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Retro Needs To Fucking Die

I’m in an especially grumpy mood over a recent kickstarter. So before I start, let me first say that I have nothing against this game, the developer, or any of the hard work he’s putting into it. I feel bad for pissing on someone’s parade, but it just happens to be an example of something I keep seeing of late, and it’s annoying the hell out of me.

What I’m grumpy about is the ever growing glut of books, games, and spin-off Spectrum hardware that’s designed to make the wallets of certain 40yo+ nerds just a little bit lighter.

“Aha! But you made a retro inspired game, you twat!”

Yes. Yes I did. And unashamedly so, but the key word is “inspired”. It’s not done with pixel art, it’s not running on an EPROM/FFPGA I ripped from my ZX80, or on a clone piece of HW I banged out of China, and it is - I hope - a game that actually moves a long forgotten genre forward. If only just a little bit. And it very much is NOT a remake of a 30 year old game. Nor was it funded by any 40 year old twats other than myself.

Lumo’s something new, which is more than I can say for a crusty spectrum knock-off with 1000 games on. Or a coffee table book of fucking “screenshots”.

I’m grumpy because the majority of the “retro” industry that’s growing up around a few companies is - and I can’t be the first to say this - shit. Properly shit. Poorly written. Craply made. For every masterpiece like Penn’s Seni book, we have 4 glossy rags of crap photos and stories I can remember from Your Spectrum.

Even worse, we now live in a time where owners of publishing companies - publishing companies that went tits btw - are now claiming some sort of fame and releasing books of “industry wisdom”, purely for having been in business 30 years ago.

Nah, this latest rush to kickstart Hyper Sentinel (a game that’s already had a failed kickstarter) just smells of rank opportunism.

I am disappoint. I am grumpy. And most especially, I am sick of people sniffing a quick buck. The industry in the 80s was unique and mad. If you want to celebrate it, there are better ways.