Punktendo: The 8-bit punk games you didn’t play

The original Nintendo Entertainment System arrived on US shores during a divided era in American politics. The Iran hostage crisis concluded with eight American casualties in April 1980, marring the end of President Carter’s first term and contributing to a landslide victory for Ronald Reagan. The discovery of AIDS in 1981 preceded an epidemic that was especially devastating within the gay community throughout the decade. When the console launched in North America in 1985, Reaganomics were in full swing, and disaffected youth responded with the rise of hip hop and punk rock. However, early NES titles were yet too primitive…

Pokemon Go Apple Watch

Apple and Nintendo sitting in a tree …

While the iPhone 7 was the star birthday boy of Apple’s keynote yesterday, there was a shocking amount of news from a once-rival company, Nintendo. To the amazement of everyone tuning in, there was apparently a Snorlax on stage, as seen during the demonstration of Pokemon Go on the Apple Watch. Those presenters were miraculously spared a trampled death. Also worth mentioning is that videogame godfather Shigeru Miyamoto made a surprise appearance for a few hot minutes, consummating the romance that has been blossoming between his company and the omnipotent tech giant over the year. “For the past 30 years, every…

pokemon going

12 Things You Can Do While Playing Super Mario Run

multitask [muhl-tee-task, -tahsk, muhl-tahy-] 1: (of one person) to perform two or more tasks simultaneously. We’re all busy people. And being busy, we have to multitask. For instance, imagine me commuting somewhere (a rarity—working from home and all), listening to a podcast, and styling my adorable Mii with dumb clothes in Miitomo (just kidding—no one plays that anymore), all simultaneously. “Where are my one-handed games?” I recently asked myself, and from the distant country of Japan, Shigeru Miyamoto heard. He channeled his inner Mario, and platformed his way to the Apple keynote stage to announce a surprise game to solve our multitasking…

NES Classic Edition

Nintendo’s new mini console relies on your memories of the ’80s

Between Humble Bundles and Steam sales, everyone loves a good collection of cheapo games. In the spirit of bundle-based generosity, Nintendo has announced a kind of physical manifestation of their Virtual Console in the form of the “NES Classic Edition.” The size of a 10-dollar sandwich, the NES Classic Edition will have a fixed library of 30 NES games, 28 of which are currently available on the Wii U Virtual Console. For the first time ever, Bubble Bobble (1986) and Final Fantasy (1987) will be legally playable in 1080p, having only been on the lower-resolution Wii Virtual Console and NES…

Pokémon Kanto/Johto map

Fear not, Pokémon will save the planet

Pokémon has a complex relationship with nature. It’s among the most explicit and enthusiastic depictions of natural history in kid-oriented pop culture, but environmental educators begrudge its popularity. The series gains species while our planet loses them, and that somehow feels like a bad trade—it leaves a sour taste, though it’s far from obvious that it’s a trade at all. In a sense, Pokémon’s value as an environmentalist work is something we can only see now. Climate change has touched every part of the planet, and economic development in some of the most biodiverse regions of the world is inevitable.…

rhythm heaven

Whoa, you go big guy! Rhythm Heaven Megamix stealth released

E3 is always full of surprises. Sometimes they come in the form of a C-section-scarred Norman Reedus. Sometimes they appear as P.T.-esque, immediately downloadable demos. For Nintendo, surprises are ushered in a very different way: by straight up releasing a game, Beyoncé style. At the tail end of Nintendo’s all-day Treehouse stream on Wednesday, the quirky rhythm game compilation Rhythm Heaven Megamix was announced as available on the eShop to purchase immediately. When Nintendo embraces its off-kilter, eccentric side, they flourish. The Rhythm Heaven series marries the sweet melodies of prolific music producer TSUNKU♂ (who was one of the primary designers and composers…


The Witness swaps polygons for pixels in its NES demake

For all its naturalistic beauty, one of the more interesting lines to come out of reviews for The Witness when it dropped earlier this year was that it didn’t actually need to be in 3D. Creator Jonathan Blow and his team may have spent eight years crafting the game world’s intricate details, but conceptually, as noted by Dan Solberg in Kill Screen’s review for the game, as well as popular YouTube journalist George Weidman in his own, it is most similar to a collection of newspaper brainteasers or a book of riddles. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Even while the player interacts with…

Conveni Dream

Conveni Dream tries to make management sympathetic

The dream starts small. It feels big, but in the grander scheme of life and business, it is small. You have a convenience store, and a small one at that—just a few shelves and one part-time helper. But maybe—just maybe—it can be something more. If you work hard, if you make the right choices, and if everything goes your way. If, if, if. This is both the promise of small-time entrepreneurship and of Conveni Dream, a new game for Nintendo 3DS that turns the challenges of starting a small business into a colorful joyride. Sure, there are stakes—some will build…


NES hack brings your old Nintendo online, complete with Twitter

Despite being over 30-years-old, and therefore predating public internet access, it turns out that the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) has actually been capable of connecting to the internet the whole time. All it takes is a “modem” and a little bit of hacking, courtesy of Femicom Museum founder and serial videogame tinkerer Rachel Simone Weil. Dubbed ConnectedNes, Weil’s hack brings the NES online in three easy steps. First, it takes a Particle Photon Wifi development kit and hacks it together with bits of a NES controller, then plugs it into a standard NES controller port. Because the kit (which Weil has nicknamed…