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Rock Boshers DX: Switch Review

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Developed and Published by Tikipod

With the Switch becoming ever more popular day by day its no surprise indie developers are starting to re-release a lot of their work onto the system. Developer Tikipod released Aqua Kitty UDX to Switch earlier this year, a game well suited to Nintendo’s hybrid handheld. Now it’s time for Rock Boshers DX to gets turn in the Switch spotlight.  Both myself and Fred reviewed Rock Boshers for PS4 and PS vita and after reading the reviews again I feel everything is still relevant to how I feel about the game today. That review can be found here.

Aqua Kitty minigame

Rock Boshers DX is a love letter to the micro computer days of video games. A time where several video games were developed – some in bedrooms apparently – it was a time where you would see all sorts of crazy game ideas but as the years progressed and consoles became more popular video games became more focused and everyone decided Zelda was the best game ever, the end. Okay, that’s not exactly what happened, but Rock Boshers DX also likes to play with history. You play as Young Victoria in a steam punk future set in 1880. Victoria finds a nice hat that disguises her then decides to head to Mars. After being forced to work in the mines and “bosh” some rocks, your goal is to escape and find a way home and possibly bump into Charles Darwin a few times as you do. The story is just brilliant and your curiosity to what will happen next will carry you through the games 24 stages. Once you’ve finished with the story you also have four arcade style games to enjoy which are unlocked by collecting tea, scone and cheese collectibles in the main game. Not sure I know any other game that uses this as a collectible.

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Written by jamalais

December 7, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Reviews, Switch

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Lost Treasures of Gaming: Smash TV

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There was no episode of Lost Treasures of Gaming, but that never stops Syd from talking about another classic on the OMG! Hour.  This week was a treat that I loved back when I was playing in the arcades, Smash TV.  A twin stick shooter with ultra violence in a futuristic gameshow, this Robotron 2084 inspired title was a blast.  Not only that, but thanks to how I captured the game we have interview footage with Midway developers Eugene Jarvis and Mark Turmell.

Check out the Lost Treasures of Gaming podcast at

Written by Fred Rojas

November 21, 2015 at 11:00 am

Smash TV Review

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smashtv_boxPlatform: Arcade, microcomputers, NES, Master System, Game Gear, SNES, Genesis/Mega Drive, Xbox/Gamecube/PS2/PSP (part of Midway Treasures)
Released: 1990
Developer: Williams
Publisher: Williams/Midway
Digital Release? Yes, it had a digital release on XBLA (360) but was delisted in Feb. 2010

Smashtv01These days there is a good chance any gamer is familiar with the “twin stick shooter”, a concept where you move with the left stick and shoot with the right.  Back in 1982 when fantastic game designer Eugene Jarvis premiered the concept in Robotron: 2084, it was unlike anything we had ever seen.  The merits of that game, and what it brought to video games, cannot be denied and if you want an idea of how Robotron played you need look no further than recent neo-retro release Rock Boshers Dx.  It wasn’t until almost a decade later, in 1990’s fantastic Smash TV, that Jarvis along with a talented team at Williams created one of the most addicting arcade games from my youth.  Set in the year 1999 – oh how we thought so much was going to change with the year 2000 back then – Smash TV has you and potentially one other person shooting it out in a room-to-room TV studio playing the most violent game show of all time (Running Man anyone?).  It takes the building blocks of Robotron: 2084 and brings it into the nineties by giving you a second player, having you kill tons of humans instead of rescue them like in Robotron, and of course you’re doing it all for cash prizes to selfishly grow your wealth.  I loved it then and I love it now.

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Written by Fred Rojas

March 24, 2015 at 11:34 am

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Review


The original Hotline Miami is still a massive indie hit that has a colourful over the top retro look to it with a fantastic soundtrack to accompany it. The goal of each level was simple: kill every enemy on screen by any means necessary. Although that comes across as a very basic concept the game is very difficult and you will find yourself restarting constantly until you finally figure out the magical formula to dispatch all the bad guys in the level. I was hooked to this game instantly when I first played it, and was pretty excited to hear a sequel was on the way.

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Written by jamalais

March 16, 2015 at 11:00 am

Hotline Miami Review

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Getting that “retro feel” in modern games is a particular challenge that few actually nail.  Sometimes the aesthetics are spot on, but at the expense of gameplay, which can feel sluggish or imprecise and the developer often sites authenticity for retro consoles or some other excuse.  Many times the soundtrack is fantastic but it’s the only notable aspect of the game.  By process of elimination there are those titles that get the gameplay down but at the expense of aesthetics and story a la Retro City Rampage.  That’s why Hotline Miami seems such an achievement because it looks like a 16-bit top-down game, plays like a twin stick shooter from the 90s (Smash TV anyone?), and manages to pull off the unreliable narrator concept that usually falls flat.  On top of that, it has a fantastic soundtrack that Dennis Wedin composed for the game and stands as the first thing you experience upon booting it up and the most notable part of the experience.  All the elements are there and the result is an unforgetable title from start to finish.

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Written by Fred Rojas

March 15, 2015 at 9:00 pm

Rock Boshers DX Director’s Cut Review

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Jam’s Take

rb_boxWith the ever increasing improvements to video games – top of the range PCs with graphics cards that are able to show realism that get closer and closer to the real thing – as a gamer you really start to question how games could get any better. Then comes along a game called Rock Boshers that shows us that the evolution in gaming of not necessarily going forward, but backwards.

