Combining retro aesthetics and modern game design is the speciality of Sabotage Studio, and today they are showing that off as The Messenger has been announced.

Combining 8-bit and 16-bit visuals and gameplay, with art and music that is reminiscent of the Nintendo classics, the Metroidvania-style ninja adventure that is The Messenger will be hitting console and PC later in 2018.

First presented as an 8-bit action platformer, The Messenger will see you take on an epic ninja tale that takes you forward in time, supported visually by a shift to 16-bit, where the adventure and gameplay mechanics become deeper than you would ever expect.

Playing as a young ninja tasked with carrying a powerful scroll, upon which his clan’s survival depends, through his cursed world, it’ll be up to you to help as he battles the demon army that besieged his village. What may first appear to be a simple homage story and love letter to 8-bit platformers will slowly evolve into a clever time travelling 16-bit Metroidvania experience that is packed with deep replay value and deadpan humor.

You can be sure that it will be fully optimized for streaming and speedrunning communities when it does drop too.

The Messenger has also already received industry recognition among the indie game community having recently won the Best Music Award and Best Gameplay Design Award at the Montreal Independent Games Festival in November 2017.

The Messenger is designed and developed by a talented team of industry veterans with a love for classically-inspired arcade games and gaming experiences “The Messenger is Sabotage’s first game and a love letter to the beloved retro-console games from the late 80s and early 90s,” said Martin Brouard, Co-Founder of Sabotage Studio. “The early feedback we received at the Montreal Independent Games Festival and the Montreal International Game Summit has been overwhelmingly positive. Now we can’t wait for the rest of the world to experience The Messenger later this year!”

“I’ve wanted to make a game like The Messenger since I was eight years old,” said Thierry Boulanger, Co-Founder of Sabotage Studio. “Together at Sabotage we set out to make the kind of game that inspired us to get into the industry in the first place, with an over the top story, arcade-style challenges and visually striking pixel art. The Messenger is that game, and we’re thrilled to finally announce and share it with a like-minded audience that loves new games inspired by generations of classic video game greatness.”

Key features of The Messenger include:

  • The Way of the Ninja: Challenging retro-inspired gameplay with tight platforming controls put players on the path of becoming an ultimate ninja master.
  • Nostalgic Art Design: Travel seamlessly through time with shifts between authentic 8-bit and 16-bit pixel art environments and gameplay reminiscent of fan-favorite NES and SNES games.
  • Colorful, Over-the-Top Characters: The Messenger features a memorable cast of (often silly) villains, bosses and low-level goons.
  • Catchy Soundtrack: Renowned musician and audio wizard Eric “Rainbowdragoneyes” Brown is responsible for all of The Messenger’s audio, most importantly its trademark chiptune soundtrack. The entire soundtrack was made using Famitracker, providing an authentic and timeless NES vibe.
  • Play, Play and Play Again: Replay the game with all upgrades from previous runs to discover hidden levels and new story arcs.

Do you have what it takes to decipher the secrets of The Messenger? We’ll be sure to bring you more as and when we have it. For now though, check out the teaser below.

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