Old School Gamer Magazine chats with developer Andreas Winhad, who discusses his newest title, Genesis, and how it was inspired by one of the biggest cult favorite on the Game Boy.

About Genesis:

In Genesis, fight your way through hordes of enemies to reach the boss of each action packed level, defeat them to progress and get closer to the core of Genesis. Test your agility to dodge enemy fire and collect shield energy and power-ups from enemy remains.

The standard edition of Genesis costs $ 44.99/£32.35/€37.20. The game is fully compatible with all Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance handhelds.

Old School Gamer Magazine: How was this game born?

Andreas Winhad: I am a big fan of Solar Striker for the Game Boy, but the game is way too hard and I usually die in stage 3. It also doesn’t offer enough power-up options. I decided to learn GBDK (GameBoy Developer’s Kit) and create a clone from scratch to improve on these elements and more. 

Old School Gamer Magazine: What is your role in the game?

Winhad: I programmed it all from scratch including the level design, all the sprites, and the music. 

Chris Beach (AKA Spacebot Interactive) helped me put the project together as the producer and Incube8 Games picked up the publishing part, from the manufacturing to the shipping and customer service.

Old School Gamer Magazine: What has development been like?

Winhad: It was very funny and I learned a lot about using GBDK.

Old School Gamer Magazine: What makes this game special?

Winhad: Although it’s been a few decades since the golden age of the shmups, Genesis really encapsulates the feeling of that era. It’s a real retro game in its essence. 

Old School Gamer Magazine: What games influenced this one the most?

Winhad: Definitely Solar Striker. 

Old School Gamer Magazine: Any fun stories or wild moments during development?

Winhad: Yes! When I started programming Genesis I really went crazy because I used an old version of GBDK which was very buggy. That’s also the reason why GBDK had a bad reputation. After a lot of debugging I switched to a newer version. Now GBDK2020 is available which is really a nice development environment for the Gameboy.

Old School Gamer Magazine: What were the major lessons learned?

Winhad: Always use the latest GBDK version!

Old School Gamer Magazine: Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?

Winhad: I think older gameplay mechanics are the foundation from which modern gameplay mechanics were built. Switch games may not have the same memory limitations as Game Boy games, but they still tend to use “older” mechanics from time to time because of the feeling they bring. So yes, I think the arcade mechanics of old are there to stay.

Old School Gamer Magazine: The marketplace is crowded. How do you think you stand out?

Winhad: Nostalgia is a big factor. A lot of people are making great modern games, but the retro gaming niche is a market of its own. Genesis is not a modern take on vertical scrollers with low-fi pixel art visuals; it’s a genuine shmup to scratch the arcade itch. Plus owning a game physically is definitely a huge plus for a lot of collectors and modders nowadays.

Old School Gamer Magazine: How do you want this game to ultimately be remembered?

Winhad: I’d love Genesis to be seen as a “true” shmup and openly compared to Solar Striker and other great titles that made the genre.

Old School Gamer Magazine: What’s next?  

Winhad: I’ve worked on a couple other games on GBDK, some of which are getting a very limited physical release. Depending on how well Genesis is received, I might publish one of them on a larger scale.

Old School Gamer Magazine: Anything else you’d like to add?

Winhad: Go get the game! It’s uncertain whether we’ll do a second run so it might be your only chance to get your hands on Genesis. Plus, the more we encourage small releases like this one, the more likely we are to see fresh games get released on retro consoles.

Patrick Hickey Jr. Patrick Hickey Jr. (330 Posts)

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of ReviewFix.com and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book series, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the late-Examiner.com