Though the hardware is long discontinued, there’s something about the Game Boy that continues to attract eager coders and game makers. Part of it will be nostalgia and ongoing admiration for the system, while there’s also a distinct challenge to making games that fully utilise modest retro hardware.
There’s now another new developer producing an all-new Game Boy title, which will work specifically on the original hardware (and clone-style hardware like the Analogue Pocket). Planet Hop is the work of debut developer Alex Watkinson, who is forming his studio Gamebow. Ltd with the goal of producing a range of Game Boy titles.
He’s launched a Kickstarter campaign that is off to a very reasonable start, with tiers that range from receiving a Game Boy ROM copy, to a physical cartridge or full on collector’s versions. As a reminder this is an actual Game Boy title, so will need the right hardware or a functioning emulator.
You can see some footage below, in addition to some details on the project and its rather charming origins; pleasingly this will be a fully-fledged game, with ‘at least’ 72 stages across 8 planets/worlds.
I am a lone indie developer working on my first game ‘Planet Hop’, a brand-new physical game for Nintendo Game Boy and Game Boy Colour. Planet Hop is reminiscent of classic Japanese Game Boy games from the late 1980s/early 1990s, such as Mario Land and Kirby. You play as a pink lunar rabbit named Usagi (based on East-Asian folklore), who must rescue the Planetary Guardians and restore the Solar System’s zodiac stars.
I initially started the game as a small collaborative project with my two children (aged 5 and 9), as I wanted them to experience the joy of physical media and spend less time playing addictive online games. Since then, the scope of the game has grown.
Unlike a lot of recent Game Boy homebrew games (that are more like demos), the game will be fully-fledged and feature at least 72 stages (spread over 8 planets) and at least 10 bosses.
It’s certainly worth giving the campaign a look. Let us know what you think in the comments!