you can enter, and a slew of sumptuous prizes for each category! Of course, the real reason you should enter is for the glory of gamedev… or to do something good for children with disabilities by entering the “Games For Helen” competition (and developing one-switch or eye-tracking games). Either way, this one looks to be a blast. The submission deadline is December 6th.

By the way, I’ve added an “EventRoll” to the sidebar to keep track of the various competitions and events going on in the independent gaming community. Feel free to make suggestions.

Droid Assault

By: Derek Yu

On: May 7th, 2008

Droid Assault

Droid Assault is a new action game from Puppygames. Just as Titan Attacks was a “Puppified” version of Space Invaders, and Ultratron a Puppified Robotron, Droid Assault is Paradroid given the Puppy treatment.

In Paradroid, players controlled an “Influence Device,” an otherwise weak droid with a very special ability – it could control and command droids after beating them in a logic-based circuit game. Droid Assault eschews this mini-game and lets you “transfer” to a droid so long as you have enough transfer points (obtained per 1000 score points). Also, once a droid has been transferred, it joins your team and can be controlled at any time (or when your current droid is blown up).

Longtime Paradroid fans may find this a bit off-putting, since the circuit mini-game was a big part of Paradroid (and allowed skilled players to take over even the mighty level 999 droid with a lowly Influence Device). However, Droid Assault is clearly built for speed and action, and as such it’s a highly enjoyable game with frantic action. The graphics and music are also ace, as we should come to expect from Caspian Prince and his team.

If I had any complaint, its that it’s occasionally difficult to discern blocks, pits, walls, and floors. Other than that, I’d highly recommend this very affordable ($10) little game. (And give Freedroid a try if you’d like to play the original!)

Voxelstein 3d (v0.1)

By: Derek Yu

On: April 19th, 2008

Voxelstein 3d

A developer known only as “Volumetric Pixel” has released Voxelstein 3d, a single level alpha release of his Wolfenstein 3d-inspired first person shooter. The game is built using Ken Silverman’s open source Voxlap engine. In case you haven’t guessed, it renders graphics using VOXELS (cubes) rather than flat polygons.

Voxelstein 3d is moderately entertaining as a tech demo and nice to look at, in an ugly sort of way. I definitely appreciate the way you can (and must) deform the walls, as you make your escape from the Nazi villa. But unfortunately, moving around in this voxel world feels very disorienting for me, and the combat is also less than satisfying (the eyes popping out is a nice touch, though).

It’s short, it’s voxelated, its Wolfenstein-ish! I’m interested in seeing if/how the game develops.

(Thanks, MisterX!)

Return to Dark Castle

By: Derek Yu

On: April 2nd, 2008

Return to Dark Castle

Z Sculpt has finally released Return to Dark Castle for Mac OSX, after a long development that began in 1996! Wow! That gives me hope for Duke Nukem Forever. (I’ll wait until the year 3000, Duke!)

The original Dark Castle, and its sequel, Beyond Dark Castle, were developed for the Macintosh by Silicon Beach Software, and were subsequently ported to other platforms (including a terrible Sega Genesis/Megadrive port). Return to Dark Castle retains the gameplay from the first two games, and adds a lot more stuff, including “remastered” versions of the 30 levels from the original games. A level editor is also forthcoming.

I had a great time with the DOS version of Dark Castle as a kid. Damn was that game hard. To hit a bat with a rock you needed some skills, dawg. And I’ll never forget the three prisoners getting whipped in the torture chamber, and how they’d help you pick the key that wasn’t booby trapped.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a Mac, but Benzido, who tipped me off about the game, does, and he had this to say:

Anyway, I bought it, and it’s extremely compelling. I’m into the 15 fps cap… it gives everything a film-like feel, like the stop-motion sequences in Star Wars.

Thanks, man! The full game is $30.

