Retro Remakes Competition 2008

I HATE RETROREMAKES! Actually, I don't.

I probably should write more about Retroremakes, as they’re a wonderful source of 8-bit remakes, with a welcome slightly European spin. This is as good an opportunity as ever – they’ve just announced their Retro-Remake 2008 competition, with a deadline of December 6th. There’s six categoriescategories to consider, with overall and section-category prizes (Which adds up to over 5000 quids worth of stuff). I have a wander through the categories beneath the cut, as well as say “Well… this is what I’d do…”

Except I clearly won’t, because I’m well lazy.

Anyway – Categories:
Category 1: Retro Remakes. As in, just remaking a game. But not Arkanoid/Breakout, Asteroids, Jet-Set Willy, Pac Man, Pong ( In ANY dimension), Snake, Sokoban, Space invaders, Tetris, Time Pilot.
Category 2: Games That Weren’t. As in, games which were meant to arrive, but never actually did. Oddjob lobs up a picture of MireMare, which is a fine example, but you can be less obscure if you like.
Category 3: Sequels That Weren’t. As in sequels to a game which probably deserved one, but didn’t get one. Neatly, this lets you take the structure of an already existing game, plus its iconic flourishes, and build some extra mechanics on top of that.
Category 4: A Game For Helen. I’ll quote here: “This is especially aimed at bringing games to those who cannot play arcade type games using conventional controls due to disability.This sector of the Retro Remakes competition will be looking for entrants to create accessible updated counterparts of real or imagined arcade games from the 1920’s to date. These can include mechanical, electro-mechanical and video games. Basically – anything at all you might find in an amusement arcade through the ages.” This is, especially a good one to get involved with.
Category 5: 8 Bit Mashup. In other words, can you top ROM CHECK FAIL.
Category 6: We Like It Retro. As in, new retro games. As in, ones which could have been released in 1982, but don’t. Back in 2003 or so Paul Morley argued the White Stripes with Elephant released the best album of the year – but the year was 1967. Do that, but for games.

Frankly, you’ll be better off reading the instructions.

I’m hoping this is an enormous success, if only because Retro Remakes have set some interesting – but not insurmountable – challenges before the developers. With the time limit, keep it simple, keep it direct would be the watchwords – which, pretty much, is how the developers of the period actually did things. Nowt wrong with making a one screen game, but just make it the right screen.

So – stuff off the top of RPS-chatroom’s head…

Anything to do with CHAOS (CHAOS but with a UFO/X-COM metastructure)
Anything to do with HORACE, the least appropriate games genres imaginable. HORACE GOES… well, almost anything.
Mash-ups involving multiple early-iconic platform heroes (WILLY, MONTY MOLE, CHUCKIE-EGG) going head to head, perhaps co-op, perhaps competitive! Race to finish single screen
RICK DANGEROUS in reverse – as in, you make the death traps to kill the dip.
A sequel to GHOSTBUSTERS (Which took the structure and made it work)
Inappropriate INTERACTIVE FICTION versions of games
ALIENS UK. Though that has been remade as the lovely LV 426. For the record, this is what Bioshock 2 should rip off.
In fact, some kind of Mash-up of all of Codie’s ADVANCED NOUN SIMULATORS could be fun.

And that’ll do for now, as we’ll be here all day. What about you – brainstorm! What stuff would you like to see done?


  1. Smee says:

    Some sort of modern pop/punk version of Mixed Up Mother Goose. Mashup Mother Goose?

    link to

  2. Mooey Poo says:

    If I changed the font of the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, would that count?

  3. Rook says:

    Probably worth having a look through retrospec’s stuff if you’re wanting some good retro remakes. link to

    The head over heels remake is particularly good.

  4. parm says:

    Sentinel, for fucks sake. Fucking mega game, someone (*cough*Introversion*cough*) really needs to make a version of this with minimalist sound effects and a relentlessly oppressive style sort of like, say, a cross between Darwinia and Defcon. I think it’s long overdue a remake.

  5. James G says:

    Parm, do you remember ‘Sentinel Returns.’

    link to

    That said, even that was published ten years ago now.

  6. sparkes says:

    sentinel in flash and Emmanuel Icart’s Sentry which I believe has recently been ported to mobile phones as well.

    You can play Sentinel anywhere these days.

