A lot of indie games supposedly made to replicate the 8-bit era are usually horribly designed hipster trash with blobs for characters and a messy palette to boot. These games are oftentimes called “retro”, but as many discerning gamers have pointed out over time, actual 8-bit games never looked as jagged or as poorly hewn as the supposed “retro” games of today.
In fact, PQube and LookAtMyGame’s Aggelos is the perfect representation of a game that actually pays proper homage to the 8-bit era with actual sprites, hand-drawn frame-by-frame animations, and gameplay that will make you feel like you’re ten-years-old again, laying in your comfy race car bed, your lava lamp illuminating the room with a volcanic glow while your Kelly LeBrock poster hangs with alluring purpose on the wall, and the two-button NES gamepad finds itself jammed firmly in the grasp of your sweaty palms; eyes fixated sternly on the CRT screen in front of you as the digital bliss of hardships and heaven unfold before you. A true retro experience.
The game previously released on Steam for PC and on the Nintendo Switch, where it went on to garner fairly positive reviews from critics and real gamers alike.
Now that the game is on PS4 and Xbox One, you can experience the retro-themed Metroidvania title where you travel through various stages, defeat enemies, overcome bosses, unlock new armor and equipment, and attempt to save the day. You can see what the game is like in action with the launch trailer below.
I was genuinely surprised at the quality of the design of Aggelos. The reason why is because if you look at the way the game is designed it’s not some pixel-blop mess where you can’t make the characters out or it’s just an indecipherable mish-mash of bland colors toppled on top of one another.
The characters have distinct sprite designs, actual hand-drawn animations, hit-reactions, proper hit detection, sprite tiles, parallax layering, and sprite work that is reminiscent of the late 1980s games on the Sega Master System. The developers wanted to pay tribute to the non-linear 16-bit Japanese games of that era and it definitely shines through. It reminds me a little bit of Zeliard and Rastan Saga.
Again, I’m impressed.
There’s a clear dedication to the art-direction of old platformers and hack-and-slash titles from the late 80s and early 90s, which shines through with impeccable heart and attention to detail by LookAtMyGame. This could easily have been released on the Sega or the SNES back in the day and it wouldn’t have skipped a beat in earning the attention of the core gaming audience.
Gamers today can experience Aggelos right now on the PS4 or the Xbox One, in addition to it being available on the Nintendo Switch and on Steam for PC.