Developed by Johnson Voorsanger Productions for Sega and published on the Megadrive in 1991, Toejam & Earl is a cult collect ’em up starring two alien rappers who have crash-landed on Earth.
Fantasy Zone is a colourful scrolling shooter from 1986. It was created by Sega and it looks simple and cartoony, but is in fact very challenging.
The main character, Opa-Opa, is sometimes referred to as “Sega‘s first mascot” and is very similar to the one seen in the earlier TwinBee. Both TwinBee and this game have been credited with the creation of the “cute ’em up” genre, and that is probably not too far from the truth.
This 1998 Gremlin/Fox Interactive release for the Sony PlayStation is a fast, tunnel-based shoot ’em up with trippy visuals and a pumping Crystal Method soundtrack. It was designed and programmed by the prolific Tony Crowther.
Developed by United Game Artists and released simultaneously for the Sega Dreamcast and Sony PlayStation 2 in 2001, Rez is a trippy, mind-bendingly-original and visually-stunning ‘Rail Shooter’ (meaning: the path you follow is ‘on rails’, like a rollercoaster), with hacking and music influences.
This 1994 cult classic Super Nintendo level-grinder was originally titled “Mother 2” in its native Japan – later changed in English-speaking territories to EarthBound.
This was due to the fact that no one outside of Japan had seen the first Mother (released in 1989 on the NES) and the bigwigs at Nintendo of America worried that it might confuse people.
Neon Drive is a beautiful modern retro game that is a kind of cross between an old, ’80s arcade game, and a rhythm game.
Developed by a team led by Yu Suzuki at Sega in 1985, Space Harrier is a super-fast third-person, flying-into-the-screen fantasy blasting game, originally housed inside a hydraulic cabinet in arcades. This would jerk around as you moved the control stick, giving you a feeling of movement as you played the game.
Jeff Minter‘s classic Iridis Alpha is a weird horizontal shoot ’em up first released in 1986 through Llamasoft and Hewson Consultants.
Jeff Minter‘s seminal shooter Ancipital features psychedelic sprite-based visuals and fast blasting/running/jumping action.
Hugely fun, satirical 2015 indie game about playing a broken RPG.
The Magic Circle cleverly mixes modern high res graphics with retro DOS-style graphics, and is something of a first on that front.