[dropcap size=big]N[/dropcap]ostalgia is a powerful influence. Few things are more tempting than the nostalgia for a simpler time without the worries of trans fats and rent; when all you had to worry about was keeping your grades up and beating Metroid. I mean who wouldn’t want to do something that brought you back to the era of 16-bits games that made Dark Souls look like Candy Land? This nostalgia is what helps fund a significant amount of Kickstarters in that the games make the players feel like they are in a different time, they offer challenges not seen in recent games, as well as thing that AAA games don’t pay attention to.

Thimbleweed Park is a classic style adventure game on Kickstarter from the creators of Maniac Mansion.

This feeling of nostalgia brings players back to their childhood and allows them to remember their pasts with gleeful memories of playing games for hours on end with no worries of jobs or money or anything. This is why retro games do so well. They are basically the real life equivalent of time travel because it brings the players back in time to the days where Nintendo ruled with an iron fist instead of with limp wristed flails. People are willing to pay a significant amount of money to go back to their youths, even if it is just for a few hours through the game. But what about the players who never experience Castlevania or Metroid through the SNES and instead grew up on Call of Duty on the Playstation?

Well these retro games don’t just bring the feel of the past with them, they bring the difficulty too. Back in the SNES days games were meant to be played for hours and with limited memory, so designers fell back on the strategy of making the game as hard as possible to extend the game’s play time. As memory in games increased the difficulty decreased because game’s play times didn’t have to be extended though tough gameplay. For younger players these retro games offer a challenge that modern games can’t fulfill. But what if players aren’t looking for a particularly hard game?

These retro games feel, look, and sound…well old. And sometimes that is just what someone wants. With today’s game market obsessed with looking the best and having the most accurate sounds and making sure strobe lights hit the player in just the right way during the scripted sequence something gets lost. The pureness and unadulterated art through classic storytelling and simple graphics being turned into masterpieces. Some people just want to sit down, run right to left, save a princess, and enjoy the scenery without having to worry about subplots and moral messages.

Retro games do well on Kickstarter because they draw from peoples dreams to go back and time and feel like a kid even if it just for a few seconds. They offer challenges that many modern game’s can’t even shake a stick at. And finally there is something purely artistic and simple about retro games. I mean if you don’t believe me look at FTL, Thimbleweed Park, and Hyper Light Drifter.

About the Author

Arthur Frawley

Arthur Frawley is a man of many talents. He started off his career in business by helping the board game company Prolific Games fund their board games and from there he moved onto entertainment management. He managed a successful author/actor/rapper/comedian for a few years and while working with his client he learned about film production and funding. After working in film for 2 years he was hired by Big Wise Productions as a producer and production coordinator. He has since moved on from film to text and has written for Convoy Games, Side Lines, GamingRev, and now Cliqist.

View All Articles