New Retro Games? What is it?
This blog aims to be a source for news and info on ‘new retro games’ – that is, modern games that were made with a retro feel. Also referred to as ‘modern retro games’ or ‘new school old school games’ and other variations – I don’t think there is an ‘official’ term. Whatever you call it, these are games that seek to capture the old school vibe of games, particularly those from the 80s and 90s.
Comments, game suggestions, etc? Or maybe you want to write and have nothing better to do than writing random articles about obscure brawlers featuring only fruit as the main characters or homebrew amiga ports about doing laundry? Drop us a line:
When? (Post Schedule)
At the moment it’s mostly spontaneous posts as new New Retro Games, News, ideas etc form in our crystal ball (some call it “a web browser”). As new ‘New Retro Games’ appear, we’ll post about them when we can. In addition to this our features include:
- Remake Roundup: covering a classic (or not so classic) and the remakes it spawned.
- New Retro Vault: covering a lesser known hidden indie gem
- New Retro News: a summary of some new retro style games being released, or new ports or remakes and the like.
So why this blog?
‘Retrogaming’ has never been bigger (according to statistics that I just made up now). There are a lot of retro game blogs and sites out there. However, retro gaming blogs, they tend to cover retro games specifically, and only by extension are New Retro Games covered. Indie-game blogs often tend to cover New Retro Games too, since indie studios are largely the ones who produce such games for various reasons. However, there don’t appear to be any blogs that solely focus on New Retro Games. On that note, I’m not trying to compete or outdo, just fill a gap for my self enjoyment, and hope others will also benefit.
Another goal of New Retro Games is to always deliver a post that actually has something to do. That is, a game to download or buy, or video to watch. Have you ever browsed your favourite blog/RSS/tattoo on your gfs back to only see amazing new games.. that are trying to be kickstarted or greenlit and may see development in 2036? Not on New Retro Games. No Kickstarter, Greenlight, distant future previews. We try our best to talk about actual games that really exist (or at least will exist very soon).
What is ‘New Retro’?
I don’t carry any absolute rules on what constitutes a New Retro Game, but aside from the obvious retro aesthetics, they often contain elements such as:
- limited colour palette (e.g. lots of pixels, mimicking “8-bit” or “16-bit” systems)
- less guidance – often part of the enjoyment comes from figuring out the game’s rules and secrets!
- encouraging exploration and experimentation
- focusing more on gameplay than sound or graphics (although these things are not mutually exclusive, so it really depends on the game).
As much as I love the old school games I grew up with, many are affected by nostalgia and rose-coloured glasses. Going back to them it’s hard to face clunky interfaces, slow slow character movement or awkward controls that artificially make the game almost impossible to beat, or terribly dated graphics (remember when FMV was cool? Me neither). Modern sensibility grants flexibilty and design choices that enhance the accessibility and enjoyment of the game (depending on how much of a purist you are). Thus I also tend to look for New Retro Games that put the New in New Retro. Such as:
- being able to save the game
- branching paths, new game+, other replayability incentives
- more responsive controls (or more forgiving controls)
- less reliance on pitch-perfect button presses
- persistent progression systems (e.g. upgrades, unlocks, bonsuses, etc)
The benefit of New Retro Games is that they can in principle provide what made retro games special, while applying some new school sensibility.
I vehemently disagree about your definition or some other thing!
I’m sure many people have strong arguments for what makes a retro game, modern-style game count as a ‘new retro game’, about what modern principles make the game better or worse, and as to what games or kinds of games would be valid on this site, etc, etc. I am am not an authority or magical wizard, so I acknowledge the previous points are highly subjective, and are only rough guidelines, not intended to be official or even formal definitions or rules.
We hope to become a definitive source for finding games that will scratch that old school itch (if it persists, you might need to call your doctor), and help you rediscover the sense of challenge and discovery that made games exciting and fresh all those years ago!