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.”


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


  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    PICO-8 is fun times. It’s absurdly limited really, but that’s part of the whole thing.

    I really should get round to finishing my Dragon Warrior ripoff for that thing.

  2. Suits says:

    Spelunky is one of my all time favorites, but this looks rather boring. I’d rather have quality over quantity.

    • Targaff says:

      I’m very much on the fence about the whole thing, but am willing to look at it as a collection of game pitches that happen to be complete and might be the genesis of another “improved version” game as happened with Spelunky.

    • BooleanBob says:

      That many games is a bit intimidating, isn’t it? Seems less like leisure time and more like an obligation to sift.

  3. Syrion says:

    Just two weeks ago I had an NES-evening with a friend, going through 8 years of NES in a few hours, trying to play everything that was remotely good together. This seems to mirror that exact same experience, especially with the variety of genres.

    What surprised me most were the simple, fun sports games the NES had, with games such as Blades of Steel, Nintendo World Cup and Super Dodge Ball. I’d really like something similar on the PC so it’s cool to see they also made a few of those. I’m really curious, hope they turn out good!

  4. Lurid says:

    It needs a cheetahmen tribute.

  5. Catchcart says:

    I wonder if each game will be labelled with who did what or if it’s simply going to appear as a collective effort. If it’s the latter I guess it’s the perfect way for Yu to work on something new with zero pressure and expectation. I mean, making the Best Game would make most people feel a little pressured about following it up.