Ultra-Indie Daily: Sweet Taste of the Past with Alice in Nostalgia

Alice in Nostalgia is an Indie game created for Indie Game Dev Beginners #002 Game Jam by Chaos4Now. It’s a short platforming game with a focus on the art style, music, story, and level design. It’s a collaboration with Kuang-Yu and Libon27 for artwork and music.

Alice in Nostalgia boss

Something that stuck out to me or rather didn’t stick out is the seamless transition between key art and the game’s 4-bit visuals. No doubt a wise use of color palette and solid character designs. It’s not necessarily a big issue but it’s very apparent, especially with older-generation games when story visuals jump between quality. In Alice in Nostalgia, there’s next to no mental noise when swapping to gameplay. The visual style is all one seamless experience.

The music choice with energetic tunes elevates the game’s experience with simple but pronounced melodies. They are a balance of simple and complex, detailed enough to catch the ear but not overwhelming with noise. Charming just like the best bit-tunes out there.

Mechanically the game does derive from Super Mario as a 2D platformer in both narrative references and gameplay. The wise decision it makes is not to clone it directly but adapt the formula to match the scope of the project. Our player character can move jump and throw items. The only way to damage enemies is to toss items at them, that alone makes for a comfortable gameplay loop to iterate on with the level design. The 2 enemies aside from the final boss are slimes and helmets, which function just like Goombas or Koopas in Super Mario. The Helmets however break away from the formula and have basic AI behavior for chasing the player if they get within sight. The helmets can jump through platforms the player can and can walk across simulated rope physics. It might not be the most polished movement but that little detail really lifts the experience from being a map of scattered assets, There’s a little nugget of intrigue seeing how the AI reacts to the player’s presence and how it navigates, it’s like watching ants trying to find a crumb.

Alice in Nostalgia level

I hope the developers of Alice in Nostalgia are proud of their game, because it’s a very polished and complete experience.

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