On the heels of the “Nintendo should move to mobile” investor talk and other related drama, Meganoid [$1.99] creator Orange Pixel decided to do something huge: develop a phone game the way it believed the publisher would if it ever bothered to enter the sector. Stardash, a super simplistic and obviously retro-inspired platform game, is the end result of this experiment, which hits later this week across the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android.

“Using GameBoy style graphics and sounds for extra memories of old-school running and jumping. It’s a little experiment to see if I could create such a game in the way the big N would do it,” Orange Pixel wrote on its blog. “A lot of care has been put in the level-design and the simplicity of it all,” it said.

Outside of the look and feel, Stardash's multi-faceted progression seems to be the place where Orange Pixel is really attempting to crib and build on Nintendo's secret sauce -- you can clear levels by beating levels within their time limits, by collecting coins, or by finding hidden keys that open up secret levels. Stardash will launch with four worlds containing nine levels each. And while the goal of every level is as simple as “run to the right until you see a balloon,” every level will have its share of challenges and secrets.

I don't think anyone is seriously expecting a level of Nintendo refinement (read: budget and time) from Stardash, but what a neat and challenging way to approach a project, huh? We’re definitely down for giving it a go as soon as possible and we’ll bring you our thoughts when we do get our grubby little hands on it.

  • Ariectus

    Looks really fun, will it have iControlpad support?

    • http://pascal.orangepixel.net orangepascal

      the game has Joypad-app and iCade support.

      • Robert McCrory

        That is awesome!  Day one purchase for me due to iCade support (so I can use my iControlPad with it - don't actually have an iCade).

  • Sixline

    Very cool.  Looks like Mario on the original gameboy.  My only concern would be the controls...i've not had a lot of great exerience with the touch screen replication of a d-pad.

    • Anonymous

      I agree about d-pads but if you notice, it's not a d-pad it's just left and right buttons which work infinitely better on a touch screen than d-pads.

  • Anonymous

    I was getting excited about this until I opened the video and heard the god awful audio. It really does sound like a Gameboy game but is that really a good thing?

    • http://pascal.orangepixel.net orangepascal

      It's only a good thing if you like it! you can turn down the sound or switch off the music, but if you don't like this type of game you'd better not get it ;)

      • Anonymous

        No, I like this type of game I just don't like the audio. I usually play with the audio off anyway so it's not a deal breaker, just disappointing.

  • Spitman

    I don't get all these speed games on IOS.   Nintendo would never release a Mario game where you have 10 seconds to reach the end.  Leaves no time for fun...  just frustration...

    • http://pascal.orangepixel.net orangepascal

      it's not a speed-run game.. you can ignore the time if you want, it's just an added challenge for those who do like it and want to unlock all the achievements and stars available

      • Spitman

        good to hear,  I do like the look of it and will give it a try, thanks

  • JetSetSilly

    Looks like they need to go back and study the Nintendo level design and difficulty ramping more.  It seems to have a lot of that fiddly hardcore platformers like Super Meat Boy and VVVVV.  Games were challenging back then, but not pixel-precise like retro-wannabes think they were.

    • Anonymous

      Couldn't agree with you more. I hate comparisons to old Nintendo games, when  they (reviewers, developers, etc) don't fully grasp what makes old Nintendo games so great: level design, character movement, and like you said - the brilliant progression of level difficulty where gameplay mechanics completely change throughout the game, with those gameplay changes being introduced at just the right moment, teaching you what to do later on.

      So far not a single iOS platformer hits all of these points (please, someone tell me I'm wrong here). The closest is Pizza Boy with the character movement and level design.

    • http://twitter.com/doomlaser Mark Johns

      You and I have different memories of 8-bit era platformers.  If anything, this looks much easier than games of that vintage.  Try going back and playing Super Mario Land for GB and telling me that it didn't rely on brutal pixel-precise platforming.

      • Brian Hobbs

        I'm with you.  I'm pretty sure that game had you jumping on one-or-two-pixel-wide blocks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BillKeeter Bill Keeter

    Instant buy. Love the old school graphics. If it plays like Pizza Boy i'm in heaven.

  • spidey

    I am so not able to keep up with platformers! A ton of good ones still sitting pretty, and one more good lookin one coming up

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dustin-Garrett/515238031 Dustin Garrett

    Can you move backwards?

  • http://twitter.com/QWERTYtheBold Brandon

    It looks a lot like 1-bit ninja. Is it anything like 1-bit ninja?

    • theRPGNOOB

      yea but 1-bit ninja is shit and this looks a lot more promising.

      • http://twitter.com/QWERTYtheBold Brandon

        What do you think is bad about 1-bit ninja?

    • http://pascal.orangepixel.net orangepascal

      you can walk backwards in this game ;)  and it has normal controls, and no cool 3D gimmick

  • Robert McCrory

    Will this be a universal app or two different versions?

    • http://pascal.orangepixel.net orangepascal

      universal

  • spidey

    wait.... so was the development actually influenced by the whole "Nintendo wont go mobile" news? Or are the devs just using the news in their marketing? If it's the earlier, this would be a super quick development of what looks like a promising game.

    • http://pascal.orangepixel.net orangepascal

      honestly influenced by it, and yes it's fast development (about 6 weeks in total)

  • spizak

    will the androind support honeycomb?