Oniken Preview

The Platforming genre is one that has been a mainstay in video games since Mario took it all the way to the bank for Nintendo in the mid 80′s. Sure, there were plenty beforehand, but few captured the imaginations of the public quite like Nintendo’s little Italian plumber. Sure enough, throughout the remainder of the 80′s (and the dark period of the early 90′s) every developer (left, right and centre) was determined to become top dog of the Platforming genre.


Nowadays, it’s not unsurprising to find Indie game developers taking a shot at making a platforming title; it’s almost a right of passage that aspiring game designers have to go through on their pilgrimage to gaming dev heaven.  While there are plenty of others too, the 2D Platformer is one that, for one reason or another, is still a popular genre choice for new titles.  Compared to 3D games, it’s a lot easier to code and develop — and in less timespan. Plus, creating a 2D title always brings about a nostalgic tear to many a NES gamer’s eye.


This is the angle that Brazilian developers Danilo Dias and Pedro Paira seem to have gone for — a NES Platformer clone, from clichéd plot to the synthy 8-bit tracks that populate the Beta version of their current title Oniken. The moment you start playing the game, you wonder whether Ocean, Capcom or Sega might have lawyers at the ready for this overtly NES/Master System influenced game as it really does have the feel of that era. The soundtrack is spot on; pure 8-bit heaven and bouncing drums that makes you wish you could create ‘Atari’ music!


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