Multiplayer on One Keyboard 3: Sonic Speedsters

By: Jordan Magnuson

On: March 4th, 2008


After some of the reaction to my Tremor post I feel the need for some sort of disclaimer here: this is part of my series on independent same-machine multiplayer games, and is not “news.” This is for those of you out there who enjoy playing multiplayer games on one keyboard, and haven’t yet tried this one.

Sonic Speedsters, created by Shorty Short Productions a while back, is essentially a glorified version of Tron’s Light Cycles game. If you’re not familiar with that game, the basic idea is that you control a futuristic “cycle” as it speeds around an arena trying to stay alive while knocking off opponent cycles. Each cycle leaves a long trails of “light” behind it as it moves, and these trails are deadly to other cycles, as are the arena’s walls.

You’ve probably played Tron, or some spin-off, but there are a few reasons that you should check out Sonic Speedsters none the less. Most of these boil down to the fact that the game is just FUN; it works, it’s done right. There are a number of cycles to choose from, and each is customizable, allowing you to configure for speed, acceleration, or maneuverability. The game supports single player “instant action” and campaign mode, as well as multiplayer LAN, internet (though you might not be able to find a game), and same keyboard play. The single player modes are fun enough, but the game’s multiplayer on one keyboard split screen action is just brilliant.

One of the best things about the game is the level of customization available. Besides customizing your cycles, you can choose between a number of settings regarding the deadliness of the light trails, and automatic turning and whatnot, making the game nicely scalable as you get better—and believe me, the better you get, and the harder you turn the settings up, the more fun the game is. The game also features custom resolution settings (a very good decision, as it allows the game to look good on my 22-inch monitor, years after its release), and a few different camera selections (playing the game from the “cockpit” view is a real blast once you get your feet wet). A variety of weapons, speed boosters and the like are of course available. The game’s feeling of chocolate coated speed is one of the best things about it.

Unfortunately the demo is no longer available on the official website, but I believe that it was released as freely distributable, so I’ve gone ahead and uploaded it here. The demo only gives you access to instant action play, but if you feel like trying out the full game, it only costs $15, and comes with a 60 day unconditional money back guarantee.

Sonic Speedsters
Players on One Keyboard: 1-2
Demo: here (7.8 MB)
Purchase: here ($15, unconditional 60 day money back guarantee)

Sonic Speedsters Split Screen

Chrono Resurrection Video

By: Derek Yu

On: February 21st, 2008

New video of the abandoned fan project Chrono Resurrection, made by one of its creators. CR received a cease-and-desist from Square-Enix a few years ago, much to the dismay of fans.

I actually can’t view the video right now because I’m posting from Matthew Wegner’s brand new laptop (no plugins installed). Let me know how it is!

(Source: Mike Fahey, via Kotaku)

Atomic Cannon

By: Derek Yu

On: December 16th, 2007

Atomic Cannon

Man, I am a huge fan of Wendell Hicken’s classic tank game, Scorched Earth (which you can download here). I’m waiting for a true remake/sequel of this game that isn’t in 3d (nothing against 3d, mind, you, it’s just not the same). Something akin to what Pac-Man Championship Edition did for Pac-Man.

In the meantime, Atomic Cannon will satisfy. It’s definitely missing some of the spirit that made the original game so great, but injects some of its own. I miss my Funky Bombs, MIRVs, and Mag Shields, but the ability to build sandbags, drop automated sentries, and use any of the other new weapons definitely makes up for it. The added customization, various game modes (including network play), and much-improved controls (mouse and/or keyboard) are welcome sights, as well.

The graphics are kind of a hit-or-miss for me. It’s a mish-mash of realistic textures that are obviously lacking the kind of thought put into, say, Cortex Command‘s terrain design. On the other hand, I really like the smoke trails, visual distortion, and other special effects that they used – stuff that wasn’t possible when Scorch came out.

As you can see, I’m of two minds about this game… mostly because I have this idea about what the perfect Scorch sequel would be (I’m sure that’s familiar to a lot of you), and this isn’t it. But the bottom line is that this version is pretty darn fun… fun enough that I might just treat myself to the full game ($20)!