You don't need to have an appetite for 2D games, side scrollers or retro titles to appreciate the trailer for Narita Boy. Studio Koba's retro scoller presents an epic quest with arresting visual design through different and odd-looking landscapes, various foes and a protagonist that looks weirder (but still cool) than the enemies he faces. Wrapping it all up is a deliciously catchy retro soundtrack inspired by the analog synthesizers of the past.
How the the game feels like in practice I can't say, but Narita Boy certainly does look like quite the experience. The eponymous Narita Boy is a "legendary digital hero", who is called as the last hope of survival for the besieged digital kingdom. To defeat the threat, he must "explore a vast world find the techno sword" which is the only effective weapon against it, and his quest will lead him through "simultaneous dimensions" that range from "the streets of the 80s" to "weird futuristic landscapes".
The aesthetic of the game is said to draw inspiration from "retro pixel adventures (Castlevania, Another World, Double Dragon) with a modern touch (Superbrothers, Sword and Sorcery) and an 80s plot homage (Ready Player One, He-Man, The Last Starfighter), accompanied by the retro synth touch of the old glory days". Meanwhile, its gameplay comprises of classic 2D scroller action combined with "exotic time and dimension jump mechanics" and RPG elements.
Here's the list of Narita Boy's features:
Pure handcrafted pixel sprites with rich and complex animations.
A homage to the 80's that tastes like retro but is also new. Narita Boy reloads the creative canons to find an unique style that combines the past and the future of video games
Classic 2D scroller action with new exotic time and dimension jump mechanics, RPG elements and amazing worlds to explore; from the streets of the 80s to the weird futuristic landscapes of another dimension.
An awesome Soundtrack inspired by the glory days of analog synthesizers.
The Story will put you through a journey between dimensions, neglecting the ebbs and turns of Time itself. Meet weird, unique characters and wield powerful and strange magic.
Jump, fight, find your own way in order to progress, travel across dimensions and let yourself be amazed by the amazing retro futuristic universe of Narita Boy.
Find items to upgrade your digital magic and your (meta)physical strength. Find vehicles to traverse greater distances and use your instincts to find well hidden secrets.
According to Narita Boy director Eduardo Fornieles, the idea for the game came to him last spring while he was living in Tokyo, where he had also worked for two game development companies. He started working full-time on it since and moved back to Spain where he finished the trailer and teasers as well as started the Kickstarter campaign.
Currently, the game is being worked on by a small but experienced team comprised of both Japanese and Spanish developers with a fondness for the "80s, retro and games". It has amassed €33,058 out of its €120,000 goal on Kickstarter since it started on February 21, with 31 days to go. Add to that the response for its trailer on YouTube (with Devolver Digital popping to deliver a "WOW!" as well), and that goal seems quite achievable.
"This is the game that we've always dreamed of," wrote Fornieles on the Studio Koba website. "Please join us in this journey and be part of this amazing universe, This is not only our homage to our beloved 80s but a crafted pixel game made with passion and hard work. We are committed to success as we are committed to offer you a unique experience."
In case the music is seriously stuck in your mind, you can receive the digital soundtrack (complete with cover art) if you pledge at least €25 (RM117.5) to the project. There're a couple of tunes on the Kickstarter page that you can listen to and download for free too.
Narita Boy is planned to be released on Windows (through both the Windows store and Steam, from the looks of it), Mac and Linux, while the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch are listed as stretch goal platforms. I've included ten other screenshots on the next page.