If I had been told I’d be talking about a video game coming out for the Game Boy in 2020, I’d think I was being lied to. Yet, here I am to tell you that’s exactly what’s happening with a game called Dragonborne! Indie developer SpaceBot Interactive gives us a reason to wipe the figurative dust off our 30-year-old handheld!
Where do I begin? I’ll start by talking about how they are making the game. They’re using GB Studio, a program available on PC. Essentially, it’s a drag and drop tool that allows you to create your own retro video games. I don’t know anything beyond that because I haven’t used it myself. However, I understand it as creating a ROM for emulators – In Dragonborne’s case, for physical distribution.
At first glance, this homebrew RPG is reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda and the Final Fantasy games of yore. That’s the point! Your lone sprite traverses a pixelated over-world, visiting different locations to progress. Where conflict is concerned, Dragonborne adopts a turned-based battle system. When you see an enemy on the over-world, touching them transitions you to the battle screen. To sum up this screen, there is an illustration of your character, your opponent, and a list of actions to take. In this, it’s clear they’ve merged the best pieces of the formerly mentioned games.
A Simple Story
Dragonborne starts with your character in his bedroom, and then he’s presented with a little dialogue about the trouble at hand. With that in mind, the background is so basic: You are a young man named Kris, the son of the most renowned Dragon Slayer. Kurtis has gone missing, and it’s your mission to travel the region of Argon to find him. There’s no wasted time with a gorgeously rendered cinematic to set up side-stories or glimpse at potentially new allies. Kris leaves his room and is immediately in the first town.
The game offers 6-7 hours of varied gameplay. You’ll explore Dragon Caves to take down the fearsome Dragons who dwell within. Dungeons are scattered throughout, offering a multitude of enemies to defeat and puzzles to solve. Equally important, SpaceBot Interactive allows us to upgrade our weapons and armor. I hope this means we gather resources to strengthen our items and not a simple replacement of equipment.
The feature I least expected is the addition of multiple endings. Instantly, we have replay value!
SpaceBot Interactive offered an early prototype demo, but I was unaware of the game back then. I could play it now, but the game will be released next year, with some copies already out in the wild – That wouldn’t be fair. They were open to feedback in their comments section, communicating about fixes and bugs. If they keep this up when working on later titles, they are sure to become well known among collectors.
Dragonborne comes out in January, 2020!
The gaming industry isn’t shaking off its retro roots anytime soon, and SpaceBot Interactive is here to contribute to its survival. What do you think our look at the game? Do you already have it? Let us know in the comments section!