UFO 50

A trea­sure trove of NES games that never were…

Games Master - - Contents -

The creator of Spelunky is building his own alt-his­tory, with a col­lec­tion of 50 fake retro games.

From the creator of Spelunky comes a col­lec­tion of retro minigames… ex­cept, no, they’re not Each of UFO 50’s 8-bit-styled of­fer­ings is a fully-fledged game in its own right.


The limited colour pal­ettes and chunky sprites are apt for a col­lec­tion that takes us back to the days of 100-in-one Game Boy carts and those dodgy Spec­trum tapes you could buy from car boot sales. That the 50 games on of­fer here are le­git­i­mate ti­tles, each helmed by a direc­tor with his own de­vel­op­ment his­tory (Spelunky, Down­well, Time Barons, and more), with at least an at­tempt at orig­i­nal­ity and mod­ern de­sign de­spite the ob­vi­ous in­spi­ra­tions, makes it even better.

There’s a story link­ing the games: all, it goes, were cre­ated in the ’80s by an ob­scure but ‘ahead of its time’ game stu­dio, then lost. That’s ac­tu­ally one of the better con­ceits we’ve heard, and a 32-colour pal­ette helps stop the games look­ing too dif­fer­ent, and re­in­forces the fic­tion of the for­got­ten stu­dio. The devel­op­ers say the ‘re­dis­cov­ered’ games will be “slightly smaller than com­mer­cial 8-bit ti­tles,” so don’t go ex­pect­ing Witcher-like epics, but com­plet­ing the whole lot could still take you more than 100 hours.

Depth charge

The car­toony art­work has us spec­u­lat­ing. Tanks and samu­rai make sense – but what sort of minigame in­cludes a wal­rus? For­mat PC Developer Derek Yu, Eirik Suhrke, Jon Perry, Paul Hubans, Ojiro Fu­moto Pub­lisher Moss­mouth ETA Sum­mer 2018

This colour­ful shooter in the Gra­dius/R-Type mould features a fat ship that re­minds us of Jimbo the jet plane. (What do you mean, “I wasn’t born in the 1980s”?)

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