Last night I started playing “Retro Game Challenge” for the DS.
It’s sort of a… 1980s childhood gaming simulator.
It does a good job of capturing the essence of gaming in the 80s – flipping through gaming magazines, talking about cheat codes, and playing the latest game while a friend cheers you on (his mom even comments every now and then “are you kids still playing that game?” from the next room).
The way it works is fairly straightforward – your friend gets a new game, and you have 4 successively harder challenges to complete in the game. Once you complete the challenges, the next game is unlocked. Your friend also gets gaming magazines in the mail, which you can flip through for tips and cheat codes for the games.
The games are not actually retro games, but invented games that are representative of the types of NES games of the era. I’m only on the third game, but so far they are enjoyable. The first game is a Galaga-like game with some nice touches to add depth, the second game is an odd elevator-action-eqsue platformer, and the game I’m on now is a racing game similar to RC Pro Am.
The game may seem somewhat restrictive, by only doling out games one at a time and making you unlock them, but that too hearkens back to the childhood days of NES gaming, where getting a new game was a big deal, that might involve weeks of saving (or begging). The challenges can also be… challenging, just like the games of the 80s were.
All in all, a good nostalgia kick. If you had an NES growing up, and have a DS now, give it a look.