The first thing that caught my eye with Black Future ’88 was honestly the aesthetics. With its neon, vaporwave-ish dystopian design, it was definitely eye-catching. At first it looked oldschool, based on just the signs. But the art is actually perfect for the atmosphere and theme of this roguelike game from Super Scary Snakes. The pilex-y, cyberpunk aesthetic is matched with a synth soundtrack that gives it a perfect retro feel.
Black Future ’88 is a bit of a fast-paced, beautiful, inventive mess at times. You have 18 minutes until your heart explodes, so forget about leisurely making your way through the game and taking time to get your bearings. As soon as you start, it’s time to pick up and go, go, go. Fortunately, combat is fast-paced and fairly intuitive to match – something I appreciated, both as someone who hates struggling to figure out what I’m doing, and as someone who loves games that let me move fast and fluidly. It’s a great feeling to just be able to jump into a game and start moving.
You (and your friend, if you bring one) need to make your way to the top of a living tower, where everything wants you dead. As you go on, you can pick up new weapons, and hopefully get upgrades. The tower is evolving the whole time, and each playthrough gives a randomly generated map, so don’t expect to play a few times and memorize your routes either.
The demo included local multiplayer, and while it can be played solo, I actually loved having a second person to fight my way through with – especially someone who was right there. It brought back the feelings of my oldschool SNES days, when I could happily play beside my mom or friends. I wish we’d gotten a chance to play more, but a small line had started behind us.
Black Future ’88 is still in development so I don’t have a date to give you yet (the exact answer to “When does this come out?” was “when it comes out!”), but this will definitely be one to keep an eye on. Check out more at http://www.blackfuture88.com/ !