I wasn’t able to find out anything about this game’s creator or the origin of this game, expect that it was submitted to some kind of home-brew game competition. The premise is simple, collect all the treasure on one single, static screen to complete the level. The player character can smash the blocks directly above himself by jumping up into them, a la Super Mario Bros, but can only smash blocks made from bricks, with the solid blue blocks being impossible to smash. There are items in the game which have different effects, but probably not what the average game is used to.… Read the rest

Click here to download Tofu Adventure is a new-retro freeware platformer from Studio Byp. I think. I had a look at the documentation and it did give a few specific names, but the author’s homepage seems to be offline and there is no mention of this game on Studio Byp’s homepage either, which is weird, but at least the download still exists. Tofu, a traditional Japanese staple made from bean curd, comes in little white blocks, and the hero of the game has the same shape. Here in Japan it is still possible to find Tofu shops, normally run by and ancient little old lady, or sometimes a pleasant-to-the-point-of-being-creepy middle aged man with a huge, toothy smile.… Read the rest

Sonic the Hedgehog: Chaos, known as ‘Sonic and Tails’ in Japan, is one of the final 8bit incarnations of everyone’s favorite hyperactive blue hedgehog, and the first 8bit appearance of his unassuming fox-that-flies-for-some-reason, Tails. Released in late 1993 for both the Sega Master System and the Game Gear, Sonic the Hedgehog: Chaos (or just ‘Sonic Chaos’ as it is normally called) was met with positive, yet unenthusiastic, reviews. Kind of like a hungover father, half asleep at his daughter’s ballet recital and giving her a thumbs up with one hand while using his other to cover up a yawn. Sonic Chaos is one of the easiest games I have ever played, ever.… Read the rest

Most people who grew up with a gaming console know of the Ninja Gaiden franchise. It started life as a beat em’ up arcade game which was later ported to a number of systems, most notably the Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES port changed it from a beat em’ up to a fantastically fast-paced but damn-near impossible action platformer which was very well received. There were three Ninja Gaiden games for the NES which are commonly called the “Ninja Gaiden Trilogy”, mostly due to the fact that unlike a many other action platformers of its time, the Ninja Gaiden games told a coherent and immersive story (even if the stories of all three games aren’t exactly related).… Read the rest

The first Goonies game for the Japanese Nintendo Entertainment System, simply titled Goonies, was a simple yet playable affair. It didn’t break any ground in the world of 8bit platforming action, but wasn’t a slap in the face to the genre either. For whatever reason it never saw a North American release, which is odd considering the success of the film. A little while after the release of the first Goonies game, Goonies 2 hit the shelves in Japan for the NES (or Famicon as purists like to point out) and was later released in North America, also under the title Goonies 2.… Read the rest

Jazz Jackrabbit is a 1995 side scrolling action platformer for the PC. A Mac version was also released and a re-boot was made for the Gameboy Advance in 2002. It was designed and published by Epic MegaGames who, apart from having the most awesomest name in the gaming world, also produced such classics as Jill of Jungle, One Must Fall 2097 and Unreal. In 1999 they dropped the ‘Mega’ from their name and made Gears of War. So yeah, these guys know how to make games. Jazz Jackrabbit provided PC gamers at the time with something they had been longing for; Sonic the Hedgehog.… Read the rest

Prehistorik and Prehistorik 2 are a pair of platform games released in 1991 and 1993 (respectively) for various computer systems, including MS-DOS and Amiga. They were developed by the now defunct Titus Software. The last game Titus Software put out was Xena: Warrior Princess in 2001, so it’s safe to say that they are dead and buried. While they did give us such classics The Blues Brothers, Fire and Forget II and Carmageddon, they are also the group responsible for Superman 64. I’m surprised they didn’t go out of business and face a lynch mob after that spectacular fuck-up of a game.… Read the rest

Cadash is a side-scrolling RPG released in 1991 for the Turbo Grafix and in 1992 for the Sega Genesis. It’s a console port of an arcade game of the same name which was released by Taito in 1989. It was also re-released in 2005 for the Playstation 2 as part of the Taito Legends compilation. Cadash has a high fantasy setting and the player is able to choose between a warrior and a wizard. The arcade version included a priestess and a Ninja as playable characters, because nothing screams medieval fantasy like a Ninja. On starting the game I was surprised at just how massive the character sprites are.… Read the rest

Jackie Chan’s Action Kung Fu, or just ‘Jackie Chan’ as my Japanese version reads, is a side-scrolling platformer published by Hudson Soft in 1990 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and it also made an appearance on the Turbo Graphix 16. It was developed by Now Production Co., a game development studio that started out in 1986 and, surprisingly, is still around. A little digging revealed that these were the same glorious bastards behind Adventure Island and Splatterhouse. They even worked on a couple of Sonic titles. It doesn’t seem like they are all that busy these days, but I’m impressed both by the company’s history and resilience.… Read the rest

Alex Kidd in Miracle World was developed and published by Sega before being released in 1986 on the Sega Master System. It would eventually prove to be the defining game of the Master System, until and certain blue hedgehog with a disregard for speed limits would hit the scene much later in the 90s. When the Master System 2 was released, Alex Kidd in Miracle world was actually built into the console, with no cartridge needed to play the game. Alex was designed by Reiko Kodama, who would later work on such titles as Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star, Shinobi and a host of other notable titles.… Read the rest