I’m not sure how other generations deal with nostalgia, but I know mine is pretty crazy for it. The unnamed, or generation X is pretty serious about reliving its younger days. Re-makes and de-makes and rehashed material is rampant in Hollywood and dominates the indie scene as well. I’ve ranted and gone on about my own spending sprees to acquire random crap from my childhood, and once I thought it was through and dealt with, I came across Saturday Morning RPG.
The game released not too long ago on Steam for Mac, and I was allowed access to a review copy and immediately went to work. I have to admit that I played it pretty steadily for a few days for enjoyment and wasn’t taking notes for the review. I’m okay with that, the same thing happened with a couple other games that I’ve reviewed and enjoyed.
You play as Marty Michael Hall (Marty McFly and Anthony Michael Hall anyone?) and Marty is granted a serious power, and as a high school student, has serious issues dealing with it. With great power comes great…yeah, once he gets the power he draws the attention of some serious 80’s villain and his minions. Saving the world, stopping the Commander and getting Molly Ringwald free and able to fall in love with him are all in order here.
The callbacks and outright patronage of the 80’s, and even the early 90’s are all charming and not at all overbearing. I laughed out loud the first time I opened my trapper keeper, and had a blast riding around on my hoverboard. Over the top 80s styled guitars scream and wail and you can nearly feel the chill of the cold war emanating from your screen when you play.
The game has almost a Zelda feel when traveling in between locations and battles play out in JRPG fashion. Charging up and picking the correct power to use is important. You can select form several different powers Marty can use, some with hilarious effects. I can’t get enough of charging unicorns personally. Traveling in the over world is also very JRPG, and is reminiscent of games like Final Fantasy. The battles are initiated when you venture close enough to enemies, and thankfully random encounters are excluded.
You move from episode to episode, building your power as you go and unlocking cutscenes with speech bubbles. It’s truly everything you would want from a game from guys who truly love the 80’s. I only wish Saturday Morning RPG was available when I was a kid. It really makes all of the little improvements that needed to be made with games you enjoyed as a kid.
It is so hard to keep from pointing out all of the charming elements and the callbacks to the 80’s. This game is chock full of clever quotes and things that bring you back to Fast Times at Ridgemont, Back to the Future, Transformers and other.
Saturday Morning RPG is a fun jaunt through memory lane, but is also deep and engaging enough to pull in others who weren’t raised in the decadent 80’s. An accessible but deceptively battle system, great music and writing all combine to make Saturday Morning an 8/10. We’re looking forward to bigger things from Mighty Rabbit Studios in the future. Pick it up when you can.