While the homebrew scene is becoming more and more known, it's still weird to see developers announce what is essentially a port for their game to a system that came out over 3 decades ago. Yet, today, that is what arrived in my mailbox as Elden Pixels announced that their indie metroidvania title Alwa's Awakening is getting an NES port
Why is Alwa's Awakening NES Port happening?
Why is the first question that often arises to me when I see news like this, it's hardware that has been dead for decades. It's a game you released in 2017, and since released a more acclaimed sequel to. So why is this happening? Well, apparently the reason it is happening is that it's really a return to where it all began. In 2014, Alwa's Awakening was first conceived of as NES Homebrew, before the team at Elden Pixels moved onto doing a traditional game, in good part because their assembly coding skills (something necessary to make ambitious games run on the modest NES hardware), just weren't up to snuff for it.
So, now in 2020, they've partnered up with homebrew creator and indie developer Brad Smith, who is going to be the lead programmer on the project. Having previously released Lizard for NES, Smith brings great knowledge of the NES hardware and programming to the port, and will be doing that, to help the team realize their dream of releasing it on a real NES cartridge, complete with box and manual later in 2021. They've even signed with a publisher, as retro-gaming store Retro-Bit is dipping its foot into publishing deeper and doing a game that isn't a reissue here as their previous releases have been.
They also released a video which featured Brad talking about the NES hardware, and in particular, the work in getting Alwa's Awakening's backgrounds onto the NES, which makes for an interesting listen if you're interested in retro hardware. There's also a public beta starting early next year, if you are interested in giving your thoughts on the game as the port is developed.
Alwa's Awakening will release sometime in 2021 on NES, and is currently available on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.