Category Archives: Platformer

Nightkeep (demo)

Nightkeep is, well, as its indiegogo page puts it: “an action RPG platformer inspired by such classics as Castlevania Bloodlines, Demon’s crest and a variety of JRPGs” – yes, please. Ture, it’s yet another retro-style game wearing its influences strongly on its sleeves, but the demo here is polished enough in its own right that Nightkeep looks to be shaping up to serve an interesting mixture of platforming action.

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The Lost Cover Disks: Electro Man

Welcome to a new featurette – a more in-depth series of retrospectives where we dig up old coverdisk games from our dusty basement and take a look at these forgotten heroes of digital history. And of course- their modern legacy and remakes. Remember Titus the Fox, Cosmo the Alien, or Baron Baldric? No? You soon will! Welcome to The Lost Cover Disks.

In a world… where everything is full of empty polish factories and teleport puzzles… In a world… where upgrades were not always upgrades… In a world.. where you kind of look like Robocop but not really… An Electro Man will rise. But then also die in one hit.

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That’s the basic premise behind Electro Man, an early 90’s shareware game that littered many obscure coverdisks of the day. The awesome graphics belied the mediocre gameplay, enough so that the game was relatively well-respected at the time. As it turns out, the hindsight of nostalgia doesn’t hold up so well, however.

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[Freeware] Mariovania

Let’s face it, Bowser is horribly incompetent. The number of times his plans for world domination have been thwarted by a overweight plumber from Brooklyn should be enough of a signal to call it quits. But what if Bowser… teamed up with Dracula? That is very the question Mariovania answers.

Die, Bowser! You don’t belong in this world! Not quite the same ring to it, but just go with it.

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Actually, considering Drac’s similarly lacklustre record, actually, probably not a whole lot would be different. But the combination of Mario platforming and Castlevania stlye exploration works surprisingly well.

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The Lost Coverdisks: Titus the Fox

Welcome to the Lost Coverdisks…! A feature where we dig through those old weird games found on the gaming mag coverdisks, in obscure shareware bargain bins, or just long forgotten 90’s retro games. Join us each month(?) as we sample a different slice of history and check up on its modern ports and remakes.

This time around we take a look at Titus the Fox – a game I discovered on the PC Format #7 coverdisk way back.

Titus the Fox is a classic platformer released in 1992 by Titus Interactive, finding a home on the good old Amiga, as well as the Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, and DOS. It starred the titular fox engaging in the popular pastime of 90s platforming characters – rescuing his girlfriend from the clutches of some faceless jerk.

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Hardware limitations, for all their setbacks, helped to push developers to come up with innovative and sometimes insane tricks and workarounds, and sometimes just plain make the game so fun, innovative or well-designed that you’ll play it – even if it was in cyan and magenta.

Titus the Fox is not one of those games.

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[Freeware] Sinnerman

I’m not sure which sin(s) Sinnerman gets his name from, but at least one of them is sloth. He certainly moves about as fast as a particularly arthritic sloth, at least. I desperately wanted to like Sinnerman, but after half a dozen deaths I couldn’t handle repeating the cycle again. If the game speeds up this one caveat though, it’d be a dangerous contender for my time.

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Sample Action Game 01

With a name like Sample Action Game 01, expectations aren’t exactly going to be high, but where it lacks in the creative naming department, Action Game 01 more than delivers in terms of actual game. There’s not just a completely full freeware game to be found here, no, there’s oh so so much more.

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Battle Princess Madelyn

Despite Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts being a classic example of the platforming arcade genre, we haven’t seen a whole lot of new retro-style imitations of out there. There have been other attempts, of course, but Battle Princess Madelyn is probably the first real notable one, oozing style and substance. The game feels like G’n’G, if a late Playstation-era developer picked it up – adding some more RPG-esque plot and adventure, and of course, a cute magical animal mascot.

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[Freeware] A Man’s Quest

As kids I think we wanted to climb pretty much everything – climbing to some arbitrary high point was an important status symbol for 10 year olds. Perhaps, indeed, an important rite of passage to becoming a man. So it would make sense why A Man’s Quest stars a little boy seeking to find the coolest, highest thing to climb.

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Another precision platformer but by no means frustrating – A Man’s Quest is light on pain and big on heart.

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[Freeware] Nutty Dimension

A more arcade orientated 8bit metroidvania of sorts, Nutty Dimension didn’t contain any nuts, but plenty of machine guns, magic wands and mermaid photographers. And, really, isn’t that what computer gaming is all about?

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As the developer puts it, “Conrad allen now starts the adventure to steal lianhein, with his bizarre girl friend who has the world’s strangest fetish.”

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[Freeware] New Retro Vault – Street Fighter x Mega Man

A lot of big name games companies get flak for shutting down otherwise impressive fan projects. Once ever so often however, a fan game manages to avoid the DCMA banhammer and get official endorsement. Street Fighter x Megaman is one such fan game.

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Coming out in 2012, it’s surprising how something both so retro-orientated and high profile could pass us by all these years, but sometimes that’s the joy of the internet. This indeed exists, and you can download it right now. And it doesn’t cost a cent.

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