Typically, retro games refer to older games played on arcade machines and old game consoles such as the SNES, Atari and Gameboy Advance.
They usually take on a pixel art style for the game and use side-scrolling platformers such as Super Mario Bros and Metroid or use single stages to act as a level such as Pacman, Space Invaders and Pong.
While I may not have been in the right age range to be able to play these retro games when they first came out, I appreciate and adore the pixel aesthetic and designs used in these games as they look cartoony but also somewhat realistic- such as in The Legend Of Zelda for the NES.
While I’ve not managed to play a lot of the game, I like the style and simplicity of the levels but also the details in the backgrounds such as the shading.
As an artist, the pixel art used in retro games and the art that has come from these series interests me greatly as I would love to learn how to create them as it looks like a great amount of time, effort and love into their drawings- which I hope to one day achieve in my own art one day.
Mad Father is a survival horror role-playing puzzle game in which you play as Aya who lost her mother due to sickness a few years prior. On the anniversary of her death, she begins to discover corpses around her house in which you have to avoid the walking dead around her house to discover the sinister plot her father has been hiding from her about the real fate of her mother.
The game was made within the Wolf RPG Editor by Sen, a Japanese developer.
The character design in game is very interesting, particularly with the main character- Aya as the large bow in her hair stands out against the dark and gloomy background, showing that she doesn’t quite belong in these spooky and creepy settings which I think works very well to get us to sympathize and empathize with her character and involve us in the game more.
The story is very well made as playing through it, you become scared of the monsters that appear from nowhere and the puzzles to hide from the monsters are fun and tie into the story. There are different endings which make the game more personal to you whether to go through different routes and options to get endings until you get an ending you are satisfied with.
The background follows the dark and creepy atmosphere of the house very well, with it all following similar dark colour schemes to show that it’s in the same setting and house, even though you go through different rooms.
I enjoy this game because of the compelling storyline and beautiful art in the endings, as well as the creepiness of the overall game.
Ib is a psychological role-playing horror, adventure, puzzle game in which you play as nine-year-old Ib who becomes trapped in an alternate world via a painting in an art gallery called ‘Fabricated World’, where you search for a way for her to return to her own world. Along the way you meet Garry who helps her on her quest to get out of the ‘Fabricated World’. Additionally, the pair meet Mary, who is not what she seems. Much like Mad Father, the player’s actions throughout the game determine the ending such as whether Garry lives or dies, as well as the fate of Mary and whether Ib and Garry remember the experiences they had in the Fabricated World.
The game was made in RPG Maker 2000 by a Japanese artist called Kouri.
The character design is very unique to each character, with Ib’s reds making her stand out against the dark surroundings, showing that she doesn’t quite belong, with red being a compassionate and emotionally intense colour, getting us to empathize with her and goes well with her caring personality and matches her design very well.
Garry’s blues and purples indicate his intelligence, loyalty and trustful nature which is shown in his gentle personality and how he puts his trust in Ib and the player to keep him alive throughout the game.
Mary’s yellows and greens- while sometimes meaning optimism and safety, it can also mean deceit, greed and jealousy, which ties in well with her personality and how she may seem sweet on the outside, but is very sinister in reality.
While following the typical dark and creepy colour palette in the backgrounds, it also has unsettling colours that don’t tend to fit in with the rest of the backgrounds in the game, bright and unusual colours to show that it’s not quite real but still serves to creep you out- especially later in the story where it breaks down into Mary’s imagination, in which she is making the world and has even more scary and almost disturbing content.
I like this game because of the confusing twists and turns you have to take to uncover the full story, how you feel deceived by characters you thought you could trust and how you have to work to save everyone in the game to get the feeling of satisfaction that you got the good ending.
Undertale is a role-playing game that remembers your actions and affects what happens in the game and which end you may get. You can choose whether to befriend or kill everyone, which in turn affects what happens even after you finish the game and want to play it again. It’s been described as ‘the game that never forgets’. It challenges our ideas of what an RPG game is, rewarding you for sparing creatures rather than killing them such as in the Pokemon series.
(The first time you play vs the second/third etc.)
The game was made in the Game Maker: Studio engine by Toby Fox including additional art from Temmie Chang. I adore this game for its amazing music, relatable characters and how you feel that your actions directly impact what happens in your specific game, with no two games being alike which makes the replayability factor even stronger in this game.
The character design is unique and special to each and every character in the game, with no two being alike in style or aesthetics. Bright colours to stand out against the gorgeous settings, yet each character fits perfectly into whichever area they are originally from. Each character acts differently depending on how you choose the game, your choices deciding how they interact with you at any given time, countless dialogue and hidden storylines that you may never even find.
The background design is simple yet effective, with each area having a different feel and aesthetic as you continue through the game. From warm and inviting in the beginning to cold and unnerving as you progress further.
I adore this game for its amazing music, relatable characters and how you feel that your actions directly impact what happens in your specific game, with no two games being alike which makes the replayability factor even stronger in this game.
The character design is interesting and shows off many characters as well as many costumes to customise the character you play as.
I like this game because of the unique art style and extremely detailed backgrounds in each and every level.
Cuphead is a 2D run-and-gun shooter game. The game follows Cuphead and his brother Mugman after they lose to the Devil in gambling, the game centred around the consequences and how they have to take down several bosses and beat stages in the game to repay their debt and earn back their freedom.
This game was made in Unity by brothers Chad & Jared Moldenhauer as StudioMDHR Entertainment.
The background design is very detailed and is inspired by how backgrounds were made in 1930s cartoons, with each and every background being a watercolour painting with the characters placed on top of the background but not necessarily interacting with the background in any way. It was very easy to use this style for the backgrounds because you can keep a static image and not have to have things in the background constantly- only putting in the characters/ places in the game you need at that moment.
The character design is simple yet very effective, with clear colours and a unique colour palette and level for each character. The way the characters behave even when they’re not fighting interests me as every boss and enemy acts different and holds themselves differently to show off more of their personality. The game was heavily based off of 1930s cartoons, using surreal and unsettling characters to show what cartoons used to be like and how different they compare to today.
I love this game because of it’s amazing and unique art style that you don’t see much of, if at all anymore and how each scene and character was made by hand drawing them which you don’t see anymore as it’s easier to do everything on the computer.