What would a game about the history of video games look like? And what if the typical “Princess in the dungeon” got tired of waiting and broke herself out of jail? Enter, Retro Runner….
Toronto-based indie dev Stratum Games asked themselves the above questions a year ago while considering new ideas for their next project. Twelve months later they released “Retro Runner: Princess Power” as a free mobile title for Android and iOS, to strong reviews from retro gamers and reviewers alike.
This game really caught my eye, and why wouldn’t it; being both a massive retro gaming fan and a follower of the indie gaming scene (and being a dabbler in game dev myself), how could I ignore a game that blends both retro gaming and indie gaming in to one. When I saw the first pixelated 8-bit screenshot of this game, closely followed by a screenshot with 16-bit graphics, and knowing this was the same game and that my character was jumping from retro gaming era to retro gaming era; I knew before playing Retro Runner that this game was nothing short of awesome!
Retro Runner takes you back in time
In it’s current version, the game is a platforming adventure that essentially takes players on a trip through video game history. Players complete five distinct castle levels, each one styled after a different era in gaming, from the early days of Atari 2600 up through NES, SNES, PS1, and into the modern 3D era. References to classic games of yesteryear are scattered throughout the backgrounds of Retro Runner and the graphics and sound evolve with each subsequent level.
From Donkey Kong to Megaman, Wonderboy to King’s Quest, fans of retro gaming will get a kick out of seeing some of their favourite sights and sounds recreated in RR:PP.
The trivia questions that pop up every time the player dies will test players’ retro gaming knowledge as well.
As you might expect from a game about video games, Stratum has included lots of the classic elements to keep players interested, such as: a fully upgradable character and a customisable skill tree, potions and weapons pick-ups… and of course some big bad boss fights. The humorous storyline in Retro Runner adds a level of fun, too, and many players have enjoyed the fact that the Princess finally gets her own game!
“Retro Runner: Princess Power” is available now for free download for iOS and Android on the App Store and Google Play. Currently, Stratum is also planning an extended version of the game for PC and Mac.
If you like the free mobile version, you can head over to their Steam Greenlight page and support their efforts with your vote: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=264689258
Update, Feb 2016: The game was successfully greenlit!