Retro games are here to kill us all

Spikes erupt from the ground and I am dead, all my progress erased. Sometime later I am impaled on a lance, my quest ended before I could complete it. I will die many times, each death a tiny pixelated tragedy. Dying almost hurts more in an 8-bit landscape than in a shiny open world.

At a recent Nintendo press event, I got some quality time with two upcoming retro-styled sidescrollers, Shovel Knight and 1001 Spikes. And when I say quality time, I mean a lot of jumping, a lot of attacking, and a hell of a lot of losing.

In Shovel Knight, developed by Yacht Club Games, you play as the titular warrior who brandishes a shovel either as a weapon to slay enemies or as a tool to dig up treasure. The game plays something like a mix of Mega Man, with its screen-by-screen action, and Castlevania, with medieval combat.

“We wanted to make an NES-style game. What we went to was Zelda 2, where we really like the downthrust. We wanted to build a game off of a downthrust,” said developer David D’Angelo. “It’s got a little bit of everything in it. Everyone that has played an NES game associates with it. ‘I played Duck Tales, that is what this looks like.’ Or, ‘I played Faxanadu, that’s what this is like.’ What?! No one played Faxanadu! But the most common are Mega Man and Castlevania.”

Read the full article at Kill Screen.