  7. Noc says:

    Oh, man, I had this confused in my head with that De-makes competition. And I’d already laid out a plan to make a Team Fortress Roguelike before I realized that I was doing things backwards.

    I still might figure out something, though. But I’ve this nagging fear that when the retro era was going on I was a little kid who’s mom didn’t want him playing video games all the time.

  8. Keule says:

    Can someone PLEASE remake Smash TV

  9. Pod says:

    I want to do this. I want to remake something like Cannon fodder. But I dare not touch it. It’s already as perfect as it is.

    also: I always want to redo “Walker”. No idea why.

  10. phil says:

    Rock Star Ate my Hamster set in the world of crisis capitalism? Bear Stearns Ate my Pension?

  11. brog says:

    Someone should do FLIGHTMARE.

    Pity the mashup category has to be 8-bit, because that’s the one I’m most keen to try, and the 8-bit era was just a little before my time.
    That said, one of the ideas given here has triggered in my mind something incredible that I think I’m going to have to do. You and me make a great team, Mr. RPS-Hivemind!

  12. Heliocentric says:

    what happened to the mobile version of the site? War is hell son! As is trying to read the full fat version of this site on a mobile.

  13. Alex Grose says:

    You have made a mistake Kieron! It should be ‘ROM CHECK FAIL’ not ‘ROM SET FAIL’ as you have written (or should I say typed?)

  14. Dolphan says:

    Chaos with an X-COM structure = Win.

  15. Kieron Gillen says:

    Alex: Fixed!

  16. terry says:

    X-com Chaos/Lords of Chaos cannot fail.

    Personal requests/bequests:

    Colony – Grow mushrooms! Repair fences! Repel aliens! All the fun of modern agriculture!

    Footballer of the year – Semi-RPGish foot-to-ball simulation where you can get married as a random event several times a week.

    Ant Attack FPS – Because being chased through a horrific dead city with barely any weaponry by monstrous insects builds character.

    Turbo Esprit – GTA with windowcleaners.

  17. Kieron Gillen says:

    Colony: Christ, I’d forgotten that. I loved that one.


  18. TreeFrog says:

    I thought I was the only person who remembered Colony. Awesome.

  19. TreeFrog says:

    An accurate representation of the crushing loneliness of an extraterrestrial agriculture droid, I thought. Every now and then a ship dropped off more seeds and barbed wire, but otherwise it’s just the existential horror of you and those bloody ant-things. It’s up there with Stalker for atmosphere.

  20. Funky Badger says:

    Quazatron. That is all.

  21. MeestaNob! says:

    Was cannon fodder 8 bit? I remember playing it on the 16 bit Mega Drive, but I think it came out before that on PCs.

    Still, WANT.

  22. Rich Tysoe says:

    Cannon Fodder was originally a 16-bit game, though there was a Game Boy Color version.

  23. AbyssUK says:

    hmm.. I see a remake of Chaos with Pokemon…

  24. terry says:

    According to the World of Spectrum page for Colony, it wasn’t even loved in its own time (YS: 4, Crash 45% and a decidedly average 73% from CG ). I still reckon its the best £1.99 I ever spent.

    EDIT: while the concrete hasn’t set I have a couple more

    Movie – Isometric crimesolving par excellence (or as in my case hurling abuse at suspects). The FPS detective-em-up it deserves? Nowhere.

    Cyclone – This frankly awesome helicopter game could be updated to “Global Warming Extravaganza” as you drop vital supplies to insurgents. See also: Simcopter.

    ATV Simulator – Because Trials 2 just isn’t hard enough.

  25. M. P. says:

    Having looked at the Retro Remakes website, I really can’#t take that competition seriously! Not when the computers used by the judges vary WIDELY in specifications, and in one case the judge DOESN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT VIDEO CARD HE’S GOT!!!

    I mean, with judges so clueless who’s to say that whatever game some poor guy submits will perform as he intended it, even if he tailors it to the lowest common denominator in terms of specs? What if the judge’s PC is so full of malware that the game can’t run properly?


  26. Barrie says:

    Don’t fret M.P. – things ran well last time – I’ve no doubt they will this time. If you are writing a game that is really pushing top-spec expensive hardware – then you’re cutting out huge swathes of your audience anyway – and should expect to get marked down. Especially for a Retro Remakes compo.

    I’d say – if you think you’ve got a chance of contributing something good – then give it a go!

  27. Mario Vance says: