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Spelunky creator & pals make 50 retro games in UFO 50

Five indie developers, including the creators of Spelunky and Downwell, have teamed up to make fifty retro-styled games in UFO 50 [official site]. They say they’re trying to “combine a familiar 8-bit aesthetic with new ideas and modern game design sensibilities.” Coming some time in 2018, the UFO 50 collection includes everything from platformers and beat ’em ups to strategy games and RPGs, some with cooperative or competitive multiplayer too. I certainly do fancy a grab bag of fifty new games from this neat lineup of developers.

Here, have a look at some of the games in this announcement trailer:

UFO 50 is the work of Derek Yu, Eirik Suhrke, Jon Perry, Paul Hubans, and Ojiro Fumoto. The team explain, “Each game has a director who came up with the core concept, but everyone on the team worked on games they didn’t direct and helped with art, programming, and design.”

I dig the variety of what I’m seeing. I’m reminded of buying a second-hand Sega Mega Drive with a load of games I’d never heard of and some weird compilation cartridges. I’d often load a game with no idea of what it was or how it worked. And back when genres weren’t so calcified, a game could be wildly unfamiliar. I really enjoyed that feeling of discovery — it’s why I still enjoy downloading random things off Itch — and am keen to experience it again with a collection from this lot.

“The story of UFO 50 is that the games were all created in the 80’s by a fictional company that was obscure but ahead of its time,” the gang say. “They’re all connected by a unique 32-color palette and other restrictions we decided on to make them feel more authentic.”

Splendid!

In the meantime, the browser-based imaginary console Pico 8 is fun for poking around at surprise retro games too.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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