Here’s something to coo at if you like your art done in thousands of tiny squares. Narita Boy [official site] is a game-in-progress where the hero flies a floppy disk as a hoverboard and rides a horse made out of old computers while slashing at red foes with a techno sword. He’s stuck inside the computer dimension, you see, in a quest to save it from some red-coloured badthings known as the Stallions. But to understand any of that, you really need to see it in motion, which you can do below.
It’s described as “classic 2D scroller action” with inspirations like Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery and 80s movies like The Last Starfighter. The Spain-based Studio Koba has brought its pixelly promise to Kickstarter asking for €120,000. If you’ve noticed the Japanese aura surrounding it (how could you not?) it might have something to do with lead designer and artist Eduardo Fornieles living in Japan for three years.
“The idea of ‘Narita Boy’ came in the 2016 spring, while living in Tokyo,” he says on the Kickstarter. “I had just left Friend & Foe where I contributed to the development of Vane (PS4) and was looking for an idea for my own game. I had a stroke and started to insanely work on the characters and the backgrounds of the universe that was growing on my mind.”
That’s certainly one way to respond to a stroke! [EDIT: It turns out the writer means a “stroke” of an idea, which is a relief as it is far less serious] The story behind your sword-slashing hero is classic 80s techno-magicalism. A man called Lionel Pearl has invented the Narita personal computer and its popular videogame Narita Boy. But now you, modern 1980s teenager, have been sucked into the game to save its denizens from HIM, the leader of a band of wreckers called the Stallions. There are upgrades, RPG bits, vehicle sections, “time and dimension jump mechanics” and obligatory neon wireframes panning away into the distance.
They’re aiming for a December 2018 release.