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March 2017 Retro Gaming Article

March 18, 2017 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Spook-O-Tron is a fast-paced Robotron-like NES homebrew with a very clever control scheme

Spook-O-Tron is an NES homebrew
This is a fast-paced, twin-stick, homebrew shooter for the original NES and PC, complete with Kickstarter-exclusive level editor!
Sole Goose Productions logo Hearing about an upcoming Robotron-inspired NES homebrew game is an exciting premise. Seeing the fast game play (on video) is even more exciting! Currently seeking crowd funding via Kickstarter, Spook-O-Tron, by Sole Goose Productions, looks like a fun game with a familiar objective modernized... for the NES :) Definitely worth checking out!

With over 100 levels - some to be created by backers - makes this a very promising project. But here's what excites me most - It's control. when someone likens a game to Robotron: 2084 we easily imagine possible on-screen similarities.

Where Robotron differs is in it's dual joystick control. Spook-O-Tron follows this dynamic head-on with several innovative control schemes using existing hardware.

Robotron on the Atari 5200 came with a joystick conjoiner that connects two 5200 joysticks together for a dual joystick arrangement. this is a tougher trick to pull of on Nintendo's NES, but Sole Goose Productions found a few creative paths to give Spook-O-Tron dual-stick control.

Spook-O-Tron is an NES homebrew The first option involves using both Player-1 and Player-2 NES controllers, held vertically, with the D-pads under each thumb. If you'd rather go with a more conjoined feeling, you can use an SNES controller (with and NES controller adapter) allowing the D-pad to control movement and the 4-button layout for shooting. Finally, and most amazing, is using the dual D-pad layout found on the VirturalBoy controller.

All of these control schemes are programmed into the game, allowing you to choose the one best suited to your play-stye. You may want to look into Retro Fighters' Next Gen NES controller for a modern dual stick controller.

This is a phenomenal set of controller options for a game that brings back fond memories of manic pulse-raising 80's era gaming. And best of all it comes on a new PCB in an NES cartridge (and a PC version).

Check out their Kickstarter campaign and see if this retro-inspired game for the NES is a game you want to play. You can download a demo for NES emulators or PC and give it a try. We love it's concept and speed and hope to see this project funded!

April Update:

The Spook-o-Tron Kickstarter reached funding, coming in with just over $10,000. An interesting facet to the stretch goals was a hardware option that would allow for the creation of a board for the Nintendo PlayChoice!

From the Spook-O-Tron Kickstarter page:
8k stretch goal: Play Choice 10 (PC-10) version add-on. Memblers has designed an NROM PC-10 board, and is working on a GTROM version of it. Like the SNES-to-NES adapters, this campaign can serve as a way to help us get these into production! Costs for the add-on are still being explored.

Spook-O-Tron for Nintendo Play-Choice This is a really cool option to bring a homebres NES game to an arcade cabinet. I"m not sure how prevalent Play-Choice cabinets are, but this is a must-have board if you won one. It also opens the door to more homebrew devs to consider such an option. This is really cool news, although obscure :)

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