While a lot of games out there, especially indie titles, try to woo you with the nostlagia of retro graphics, most focus on consoles. And maybe rightly so, as Nintendo’s NES and Sega’s “other system” (just kidding, I grew up on a Mega Drive) sold millions worldwide. However, in a little corner of the world called The United Kingdom, 8-bit computer sales were massive. Actually, a ton of the triple-A games you play today are, in one way or another, brought to you by people who made their first games on a, say, Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Fast-forward 30-odd years, and “Rock Boshers DX Director’s Cut” aims to bring that experience to a new audience, with a few modern touches. Does it succeed?
Hell yes, is the answer. You see, straight away, the game’s 8-bit graphics differentiate themselves from the massive crate of retro-looking indie games out there by taking inspiration from the Speccy. That means the color palette is completely different (for better or worse, depending on who you ask). I absolutely adore the Sinclair-inspired gamut seen in Rock Boshers. That alone would be worth the price of admission to me. But wait! There’s more.
You see, I haven’t really explained the grounded plot of the game! Allow me.
You play as a young Queen Victoria, but in a steampunk alternate universe. You travel to Mars and must quickly overcome adversities (mostly by shooting them dead, right dead, I tell ya!) in order to free yourself (and others) from the evil martian lords. Along the way, you’ll meet Charles Darwin, some hamburgers and brains. I mean… does that sound like a good deal, or WHAT?!
As you can see from the screenshot above, the whole shebang takes place in single-screen levels, where you must shoot adversaries and solve light puzzles (that admittedly increase in difficulty later on) to advance. It plays like a twin-stick shooter and it does become hectic at times, but it controls very well and it’s really rather pleasant to play in short bursts.
Another great thing about the game is its kickin’ soundtrack. Have a listen to this:
I mean, that sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? And the whole soundtrack to the game is like that. And not only is it *this* game, but you also unlock other games by collecting stuff like hamburgers and coffee cups in each level. And these are not one-trick-pony type-games, either! “Aqua Kitty” became the base for a full-fledge Playstation release, and it’s just as fun here. And that is just ONE of the unlockable games.
So, what if you don’t like retro graphics and gameplay? Is this still something for everyone? Probably not. This game caters to a wide but specific audience, and if you’re not into retro-inspired indie games, it probably won’t be for you. But if you like playing odd-ball games made by people who loved what they did (and it shows), and have a love for the aesthetics and mechanics of old, then “Rock Boshers DX Director’s Cut” is a hard recommendation. It’s very affordable, too. Did I mention that?