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’80s arcade pioneers return with “neo-retro” blaster Hyper Sentinel, out on PS4 this week

Huey Games' latest harks back to the glory years of pick-up-and-play shooters

Rob Hewson here, CEO and Creative Director at Huey Games. We’re a small outfit based in the north of England and we have been working away on Hyper Sentinel, which I’m chuffed to say will be available this week on PS4 – 11th May.

Hyper Sentinel is a neo retro game

We’ve got loads of experience in retro games. Our company Chairman, Andrew Hewson, was actually an industry pioneer back in the ’80s, releasing classic arcade titles like Uridium, Zynaps, Cybernoid and Exolon. That’s given us a lot of amazing knowledge of what’s been a success in the past.

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BUT Hyper Sentinel is more than just a retro game – it’s not just some blocky pixels and an 8-bit soundtrack. This is something different that we’re calling neo retro – it’s got the best bits of a retro game in a modern format.

What does neo retro actually mean though?

It looks a little like a retro game and plays with a style that will be familiar to people who have experienced those arcade classics, but it brings an experience that will make modern players feel instantly at home – Hyper Sentinel will satisfy both nostalgia-heads and people that just want a fun time with no set-up and no waffle.

[By “no waffle” I mean no faffing about making you watch long cutscenes and not playing the actual game. It’s classic pick-up-and-play action. In fact, so we can get it out of the way, here’s the plot: aliens are invading and you’re a lone spaceship (a Hyper Sentinel) fending them off. Now shoot some stuff!]

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Nostalgia is a curious thing. It’s natural to long for the days of yore; seemingly simpler times when everything made more sense. Or is that just soft-focus, slow-motion, rose-tinted memories? A lot of people find, especially these days, that re-visiting your favourite old games isn’t actually that great; the graphics are a bit ropey, or it’s waaaay more difficult than you remember, or it just generally makes you feel really old.

The creator of Hyper Sentinel, Jonathan Port, wanted to create a game which felt like 8-bit games did in his imagination when he saw screen shots in CRASH magazine or ZZAP!64 back in the 80s, but without destroying the joy of playing the actual old ones. So he made himself a whole new thing and brought us along for the ride.

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And hey, we’re not the first to do this – games like Resogun, Lumo, Broforce and Hyper Light Drifter are all unmistakably new games that have knowingly embraced nostalgia and have resulted in something awesome. Even outside of games, the likes of Stranger Things and Ready Player One are effectively neo retro in the same way.

Hyper Sentinel was funded by our excellent community of backers on Kickstarter and I believe it’s this neo retro quality, along with its hyper-active, face-melting awesomeness, that really helped draw everyone in. We’re indebted to those backers and we’re thrilled to be able to show them what we’ve made – but we’d like to welcome you too, to an experience that I think will bring you both the warmth of the past and the spectacular action of the future.

All set for blast-off…

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1

I’m always a sucker for retro inspired titles. Born in 91 but played the 80’s classics in the arcades, love em and miss em.

Now, I know the HOTAS 4 is a flight stick, but any chance of adapting the game to use the stick like an arcade one?

GingerMonkey81 08 May, 2018 @ 21:24
1.1

Having trouble signing into my dev account, but this is Rob from Huey Games, honest! Interesting idea on the HOTAS 4, it’s not something we have looked at to be honest but it is possible it might work already – depending on how the HOTAS 4 handles control mapping. Proper old school joystick control should certainly be fun!

Cant believe this isn’t out till friday… one of my favourite games was Uridium on the C64 from hewson soft.. awesome news day 1 purchase.

Please do versions of Zynaps, Cybernoid and Exolon.

GingerMonkey81 08 May, 2018 @ 21:28
2.1

I learnt to spell my surname from the Uridium title screen when I was about 4 or 5, it was one of my favourite games too! I don’t think it was my first game, that was probably another Braybrook classic – Gribbly’s Day Out. Cybernoid and Exolon are treasured memories for me, Raff Cecco is another developer who knows a thing or two about making awesome arcade games! We’ve got some exciting ideas for future Neo Retro projects… watch this space!

3

I loved Exolon on the Speccy!!!

GingerMonkey81 09 May, 2018 @ 13:38
3.1

Me too! Especially liked the rocket backpack – satisfying, and the teleportation pods.

At last!!! Waited sooo long for this to get released! Great!

GingerMonkey81 10 May, 2018 @ 06:56
4.1

Thanks! It has been a lot of hard work so we are excited for release day :)

Carnivius_Prime 09 May, 2018 @ 15:52
5

I may get this cos I like Uridium but the graphic style here ain’t my thing. I love retro when done with detailed pixel art and consistent pixel sizes and such In fact Uridium 2 on the Amiga is one of my fave shooters partially because of the excellent and well-defined graphics (as well as being a lot of fun and having great sound and music too).

GingerMonkey81 10 May, 2018 @ 07:00
5.1

Cool. One of the reasons we went for the high contrast, crisp 8-bit style was readability. There is so much more happening on screen than was possible in the past, and it’s so fast paced, we found the clarity of the 8-bit style really helps you pick out and react to the action.

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