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Stone Age Countdown: Top 5 New Games That Feel Like Old Games

Stone Age Countdown: Top 5 New Games That Feel Like Old Games

Kris Randazzo
5 minute read

One of the coolest modern trends in indie games is the rash of new games that emulate the look and feel of old arcade games with a shocking level of accuracy. Here are our top 5 new games that feel like old games.

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5. Demon Throttle

Devolver Digital has a heck of a great track record when it comes to publishing unique games, and one such game is a scrolling shoot em up called Demon Throttle. This game is pretty similar to Capcom’s classics Commando and Gun.smoke in that they’re vertical scrolling shooters, but they feature people walking on the ground instead of ships flying through the sky or space. The game itself is a blast, and very challenging, but its presentation is what makes it stick out the most. It looks somewhere between an NES game and an arcade game from the mid 80s, and its CRT filter is one of the most convincing we’ve ever seen. This game is a blast, and with its character swapping mechanic and hilarious writing, it’s not to be missed for fans of the genre.

4. Galacticon

This game comes by way of Flynn’s Arcade, a publisher that has a real penchant for modern takes on arcade classics. Galacticon plays like a cross between Defender and Joust. The stage layouts and enemy patterns are similar to Joust, but you can shoot a laser that’s a dead ringer for the one in Defender. You also have to save creatures in a similar manner to Defender’s humans, but there’s a whole color matching mechanic that can dramatically affect your score, adding a nice layer of extra strategy. Once you’ve saved enough creatures, you fly to the top of the screen and have to navigate an asteroid field on your way to your mothership, and well, it’s all just super darn cool, and absolutely nails that retro aesthetic.

3. Murtop

Murtop may not have a very memorable name, but the game itself is an absolute blast, literally! Murtop combines the gameplay of Dig Dug with Bomberman in a completely genius manner. You move this adorable bunny named Murti, who instead of inflating her enemies like Taizo from Dig Dug does, she poops bombs. No really, the game literally says she poops out bombs! And you have to strategically place them to eliminate all the bad guys on the screen. The bombs explode just like the bombs in Bomberman, as in they go off in a cross pattern, and also like Bomberman, bombs can hurt you too, so you have to be extra careful where you drop them. This is another one that has a strikingly authentic arcade look and feel. It’s spectacular, and has even been getting regular updates from the developer. Top notch bunny blasting action here.

2. Annalynn

At first glance, Annalynn looks like it probably has a lot in common with something like Lode Runner or even Mappy, but once you play the game it becomes obvious that its biggest influence is actually Pac-Man. You play as this cute miner girl running and jumping around caves trying to collect gold coins while avoiding multicolored snakes Randy, Handy, Candy, and Mike. The coins work just like Pac-Man’s pellets, and collecting them all is how you clear the stage, but the snakes work like Pac-Man’s ghosts, in that they’ll chase you down no matter where you go. Fortunately also like in Pac-Man, you can collect power ups that allow you to temporarily defeat the snakes. A fun added wrinkle though is that the snakes traverse the stages quite differently then you do, with the ability to travel through caves and background platforms at will. Later in the game they even introduce elements from other games like Donkey Kong Jr., so there’s a ton of fun content here for anyone willing to dig into it. The music is catchy, the visuals are great, and it’s got that 80s character that’s harder to get right than you might think. Annalynn is an absolute win.

1. Donut Dodo

Donut Dodo is a gosh darn masterpiece. It draws its inspiration from games like Donkey Kong and Popeye, with just a dash of Burgertime for good measure, at least in the aesthetics department. You control a baker named Billy Burns who has to recover his donuts from the Donut Dodo, a gigantic weird looking bird who loves confiscating confections. Each of its four main stages are filled with unique traps and killer music. Each time you make it through the four stages, you get a bonus level, and then the whole thing repeats at a higher difficulty level. And difficulty is the name of the game here because boy is this game hard. The difficulty is completely natural though, with deaths rarely, if ever, feeling cheap. There’s just a lot to keep track of, especially in the Dodo’s Lair level where there are various doors that warp you around the stage, and a rabid toilet that chases you down and can’t be jumped over.

This game is an unbelievable amount of fun. It’s fast paced, challenging, and looks 100% like something you’d see in a retro arcade, except with just the right amount of modern flair. There’s even an actual special arcade cabinet edition out there in the world with an exclusive 2-player mode. No matter which platform you have at your disposal, get Donut Dodo. It’s great. 

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