4 Awesome, Retro-Style Video Games (and Our Terrible Ideas For Sequels)

Because who wouldn’t want to play The Great Gatsby or Tremors as adorable NES games?

These days, the sincerest form of flattery is nostalgia. After all, it lets the object of your appreciation know: “We don’t just miss you, we miss you 20 years later.” So what better way to immortalize your favorite book, sitcom, movie or political scandal than with a fake NES game? It’ll give the general public a chance to experience things through your favorite characters’ eyes. And plus, if you developed it, you’ll get all that sexy flash game money! In fact, now that we think about it, after your initial success, why not force an unfortunate sequel? After all, that will get you even more sexy flash game money, which in real life is probably significantly less than in our dreams. If you need inspiration, just check these games out. These are our four favorite retro flash game tributes – as well as our ideas for bastardizing sequels.


In a move that appears to be a love letter to both old-school Nintendo games and The Great Gatsby, a group of clever developers has produced a Great Gatsby video game. On the NES side of things, Gatsby narrator and game protagonist Nick Carraway’s life bar resembles that of Castlevania, the cut scenes hearken back to Ninja Gaiden, and he even jumps kind of like Mega Man. On the Gatsby side of things, our erstwhile protagonist spends the game flinging his hat at flappers, hunchbacked cocktail waiters, and jazz-enthusiasts who dance the 23-skidoo, all while trying to get his hands on one more martini (which gives Carraway more health). Like the book, the game ends with a tragic (SPOILER ALERT) twist.

Our Idea for a Bastardizing Sequel

Everyone likes revenge stories. Hell, professional weirdo Quentin Tarantino has made a career of it. And everyone likes zombies. And so, ladies and gentlemen, we pitch to you: Gatsby: The Greatest.

In a plot that critics are preemptively calling “the unfeeling molestation of an American classic” and “a shameless money grab, cooked up by a man who barely grazed the Cliff’s Notes version of the book,” Gatsby: The Greatest follows the adventures of a reanimated, guns-and-grenade-wielding Jay Gatsby as he takes to the streets to settle his blood feud with roided-up super freak Tom Buchanan.

If we may let you all peek behind the fourth wall here, we would buy the shit out of this game.


Originally planned to be a simple one-week project, Tom Fulp and the fellas over at Newgrounds, in their own words, let it “[get] completely out of control.” First of all, if you’re not familiar with The Room – also known as, “The Worst Movie Ever Made, By Anyone, Ever” – that’s…not ok. Go find a copy, watch it, read up on everything, and then come back here when you’re done. We’ll wait.

Back? Awesome. WASN’T THAT MOVIE THE GREATEST!? Even better, this SNES-like RPG is a perfect tribute to everything bizarre about the movie, from the amount of money you start with ($6 million. The same amount Tommy Wiseau – the director and star of The Room – said he raised from “selling furs” in order to finance the movie) to the sheer naiveté of Wiseau’s Johnny (he finds pictures of his girlfriend inside another character’s bedroom. “Haha, she is like a mother to him!” he exclaims). If you found any joy in watching The Room – and you should – this is the perfect companion piece.

Our Idea for a Bastardizing Sequel

With the protagonist long dead (in the most tragically hysterical temper tantrum/suicide ever), what else can be done but to reboot the franchise as a sports title? Mark’s Pro Football ‘91 will take all the pigskin-tossing talent of the heartbreaking lothario Mark, and put him under center against a squad of inmates and ne’er-do-wells, led by unruly drug dealer Chris-R.

Funnily enough, although the title will be unlicensed by the NFLPA, somehow, the best player in the game will still be Bo Jackson.


Tremors is either about gigantic, phallic-looking earth-snakes trying to devour Kevin Bacon, or our night terrors are back with a vengeance. Meanwhile, Tremerz is a surprisingly challenging, disarmingly cute game based on the film in time for (ahem) “Kevin Bacon Day,” which is a thing that exists, apparently. Now, the film already has sequels, including one that features Bruce Campbell and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, only to kill them off in the first 10 minutes (worst Blockbuster rental ever). So a sequel to the video game tribute should just follow suit of the movies, right?

Our Idea for a Bastardizing Sequel

Nope! Instead we’re going back to basics: Tremors vs. Kevin Bacon. But this time, we’re doing it from the perspective of the Tremors!

The pitch will be easy. The Internet’s going all crazy over bacon these days anyway. So, we’ll just call it Tremerz: The Hunt for Bacon and voila: next thing you know, you’ll be piloting a ground-penis in pursuit of the greatest actor who ever lived.


While Watergate: The Game isn’t a tribute to a TV show or movie, it’s absolutely worth a mention. The game borrows both the gameplay and music of old school NES standard Deja Vu. However, it differs from the source material in that you take the role of Bob Woodward in 1972, the night after the break-in at the Watergate Hotel took place. The goal: To use your wits and a surprising amount of cunning to pursue the case. Entertaining as this game is, it never takes itself too seriously. See if you can find the Easter egg where Timothy Leary gives you LCD, leading you to control side-scrolling Mega Man on a drug trip gone horribly, horribly wrong. That’s actually in the game!

Our Idea for a Bastardizing Sequel

These days, a lot of videogames like to play with alternate versions of history (for instance, Assassin’s Creed 3 has a DLC whereby George Washington seizes power as King of America). While our proposed sequel would break the 8- and 16-bit mold, it still makes for an important story worth telling. Watergate: The Rise of Nixon would tell an alternate version of the Watergate scandal, in which the burglars and wire-tappers get away scot-free. You would take control of “Snake Manchest,” spy extraordinaire, as he winds his way through the DNC headquarters. Just imagine: a world where Nixon could live to finish out his tenure, and we Americans would never have to succumb to the national mediocrity of Gerald Ford.

Frankly, we think there’s a huge market for this kind of ironic retro-nostalgia. So, please, we urge you, game developers: keep sinking your free time into making things like a What’s Happening!! flash game, and we’ll keep playing them instead of managing our finances or working out.

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