RetroGamer – retro radar a moment with
BBG Entertainment Stephen Berendsen on reviving popular retro titles – including Intellivision classic – for PC and consoles
In 2021, BBG Entertainment released Boulder Dash Deluxe – a game which not only included 20 stages from the original game but 180 new ones. It achieved a score of 80% in issue 219, but now the company is back with not one, not two but three new retro revivals: a reimagination Of Dynablaster alongside fresh renditions of the Intellivision classics Shark! Shark! and Astrosmash. BBG Entertainment president Stephan Berendsen gives us the lowdown,
Hi Stephan. BBG Entertainment is no stranger to revisiting classic, games, but what makes them
Many of these early games feature great game design. Forty years ago, computers were very limited in terms of graphics and performance, so what mattered was a compelling game idea. These excellent game concepts still inspire today and that’s the reason why we want to keep these games alive and provide new, modern, reimagined versions for current platforms, for players young and old.
You worked on a 30th anniversary version of Boulder Dash. What do you need to consider when updating old games and what did you learn from the development of that game?
In the development of Boulder Dash Deluxe. We had to find a compromise to appeal to the old Boulder Dash fans and the younger generation that had never experienced the game before. It wasn’t easy but, at Gamescom 2019, we had a Boulder Dash booth in the Retro area. Many young people who had never heard of the game before, played Boulder Dash Deluxe enthusiastically, which was wonderful to see. The real hardcore Boulder Dash fans would have liked to see more retro design (more old levels, original game engine and so on) but overall, they were p’eased with the look and feel of the game, particularly its classic mechanics, which we stayed true to.
What then motivated BBG Entertainment to work on new versions of DYNABLASTER, Shark! Shark! and Astrosmash?
We have been co-operating with Intellivision since 2019, and we were excited about the concept of its Amico console from the beginning. We decided to port our two games DYNABLASTER and BrainDuel (based on our Einstein Brain Trainer) to the Amico console which are almost finished and, over good relationship with the Intellivision team. Of the other Intellivison Amico games, Astrosmash and Shark/ Shark/ excited us.
DYNABLASTER (or Bomberman) has been around since 1983, and it has had numerous updates and revamps since then. What will make your version special — what new features can we expect?
We developed Our first DYNABLASTER version in 2013 for iOS and Android. We were limited on the mobile platforms at that time, but we finally started developing a completely new DYNABLASTER version for PC and consoles in late 2021 This new version features very good 3D and high-resolution graphics, many new game elements such as power-ups, which really adds a new dimension to the gameplay, and a very performant local and online multiplayer. There is also a brand
new co-op mode for couch play.
Was it easy to strike a deal with Intellivision for Astrosmash and Shark! Shark!?
Negotiations took a long time, but Intellivision understood how passionate we were about these IPs. This passion combined with the relationship we had built with Intellivlsion over the years, allowed us to strike a deal that worked for everyone.
Can you tell us what readers , can expect from your new update of Shark! Shark!?
The original 40+ year-old Shark! Shark! captivates with a unique game concept and our new version builds on this captivating game idea. The new Shark! Shark! version is a complete new development with many new game elements and creatures, updated graphics, great music and sounds, joystick/control as well as local and online multiplayer with up to four players. All of this is available for modern platforms like Switch, XBOX and Steam,
The original Intellivision versions are also being included. How faithful will they be – will you even retain the bugs in Shark! Shark!?
We are being extremely faithful to the original version of Shark! Shark! But the new version is a complete new development with modem development tools, for modern consoles, so players won’t have to worry about flickering graphics More will be unveiled soon.
Astrosmash was a hit among those seeking high scores. Will this be integral to the new experience?
Yes. Just like the original. Astrosmash, the new, reimagined experience will motivate those seeking high scores. We will announce more specifics on what players can expect, particularly those high-score hunters, very soon.
What else can we expect?
Next year, Boulder Dash will turn 40, In celebration, we currently have a brand-new version of Boulder Dash in development, which will be released next year. We are already working closely with the Boulder Dash community on this new experience, which will, for sure, be the best version of Boulder Dash ever created. We can’t wait to deliver this to core fans and introduce the ultimate version of the game to a new generation of players.
Stephan Berendsen – President of BBG Entertainment
” Intellivision understood how passionate we were about these IPs. ” STEPHAN BERENDSEN
- 19. July 2023