Return to Roots Demo
12/01/11 at 22:52 EST

Updated: 2012/08/15 - This is incredibly obsolete. Download link has been removed. Please see instead
Updated: 2012/01/19 - Bug fixes. Added unique graphics for large HP pickups.

Presenting, for your pleasure:

What is "Return to Roots"?

The short of it is, Return to Roots is a retro-style run and gun platforming game with its roots in the late 80s, early 90s era of NES games. One series in particular, though let's not name names. It features simple controls, simple game play, simple objectives, and a simple aesthetic:

Aditional screenshots here, here, and for a minute spoiler, here.

It also features a bitchin' soundtrack lifted (with great respect - more on that to follow!) from Danimal Cannon's debut chiptune album, Roots.

Those interested in downloading the demo and giving it a whirl are welcome to do so by clicking here.

More about the game, its development, and inspiration

Return to Roots is the story of a scientist who has dedicated his efforts to challenging the conceptions we have of life and death, breaching moral and ethical boundaries as he seeks atonement for the sins of his past. When things go wrong, an explosion in the lab gives birth to a sentient slice of pizza - stay with me on this - and his last chance to set everything right.

A hero is born.

This game was inspired by, is based on, is named after and owes its very existence to the aforementioned chiptune album "Roots". That, and some misplaced ambition.

Just days after the release of Danimal Cannon's Roots, I was listening to it in the office when it occurred to me that some sections of various songs sounded like they'd fit right at home in a retro-themed video game. So I paid closer attention, and began to hear themes in the music. This sounds like an Ice level, that sounds like a cavern, this one sounds like scaling Tower. And I asked myself, "people make music based on video games, but how often do people make video games based on music?"

Being the start of December, winter holidays were coming up soon so it would be a great opportunity to keep myself preoccupied with something constructive. With a game that was simple in scope, and almost two weeks of holidays, I set myself a goal: develop a game (or maybe just the engine and a demo) over the holidays. Two weeks later, and it was close to done. Fast forward one more week to today, and we have the result of 21 days of coding effort.

With another month or two, I hope to complete Return to Roots and distribute the full game, which will also include the tools used to build the game's stages, allowing players to make their own stages and share them with others. And because I'm not bound by ESRB ratings or something called a PSN, we won't have another Disgaea 4 incident over here in the west.

Well, enjoy!
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