Is coffee metal? Some would think so. After all, it is blacker than the blackest black times infinity. In addition to international music sensations, developers Mega Cat Studios have also had their say, crafting Coffee Crisis as a perfect union between Satan's favorite musical genre and 16-bit beat 'em up gameplay. On Kickstarter until December 4th and hoping to raise $10,000, Coffee Chaos is not only a classic pixel game on PC, but it's a game designed primarily as a Sega Genesis game, and it has the cartridge shells to prove it.
What do I mean by that? Well, you probably haven't heard of Mega Cat Studios before reading this, and that's because Coffee Crisis is their first major release. They're a small coalition of international developers from the retro gaming scene looking to bring back the love from older consoles. Because of these roots, they already have a supply chain in place to get cartridge shells for old games, ensuring that manufacturing shouldn't be a problem. They also have roots in their community of Pittsburgh, supporting the arcade scene there and engaging in charity work as a unit.
Coffee Crisis is an arcade brawler in the tradition of Streets of Rage, and retro in more than just a marketing sense. Unlike some pixel games, Coffee Crisis is designed with the restrictions of the Sega Genesis in mind, and you will be able to pick up a working cartridge of the game if you support the game at higher tiers. As for the story, aliens have come down to Earth to steal our four most precious resources. They plan to pilfer "our metal music, the best coffee, cat videos, and all of the WiFi." How they plan to steal all the WiFi is unclear, but who am I to argue with our new alien overlords? Either way, our only hope is a pair of baristas and their ability to dispatch foes with a bag of coffee beans and a scoop.
You may be asking yourself, why would a developer make a boxed Sega Genesis game in 2016? If you said "to promote Black Forge Coffee House, a local coffee house partnered with the developer," then congratulations on your Google skills. Speaking with Crystal from Mega Cat Studios, she stated that the partnership is purely a creative collaboration rather than a financial one, as the studio just supported the art gallery atmosphere combined with metal music. While the game is not a traditional licensed promotion for a local coffee house, that certainly does fit the 16-bit era, where everything from Home Improvement to Bill Clinton's cat was immortalized on video game consoles. Once you think about if or a second, why not a coffee house?
As you can see from the above gameplay footage, Coffee Crisis is already well on its way to completion behind the scenes. If the game reaches beyond its initial goal, the company plans to build up to three standalone arcade cabinets for the title, in up to three different locations around their hometown of Pittsburgh. As for getting the game outside of that city, you'll either be able to order a PC version from their official site or the full Genesis cart which will work on actual consoles. In addition, the game is also on Steam Greenlight waiting for upvotes to get approved for digital distribution on the Steam storefront.
Coffee Crisis is not the only game Mega Cat Studios have been working on, not by a long shot. Their website lists over twenty projects in development, which might be worrying to someone with modern sensibilities. For someone who knows about the NES/SNES days, it seems a bit more reasonable, especially if the developers are tapping into well-known genres. Supporting Genesis, NES, SNES, and even a GBA release, Mega Cat Studios looks to be one of the more prolific homebrew developers out there if this first crowdfunding effort is successful, and I love the wide array of unique subject matter they're tackling.
I know that there are a lot of retro games out there, and I have no doubt that there will be more to come in the future. If you have it in your heart to love another pixel game, here's a developer who is in love with the real retro, putting games onto physical cartridges and giving both collectors and gamers something to celebrate. Just because a console is past its prime doesn't mean that it doesn't have more to offer the gaming community, and outfits like Mega Cat Studios continue to prove that.
What are your thoughts on Coffee Crisis? Do you have a Sega Genesis ready to go when the game makes its debut? Why doesn't anyone make homebrew games for the N-Gage? Let me know in the comments below!