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Although the hardware has long been discontinued, there is something about the Game Boy that continues to attract avid programmers and game makers. Part of this will be nostalgia and continued admiration for the system, while it will also be particularly challenging to make games that make full use of modest retro hardware.
There’s now another new developer producing a brand new Game Boy title that works specifically on the original hardware (and on clone hardware like the Analogue Pocket). Planet hop is the work of debut developer Alex Watkinson, who founded his studio Gamebow. Ltd with the aim of producing a range of Game Boy titles.
He’s launched a Kickstarter campaign that is off to a very reasonable start, with stages ranging from receiving a Game Boy ROM copy to a physical cartridge to full collector’s versions. As a reminder, this is a real Game Boy title so it will need the right hardware or a working emulator.
You can see some footage below, in addition to some details about the project and its rather charming origins; Fortunately, this will be a full game with ‘at least’ 72 levels on 8 planets / worlds.
I’m a lonely indie developer working on my first game, Planet Hop, a brand new physical game for Nintendo Game Boy and Game Boy Color. 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 the pink moon rabbit named Usagi (based on East Asian folklore) who must save the planetary guardians and restore the zodiac stars of the solar system.
I started the game as a small community project with my two children (ages 5 and 9) because I wanted them to experience the joy of physical media and spend less time playing addictive online games. Since then, the game has grown in size.
Unlike many newer Game Boy homebrew games (which are more like demos), the game will be full-fledged and contain at least 72 levels (spread across 8 planets) and at least 10 bosses.
It is definitely worth taking a look at the campaign. Let us know what you think in the comments!