NES Nostalgia with Mad Gear Games': A Hole New World

An interview with Mad Gear Games about their new project, "A Hole New World" and their love for old school games.

Throwing it back to the old fuzzy feelings you felt as a kid playing on your NES, the indie studio Mad Gear Games is producing a new, retro-styled 2D project. Think of Castlevania and Megaman having a baby.. Then throw some multi-world mechanics, several endings based on your choices, a plethora impossible boss battles, and you'll get A Hole New World. It is currently searching for funds on Kickstarter.

A Hole New World is just one of the projects that is being worked on by the developers at Mad Gear Games, and the two cannot find a better fit anywhere else. Mad Gear Games is a small company with a team that loves old-school games and they are able pour their passion into their recent complex 2D side-scroller. With that said, we were lucky enough to get an interview with them to talk about their current project.

What inspired you guys to create the story of A Hole New World?

JJ: At the beginning the only thing we had in mind was that there were 2 connected worlds, a hero who throws magic potions and that the enemies would be evil shadows/demons from the underworld (Fäy the fairy didn't exist back then). That was when we made the prototype, during Ludum Dare 30 jam. After that we thought about the story over and over, until we developed one that suited the game.

What sets this game apart from the other side-scrollers out there on the market?

JJ: The thing that makes it unique is the world changing mechanic. When you fall through a hole in the floor you travel to a parallel dark world where gravity is inverted. This allows us to play with two different worlds and their platforms, and also with the jumping and shooting mechanic in two different points of view.

Where does your love for these retro 2D games come from?

JJ: Let's say most of us are not exactly youngsters. So those were the kind of games we grew playing to. Also, we find that the instant action from past games has to be resurrected at all costs. A Hole New World is our first attempt to help on this matter.

With the industry so full of these 3D games with lifelike graphics, why do you think that games like A Hole New World still hold an appeal to players around the world?

JJ: If you ask me, there will be never enough 2D retro games in the market. We love these type of games, and we know that we also share that love with lots of people who like big pixels and chiptune music as much as we do. I confess I like some 3D games a lot (my favorite game is Shadow of the Colossus) but I could perfectly survive by only playing 2D Retro games. I think there is plenty of room for all kind of games in the industry and of course also for retro ones, great games like Shovel Knight or Axiom Verge prove it flawlessly.

 Looking at some of the gameplay in the trailer, those boss battles look near impossible, is this going to be a more challenging game for players to get past?

JJ: We are continually adjusting the difficulty while we develop the game, we want it to be challenging, but not frustrating for the player. We lowered a little bit the difficulty in relation to the standards of the old NES games, that means making our game not totally impossible to finish ;) Anyway, bosses are bosses, they must be hard as hell so that you feel a real satisfaction by beating them. However hardcore gamers must not fear, because we will do a secret "NES Hard" mode specially for them.

How do you want the player to feel as they go through your game?

JJ:The feeling we try to transmit is the feeling of improving and mastering the game. You will improve as a player at the same time as the main characters improve. While you advance in the game the Potion Master and Fäy gain new powers and they become stronger, but also the game is much more challenging, so the player also must become stronger. Sometimes to beat a boss you'll have to fight 50 times against it, but at the end when you finish with it you'll feel euphoric and powerful, and you will realize that you have become a much better player. This feeling is what we want to transmit to the players :)

A Hole New World offers a unique way to play through a 2D side-scroller. It pits the player into different situations and scenarios as it remains true to its old NES feeling. It offers many ways to play in between its worlds and crushes the dreams of players at the end with its unforgiving bosses.

With still 23 days to go, A Hole New World is already 63% funded with just a little more to go. Go check out the game on their Kickstarter page, and thank you so much to Mad Gear Games for the interview!

Published Jul. 3rd 2015

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