Black Future '88 is a Roguelite Where the 80s Never Die

Published: March 14, 2018 2:20 PM /


black future '88 key-art

Some might wonder why fans of the 1980s love that decade's culture above all others. Is it looking for familiar faces in the neon lights of your favorite retro films? Is it the synth sounds inspired by a future that would never come? Could it be a yearning for a simpler time where information was manageable and franchises had a shelf life? Whatever the case, there's something about the radical decade that continues to inspire countless artistic creations the world over. On top of that pile is Black Future '88, a self-described "synth-punk as fuck" procedural action game published by Good Shepard and developed by the mostly one-man team at SuperScarySnakes.

The setup is simple. In 1988, a man named Duncan plunges the world into a nuclear hellscape by blacking out the sun. The calendars stop, and Duncan hides in an expansive tower guarded by junkies, corrupted AI, and a group of cybernetic guardians known as Wardens. As one of a handful of survivors, you must climb the tower and upgrade your weaponry on your way to take on the man himself. Backing you up is an analog synth soundtrack from post-punk new-wave band Tremor Low.

Black Future '88 is looking to feature two-player couch co-op as well as daily runs with unique attributes. With five unique characters to master and dozens of weapons to discover, there seems like plenty to do even for a single player. Expect more info when Black Future '88 takes us back to the future on Steam later this year.

Quick Take

I know there will be those among you who are sick of the '80s. As a diehard fan of neon and synth, I'm sick of the aesthetic being used as a marketing gimmick, but you can tell when there is some genuine love put in. The barely audible voice clips in the trailer, the choice of 1988 specifically, the way the character's move in the opening animation of the game's trailer. All these things give me confidence that there will be a lot of substance behind the attractive laser light show. Don't let me down!

Are you looking forward to Black Future '88? What roguelikes or roguelites have been absorbing your life recently? Let us know in the comments below!

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Alex Santa Maria TechRaptor
| Staff Writer

Alex Santa Maria is TechRaptor's former Reviews Editor (2015-2020) and current occasional critic. Joining the site early in its life, Alex grew the review… More about Alex