That’s right: a video game developer by the name of Brad Smith has launched a Kickstarter in the hopes of generating interest for a new game being developed for the Nintendo’s original American console from 1985, the NES. The game, called Lizard, is a platformer designed around open exploration while wearing different lizard suits. Each suit has different abilities, such as the ability to jump across water or turn to stone and escape from damage. The game retains that 8-bit feel of games from long ago, but introduces an openness that was not prevalent in those times.
Official games for the NES stopped being released in 1994, with Wario’s Woods being the final development. However, Smith is a member of the NES homebrew community, a group of people interested in designing their own games for the NES by using the programming code and understanding how the hardware works. He initially got into the homebrew scene as a way to make music with the NES, but saw an opportunity to do more with it and eventually moved on to designing a game for the console. Lizard is mostly complete as a game from the development viewpoint, and Smith is not looking for help to cover the development costs. Actually, the hardest part for him is getting the game onto its proper format: the cartridge. Obviously, NES cartridges aren’t easy to come by, and the Kickstarter is being used as a way to put the finishing touches on the game in as cost-effective as possible, with a targeted goal of $12,000 CAD ($10,570 USD).
As one might point out, most people no longer own an NES system. Never fear! The game will also be available for Windows and Mac users, as well as Linux users if the Kickstarter gets to $20,000 CAD ($17,612 USD). The whole point of the campaign is to help make Lizard as close as possible to the real deal, but backers dishing out at least $10 will have access to a digital download of the finished game (of course, donating more will get you your very own Lizard NES cartridge). Smith is also trying to get Lizard accepted on Steam Greenlight, so interested gamers may be able to download the game there in the near future as well.
Lizard is definitely a neat idea, and the game looks challenging in the 2D platformer type of way. If playing old-school games is your thing, but you are looking for something fresh, definitely give this guy’s Kickstarter a look. There is also a demo of the game available on his website if you want to give it a shot.