The retro gaming scene has always been interesting, but over the past five years or so, the interest has seemed to have exploded. This in part, I assume, comes from coverage from dedicated journalists and content creators like Pat the NES Punk and the Angry Video Game Nerd. Oddly enough, advances in how retro games are played on things like re-writable cartridges or clone consoles have expanded the ease of access for folks to develop for these out of production systems and play games outside of their original region. This has created a slew of interesting games created by full game development teams and one such team leading the charge is Piko Interactive.
Piko Interactive have been doing some awesome work here of late, rescuing games from history by purchasing rights from games that were never released or never saw release worldwide. Over 30 retro-style games have been released by Piko, ranging from physical releases on the Gameboy, NES, and such and digital releases on Steam, the Apple Store, and the Google Play Store. Now, while Piko have been making a bit of a name for themselves in the retro gaming community, they are not showing any signs of slowing down.
Seven new games for older systems are on the way and are now available for pre-order, only through Piko Interactive’s website. These games range from Sega Genesis games to multi-game cartridges. Let’s check out each game below briefly, but know there is more information on the company’s website. A few of the games seem better than others, but I think I’ll save my criticism until I can try the games for myself. Either way anything new on these systems gets my blood boiling as a player and as a collector, so lets take a look.
Custodian (Atari Jaguar) – Piko’s first release for the Jaguar, Custodian is an arcade shooter in which players must defend their bases from evil parasites. Action happens in 2D sections reminiscent of the old Duke Nukem Platformers and in first person shootouts. Can’t say I’ve ever played anything on the Jaguar, but it looks interesting.
Sumo Slam (Sega Genesis) – Sumo Slam is a top down party game, putting players in the metaphorical shoes of a sumo trying to push out all the other sumo wrestlers. Simple looking yes, but I imagine this game would be an excellent addition to a retro party, especially for Sega fans. Sumo Slam also has Mosquito Mode and Sushi Mode to add a bit of variety to the formula.
Smart Mouse (Sega Genesis) – Actually a translation of a Taiwanese exclusive, Smart Mouse is a puzzle game similar to Adventures of Lolo. Players will be pushing blocks to squish enemies and clearing the board completes the level. The game’s cute aesthetic also puts me in the mind of Bomberman, but with more problem solving and less explosions.
Generals of the Yang Family (Sega Genesis) – Another Taiwanese translation, Generals of the Yang Family is a 2D brawler similar to Streets of Rage. Piko not only translated the game, but they also fixed a lot of issues with the original release, such as collision detection and the flow of the combat. This makes this the quintessential version of a game that wasn’t seen outside of China.
Iron Commando (Super Nintendo) – Similar to Generals of the Yang Family, Iron Commando is a translation. Basically, Iron Commando is another love letter to 80s action heroes, so fans of beat-em ups should definitely check it out. Looks like the jump kick is a must to get through the game, so learn to master it!
Legend (Super Nintendo) – Beat-Em Ups seem to be a favorite of Piko Interactive, and Legend is no exception, but fits more into the fantasy genre. Interestingly enough, Legend is actually a reprint of a game of the same name, but this cartridge is region free. Expect slashing through goblins and monsters with heroes that look like Conan in this fantasy action game.
Snakky (Nintendo Entertainment System) – A homebrew game for the NES by Piko in the vein of the system’s launch titles. Snakky is a Snake clone with a couple different modes to compete against friends. This snake provides good clean fun though, he eats fruit instead of mice and there’s no brick-like cellphone to tote around.
Lastly available for pre-order are two multi-game cartridges, the NES Wisdom Tree Collection Cart and the Sega Genesis Wisdom Tree Collection Cart. Both of these cartridges will have all of the games developed by Wisdom Tree for their respective consoles. Even cooler for collectors, a few of Piko Interactive’s options are on sale to celebrate the new games on the way. Most of the new games will be releasing in December 2016 and January 2017, but a couple of the games like Sumo Slam and Snakky will be limited runs.
Check out the full details on Piko’s blog post about the new games here, including trailers for each of the games.