Every veteran player cherishes the memories of their childhood videogames. Lately, various indie game developers have turned nostalgia into a trend, producing titles that either imitate older games in look or gameplay, or feature ample references to the 80s and 90s. Below are some of the most fun retro-flavoured games released recently.
Murder House is the latest game by Puppet Combo, an indie developer who takes visual cues from PS1 horror games and 70s and 80s slasher films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In Murder House, the player is a young member of a news crew that’s being stalked by a serial killer in a blood soaked bunny suit. Soon the crew will have to try and escape for their lives through an abandoned mansion full of dilapidated rooms and dark hallways.
Snails puts the player in the shoes of a young woman who has to fend off a gargantuan snail invasion in her own backyard – using only her trusty fists and kicks. Emulating the look and feel of an old console 3-d beat em up like Crisis Beat and Fighting Force injected with a dose of 50s creature features, Snails offers multiple levels of gigantic snail ass-kicking action.
Faith is a pixel based horror game that mimics a game of the MS-DOS era, drawing additional inspiration by the Satanic Panic of the 80s. In Faith, you play a priest who returns to the site of a previous exorcism attempt to try and defeat his – more than figurative – demons. Using its graphical and gameplay limitations to its advantage, the game succeeds in making the player feel helpless and hopelessly outnumbered.
The Snow of Basidia
A creepy N-64 styled low poly game, The Snow of Basidia places the protagonist in the midst of an idyllic town where, mysteriously, snow starts falling for the first time. The player has to investigate the puzzling phenomenon which is not as benign as it sounds. The game is quite short, but memorable, starting out as an authentic fantasy in the vein of Ocarina of Time and then becoming progressively darker.
No Players Online
Using faded and damaged VHS tape visual effects while imitating 90’s Quake or Unreal Tournament, No Players Online is a creepypasta influenced meta-fictional game that dumps the player into a seemingly abandoned Capture The Flag map. But not all is what it seems, and things become stranger and spookier very soon. No Players Online uses its empty spaces smartly, creating a sense of unease to the player. You will see things out of the corner of their eye that you may have imagined – or may not have.
If you like the original Resident Evil, you will love Alisa. A love letter to early survival horror, Alisa puts the player in the shoes of a special agent who finds herself trapped in a sinister Victorian mansion that has been set up as a real life dollhouse, complete with murderous doll women. The game is clearly inspired by the early RE games, utilising series staples like fixed camera angles and seemingly incongruous puzzles and, like the original RE, is set in a creepy mansion.
All these games are entertaining and a great entry point into the fun niche of retro indie videogames. The list, however, is not exhaustive. For any gamer that wants a boost of nostalgia, there are tons of games just perfect to fulfil that desire.