UFO 50, the compilation from the makers of Spelunky and Downwell (among others) is out soon


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The compilation UFO 50 is a gaming concept album from the makers of Spelunky, Downwell, and Catacomb Kids. It’s a collection of 8-bit inspired games that were “created by a fictional 80s video game company that was obscure but ahead of its time.” It was announced way back in 2017, and skipped its 2018 release window. Who knew 50 games would take a while to make? Good news, though! It’s just popped up on Steam and is listed as “coming soon”.

The theme lets the developers have some fun within some self-imposed limitations. Everything is made in GameMaker Studio 2 using a 32-colour palette. A third of the games have multiplayer, with local versus and co-op modes bringing you all together in one room to play as you would have had to in the 80s. There are shmups, sports, and loads more to play.

Campanella and its sequel Campanella 2, a platformer about a treasure hunter called Isabell, are both in the collection. You zoom around in your UFO, hopping into procedurally generated caves, which sounds rather familiar… The entire game collection will give you the backstory on Campanella’s character’s past.

Pingolf sounds fun. It’s a high-concept combination of pinball and golf, with bumpers and trampolines helping you across the courses.

Quibble Race sounds cute, but it’s a cut-throat racing game where you bet on sci-fi beasts in a futuristic horse race. Aside from betting, you can tamper with the races. It’s a 3-player game, so you could all end up sabotaging each other.

There’s even a JRPG in there. Grimstone is a set in a hellbound corner of the Wild West, with a posse from a burnt-down saloon heading across the desert to find out why their pub was set alight.

My parents bought me a compilation of Spectrum games on a cassette, and I probably played that group of games more than anything else on my ZX 128k. This seems like something that could bring a smile to my face.

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Craig Pearson


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