Retrocon 2024

Why the Aesthetics of Retro Games Are Still Revered Today

Many of us have memories of crowding around an arcade machine, trying to find a quarter to extend our playtime. From dexterously moving around the stage in Pac-Man to enjoying the best advent of the Mario series, many of us still remember what video gaming was like at the beginning of the '80s.

Yet despite a collapse in the industry in 1983, video gaming hasn’t gone anywhere. In fact, it’s now a larger industry that Hollywood and the music industry combined. One thing is for sure though, even with the best and most powerful gaming PC providing you with a wealth of incredible experiences, old school gaming aesthetics are still revered and appreciated in no small manner.

For those of us who adore all things retro, you get a warm feeling inside when looking through the options still available to us. If you are still wanting to rehatch those long lost video gaming memories, please consider the following recommendations and places to see just how retro gaming is felt through the modern lens.

8-Bit and 16-Bit Graphics

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels
Many worthwhile indie studios are finding excitement in bringing the aesthetics of the past to the future. For instance, Shovel Knight, a celebrated indie game, harks back to the games of old by using the graphical capacities as part of the game design. That in itself is an impressive feat. But not only this, games such as Faster Than Light take the retro aesthetic and turn it into a new and enjoyable presentation  confirming that while these graphics are beautiful in their own right, good presentation needn’t require an intensive budget to work well.

Chiptune Soundtracks

Chiptune soundtracks are becoming a vital tool for composers to flex their creative muscle, and they sound amazing doing so. For instance, the recent Undertale and Celeste soundtracks have afforded us some incredible auditory experiences of late, to the point where both titles have won awards based on this presentation strength. You need not only listen to remastered vinyl of classic chiptune soundtracks in order to relive your childhood, in fact creative minds from all over the gaming space are honoring this most worthwhile of compositional art forms.

The Availability Of Indie Titles

Indie titles can now be found, downloaded and played within a matter of moments. From services such as Steam providing a worthwhile and necessary space for rejuvenated titles to shine, to GOGcom curating and restoring old titles that may still work on modern machines, the availability of indie titles has never been more diverse. In fact, it’s worth searching to see if the titles you once loved are still available, as careful curation efforts have all but ensured that some audience is there, be that through emulation or through official storefront purchasing options. This shows that retro game design is barely slowing down - rather it’s still in its adolescent years.

With these options still available, we hope the gamer geeks out there can feel comfort in knowing that retro game presentation is returning with expressive pride.
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