Hello and welcome to SBOCLIGHT ON… our weekly feature where we dive into the nitty gritty of gaming’s most indie of offerings. Here, we will shine a SBOClight (get it?) on one game, offering a never before seen look at its fun parts. Sometimes, there will be interviews, sometimes development stories and videos, who knows maybe even a giveaway or two. What we do know is that this will be THE place to read up on some of the industry’s newest and most interesting titles, let’s get started.

Over the last few years there has been a growing trend to look backwards at our gaming history and create indie experiences which tug on our heartstrings and feed our nostalgic needs. And while many devs have opted for semi-16bit artstyles and half-assed attempts at retro gameplay, there are others which are going the whole hog. BIG EVIL CORP are doing just that and more by developing a brand new game for, wait for it, the SEGA Genesis/Megadrive.

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You only have to lay eyes on Tanglewood, the new Megadrive game from creator Matt Phillips, to see its genius. As soon as the intro music started playing, and the SEGA controller was placed in my hand, I was transported back to cold nights sat huddled and cross legged over my beloved Megadrive. The game stars an adorable little fox and features gorgeous pixel art and a perfect soundtrack.

To get a better idea of what the game is about, and to ask why in the hell it is releasing on a 27 year old console, I sat down with the creator to pick his brains;

So first thing’s first, why the megadrive?

(laughs) why not? It’s my favourite console, since I was about 5 years old.

I’d assume that developing on such an old console has its fair share of limitations?

Wow where do I start I mean, it’s only got 64kb of RAM, 64kb of graphics memory. Only 64 colours available, split between 4 pallets and of course, its only a 7MHz CPU so limitations as long as my arm.

Any plans to bring the game to other platforms?

I mean obviously it’s being released on cartridge, next up is Dreamcast then PC/Mac/Linux with hopes to get it onto PS4 and Xbox One eventually if the publisher allows.

And  I played on an old CRT, any plans to have that as a filter choice in the game when it releases?

Yeah I think we’re going to have options to flick between the classic looks, probably a CRT filter too.

Have you seen any disparity in how modern audiences perceive a game like this, like I’ve seen some kids playing it and with this being a retro game through and through, how are people holding up?

Patience is definitely something which you’re finding less and less as games go on. If you play a game like Another World, you have to learn to play, it’s moment to moment gameplay. Tanglewood is similar, you get an introduction to the world and you are very quickly put face-to-face with the first monster. It’s not a pick up and play and adheres to a style that seems lost in recent times. I think some examples of this do definitely exist, Limbo and Inside for instance, it’s just much less common.

Inspirations for Tanglewood?

Oh undoubtedly Limbo, Another World, the character movement was actually taken from The Lion King, little bit of Sonic the Hedgehog too. All of my favourite games from the past, couple from the present, all mashed together.

What’s it like developing for a console like this in terms of publisher, are SEGA cool with you doing it, I mean it’s a Megadrive game?

Yeah they are unofficially cool with me doing it. They asked that I don’t infringe on any of their copyrights or use any of their logos on the box. They wished me good luck with it and hoped it would be a success, unofficially (laughs).

How are we looking for a release date?

So the game was crowdfunded, and I believe it is set for a November 2017 release but there are a few things I’d like to change and due to the nature of the hardware, I can’t just patch the game.Only one chance of doing the cartridge so I’ve got to get it right.

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Be sure to check out the game’s Kickstarter page here and check back in next week for another Indie gem.




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