Rock Boshers is very much a love letter to the ZX Spectrum gaming days. The game happily advertises that it pulls from a palette of just 15 colours and even mimics the music the old micro computers from the eighties was capable of. Rock Boshers is not the first game to give love to the old microcomputer, the ZX Spectrum still gets a lot of love to this day with homebrew games being regularly released (Retro Gamer magazine which is a popular read in the UK, discusses popular homebrew released every month). Rock Boshers is one of the few ZX Spectrum inspired games as far as I am aware that has made it to Steam and even the PS4 and PSVita (the latter being the version I’ve reviewed).

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Written by jamalais

December 30, 2014 at 11:38 am

Posted in PC/Mac, PS4, PSP, Reviews

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Bangai-O (Treasure)

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Up to this point, we’ve had a relatively small number of shmups that don’t fit into a simple criteria: either vertical or horizontal raster arcade shmups.  Sure there was some discussion about on-rails titles with Silpheed and even the mention of old school vector graphics in our introductory shmup article, but there are some games technically called shmups that fit a different category.  These are games where you control a single character or duo and battle large numbers of enemies in rudimentary level designs.  The actual size and shape of the level is irrelevant, the point is that you are getting bombarded on all sides and must survive against a mass of trigger-happy enemies.  From a certain perspective, this is considered a shmup and I definitely agree with that sentiment.

It’s important to note that the title originally started as a remake of Hover Attack, a Sharp X1 type-in game from 1983.  For those not familiar, a “type-in” game was a program you purchased in book form for a few dollars, you would type in the (often times) hundreds of lines of code.  Usually the program didn’t run the first time, various syntax errors would claim responsibility, and it was always because of a single character issue on literally thousands of lines of code.  This was before floppy disks, it was a different time.  Anyway, Hover Attack was a game that allowed a ship or and carrier to move in all different directions and fire independent of its movement.  It was one of the first games to do so and for comparison is a very basic version of a twin stick shooter.  This is why the game/level design seems a bit dated for a game that released in 1999 at the end of the N64’s life.  It eventually became its own property and remains a unique independent title, although certain concepts like the streaking of bullet patterns remain from Hover Attack.

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Written by Fred Rojas

March 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Iron Crypticle Review

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Tikipod continues its quest to release all of it’s games to the Switch and I’m sure my whinging at the developer on the internet for a full year had everything to do with it. Iron Crypticle is next up for players and once  again Tikipod has knocked it out of the park, or maybe the crypt in this case.

Set in the land of Cryptonia, the royal treasure consisting of giant golden fruits, vegetables, and the princess have been taken, leaving a large gaping hole in the floor. It’s up to the lazy kings guard (who sort of let this happen in the first place) to jump down the hole and save the day. Iron Crypticle doesn’t take itself too seriously and you will undoubtedly chuckle at various moments including the merchant cat and the games final ending, which of course I won’t spoil here. I highly recommend you check out the “ledger” which is a sort of codex of all the items you collect in the game where the developer has taken the time to give a humorous description for practically everything you see (there may also be an achievement in it for you if you make the effort).

Iron Crypticle is a top down twin stick arcade shooter with roguelike elements that takes influences from a few old arcade favourites including Ghouls’N Ghosts, Smash TV, and even Bubble Bobble.

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Written by jamalais

February 18, 2019 at 11:00 am

Video Series: Neo-Retro Episode 1 – Kite (PC, 1080p60)

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Kite Steam Page

For our new series, Neo-Retro where I examine modern releases that look at feel retro. Today we are looking at the new action shooter from Lab Cat Games, Kite. A review code was provided for the purposes of this video, however selection of the games featured in Neo-Retro are at my sole discretion. Captured on a PC with an i5 4690K, GTX 1070, and 16 GB of RAM running Windows 10 64-bit OS (which is far more than this game requires).  For a full transcript (ie: written review) of this video, please click “read more” below.

Wish to request a game to be featured on Neo-Retro? Contact us:

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Written by Fred Rojas

March 16, 2018 at 2:00 pm

Posted in Neo-Retro, Videos

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Podcast Archive


The Gaming History 101 podcast feed covers all episodes ever posted for any podcast.  Want to see specific shows on your podcast reader?  Check out our feeds page.  This archive compiles every single episode, by year, in reverse chronological order for either downloading or listening to in browser.  Clicking on a guest’s link will show you all episodes with that guest.

This is the archive for the Gaming History 101 podcast, but we have others:

2012 (Season 1)

Season 1 Bundle Download (includes Episodes 1-11 and 13-20) – Size: 942 MB

2013 (Season 2)

Season 2 Bundle Download (Eps. 21-49, 51-71, includes both versions of ep 57) Size: 2.12 GB

2014 (Season 3)

***Starting in Episode 81 Jamalais becomes a permanent Co-Host and therefore is no longer tagged as a guest.  Guests  are only mentioned if present.***

Season 3 Bundle Download (Eps. 72-122 and Extra Credit 1-4) Size: 2.37 GB

2015 (Season 4)

Season 4 Bundle Download (Eps. 123-179 and Extra Credit 5-30)

2016 (Season 5)

Season 5 Bundle Downloads (Episodes 180-228, Extra Credit 31-33, and E3 Shows)

2017 (Season 6)

2018 (Season 7)

At this time the Gaming History 101 podcast is on hiatus.  Fred is focusing on playing the games he’s always wanted to experience and doing episodes on these games.  That link will be live shortly.

Written by Fred Rojas

July 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm

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