Piepacker: Nostalgia Freshly Served
Taking retro gaming to cloudy heights
There have been various attempts at reviving interest in video games released during the retro era, and while many of the successful ones usually came from major publishers like Nintendo’s Virtual Console or Sony’s Playstation Classic, other beloved games from lesser known publishers have languished in the past for sometime now.
If you’re someone who has been hankering to play some of these other games though, you’re in luck, because Piepacker has been in the works for some time now. Aiming to bring retro gaming online in a very convenient manner by way of browser-based remote play with integrated video chat and boasting an impressive library of games all stored within the site’s cloud, the project has since been successfully funded via Kickstarter.
The campaign is almost nearing its end, however, and if you need more convincing to join in on this successfully funded project, there’s no better way than to hype you up with a list of some of Piepacker’s most notable games. So grab that plate, and choose your slice from among these retro-filled pieces of pie.
Worms: World Party
A beloved entry to the Worms franchise and first released in 2001 for various consoles of its time such as the Playstation, Dreamcast, Gameboy Advance, and even the N-Gage, Team17 managed to outdo their previous forays into the realm of strategy. And with Piepacker, you can experience outwitting your opponents in a single platform without worrying about crossplay.
Each player will control a group of worms whose sole goal is to rob the other teams’ a chance at fulfilling their dreams by destroying their puny little bodies. You do this by choosing between a multitude of weapons, ranging from simple bows and pistols to the more glorious explosions of fireballs and nuclear bombs. However, all of the mayhem is viewed from a side-scroller’s perspective, and most of the levels feature destructible terrain, so you should approach each shot with caution lest you accidentally make your comrades fall to their own doom. Thankfully, there is also a huge array of equipment such as jetpacks and ninja ropes for your squishy units that they can use to better approach enemies from multiple angles.
Earthworm Jim and Earthworm Jim 2
If you’d want your worms to be more of a single player experience that you can simply load up from your browser, Piepacker also provides you with one of the best platformers to have ever existed during the ‘90s. First developed for the Sega Genesis and Super NES in 1994 by Shiny Entertainment and later receiving multiple ports, Earthworm Jim was beloved for its surreal elements and unique humor that continues to endure through this day.
You play as Jim, an earthworm who accidentally receives a special suit that he can somehow control, giving him the mobility of a human. Of course, this comes at a price, because various other parties also want the suit for themselves, and it’s up to Jim to prevent these evildoers from getting the suit back. He also aims to save Princess What’s-Her-Name from the clutches of these villains, and it’s up to you to guide Jim through various side-scrolling levels full of running and gunning.
Don’t like worms at all? Then how about some magic instead? Micro Mages is a platformer developed for the NES during 2019. Yes, you read it right, this is a modern game intended for an 8-bit system, and Piepacker is bringing it right to your current age browsers.
You play as a mage who is trying to ascend a tower, defeating enemies along the way. And if you’re worried that this might be a lonely climb, fret not, because you can play this with up to four players, either cooperating with each other to help ease the climb, or trying to be the best climber by competing for points. And with Piepacker, you don’t have to worry about huddling around a console with multiple wired controllers. Browser-based multiplayer at its finest.
Finally, we have something for all the retro sports fans out there with Sensible Soccer, widely regarded as one of the best sports titles of its time. Originally released in 1992 by Sensible Software for the Amiga and later ported into the SNES, it was one of the faster paced sports titles of its time, boasting smooth and responsive controls that would turn even the sports haters into believers.
There have been multiple versions of the original game, and thankfully, Piepacker includes both the first game, Sensible Soccer: European Champions, and the improved version, titled Sensible Soccer 92/93. And with sports games inherently being a competitive affair, Piepacker definitely helps sate your desire to curbstomp your friends in a soccer match.
Pack that Pie
These aren’t the only titles that Piepacker has in store, though. There will be more than 60 retro games available for the platform upon release, with a whole range of genres to choose from. From twin stick shooters, 2D fighters, and even pinball tables, you would have no shortage of games to load up and play with your friends.
If none of the games available tickle your fancy, you’d be pleased to know that you can also play your own games with the platform by using the PieReader, which is able to read your NES, SNES, and Genesis cartridges. And if you’re wondering where to get the PieReader, it’s actually bundled with the Kickstarter as the main reward.
If indulging on the retro gaming goodness isn’t enough, you’d be pleased to know that there are plans in the future to incorporate support for modern indie games such as Celeste, The Binding of Isaac, and Towerfall, so if you’re still on the fence about supporting the campaign, you can find out more about the PieReader and the list of available games here on Piepacker’s Kickstarter page. See you in the Piepack!