Having recently ended, the Steam Games Festival will have been the occasion from February 3 to 9 to discover demos of independent games, in addition to being able to follow interventions and other FAQs from the creators behind future jewels. We are therefore going to present to you some of these titles that will have caught our attention. But first of all, be aware that while some demos disappeared from the online store at the end of the event, others are still available on the Valve platform. This is the case with the game presented in this article, Narita Boy.
First born from studio KOBANarita Boy goes beyond the 80s homage to become a sort of rewrite of Tron and Ready Player One combined.
In the early 1980s, the so-called Creator developed Narita One, a video game console with its launch game, Narita Boy. Immediately, the console and its flagship title became a global success, bringing the title of genius to the creator. Yet, without anyone realizing it, within the very code of Narita Boy, the Digital Kingdom reconnects with reality. A terrible being called Him returned and erased the memory of the Creator. It was then that the control program, Motherboard, activates the Narita Boy Protocol with the help of its agents in hopes of saving the Digital Kingdom.
By this single summary, we can already discern the filiation with the works cited above (Tron and Ready Player One). And like these works, Narita Boy sweats neons, big pixels and synthwave. However, it is far from being the first game that pays homage to the 80s and the games of that time. So why present it to you?
Narita Boy is taking everything there is to take in the ’80s in terms of artistic direction and benchmark, absorb it and give the players of 2021 something unique.
Starting with the work of pixel-art. Still popular with retro game enthusiasts, pixel art is a fairly common aesthetic among games on the indie scene. Only here, the seven members of the KOBA studio have refined this style so much by creating all the animations by hand that the result exceeds what we are used to seeing. The sprites are both simple and full of detail, with absolutely sublime colors and light. The sets are teeming with small animations bringing life to this colorful and dark universe at the same time. A real feast for the eyes.
And to further mark the immersion in the 80s, the screen has a frame and filter simulating a cathode-ray screen, further supporting the neo-retro atmosphere.
An atmosphere in which we dive from the title screen. This one welcomes us with a pixel-art background immediately reminiscent of Tron and is also accompanied by a sung synthwave theme telling us the pitch of the game. Without having pressed start, we are already drawn into the universe .
But in addition to his visual references, Narita Boy also uses references in his gameplay. Thus, the game is rightly described by its creators as a 2D action adventure game at the crossroads of Castlevania, Another World and Double Dragon. A comparison that is fully verified once the controller is in hand.
We would like to give you a detailed description of all the little things that make Narita Boy a great future game, but that would spoil the fun. We much prefer to advise you (strongly) to try your hand at the demo available on Steam. Taking place from the start of the adventure until the confrontation with the first boss (included), this demo does not require more than an hour (50 min) to complete. Otherwise, you can always take a look at the beautiful trailer located just below.
Moreover, the release of its demo is the sign of an upcoming release for the full version. Without having a precise date, Narita Boy is so scheduled for early this year 2021 on PC via Steam, Nintendo Switch, Xbox via Game Pass and PlayStation 4.