I find the Chinese video games market to be quite intriguing to say the least. Many of the consoles we all know and love weren’t allowed to be released in China due to stringent regulations, take the Nintendo 64 for example.
And while this may look like some kind of cheap imitation, it was in fact a legitimate Nintendo console which was made in collaboration with the Chinese company called iQue. This here folks, is the iQue Player. It looks quite similar to the Hori Nintendo 64 controller doesn’t it? Well, this console/controller hybrid read cartridges which contained built in 64mb memory cards. Unfortunately, the iQue only had a library weighing in at 14 titles (which included classics like Ocarina of Time, and Super Mario 64) and didn’t officially make it out of the Chinese market.
Quite a shame really, as it had a fascinating system of physical kiosks where you put cards in, download a game and play that way (which was not new technology, I mean take a look at the Super Famicom Nintendo Power Cartirdge article that Paul wrote about the cartridges and kiosks). All in all a captivating device, and not too expensive either, considering what they are. If you are interested, there are a few to be found around on eBay.
And while we are on the subject, looks like Nintendo and HAL Laboratories are moving Kirby back to the old-school style for the next release in the series. Kirby’s Return to Dream Land is coming out by the end of this month on the Wii, and as you can see in the game play trailer above, it’s reminiscent of Kirby 64 in a lot of ways. Looks like a lot of pink gooey fun :D
Now here’s an interesting interview on MakeZine with Jason Torchinsky, an artist who creates Space Invaders sculptures, in particular recently making some for IndieCade – International Festival of Independent Games in Los Angeles. Jason discusses the materials used, and the heartbreak over the possible abuse these sculptures could receive. The sculptures are beautifully made and would no doubt would look great around some public landmarks in the city of Adelaide. It seems to me with all of the retro gaming art works produced lately, that an exhibition of such work in Adelaide would be most timely! Any takers? :D
And finally, a platform game on the iOS which is heavily inspired by pretty much any and every 8-bit platform game. It’s called Mos Speedrun and is FREE at the moment (App Store Link). Not sure for how long, but by the time you read this I’d advise you just grab it now. This game is so much fun and best of all, if you have an iCade then you’re in luck, as Mos Speedrun is compatible (and I’m sure with other identical devices for the iOS as well). I almost forgot to mention that the music to this game is very addictive. You have been warned!