Hello, Attract Mode readers! I’m Daniel and you can learn more about me at my site. Like everyone else in the collective, I wanted to make my first post something truly worth your time. Threaded by Resn is and I can only say: OPEN NOW!
Minitroid (A Mini Metroid Adventure) is a PC indie game that shrinks our beloved Samus while maintaining the agility and mechanics that 2D Metroid games thrive upon. It also represents how the handheld form-factor is worth exploring outside of handheld platforms.
A design constraint of handheld is the miniaturization of the sprites, level design, and viewport. It’s a design constraint that I find incredibly compelling—I often cite how the greyscale Gameboy “Bionic Commando” is more enjoyable to play than the NES version. Another great example is “Todd’s Adventures in Slime World,” which is a rare instance of a handheld game being upscaled to a console (from the Atari Lynx to the SEGA Genesis respectively). The handheld version was far superior.
Perhaps it’s the intimacy, or that our imaginations can roam with limited pixels, or maybe great things simply come in small packages. As for these examples: “Bionic Commando” is a game about WWII (in Japan at least), so greyscale makes sense and then there’s tighter hook mechanics too. Todd is even easier—the alienated and claustrophobic atmosphere of his adventure was lost on the upscale.
As an aside, an isometric (2.5D) port of Metroid was released a few years back. Isometric perspective is another interesting design constraint that’s worth exploring, although Minitroid looks decidedly more fun to play in this particular comparison.