GBJam Top Picks

Retro art and 8-bit graphics are abundant in indie games, so naturally it was only a matter of time before a game jam appeared focusing on recapturing some nostalgia from the early days of gaming. Enter GBJam, a week-long development event which encourages developers to produce a game that fits in the style of an old GameBoy title. Now that the event is technically over (despite some participants still producing more content) I’ve trawled through the submissions and picked out some of my favourites.

GBJAM Guilty Conscience

Guilty Conscience

Guilty Conscience presents itself as just another platformer. You hop and jump from start to finish. Simple, right? Well progression through each level sometimes causes you to murder innocent little critters, and each life slain causes your guilt to become a literal burden, slowing you down incrementally. Slay too many and it’s game over.

Submission link

GBJAM Office


This is better described as a 2D Portal, which isn’t a bad thing by any accounts. You’re tasked with going through the level collecting little coins whilst commanding two dimensional portals. Can you imagine how mind blowing this kind of premise would have been back in the old days?

Submission Link

GBJAM Mini Invaders

Mini Invaders

Mini Invaders is a Space Invaders-style shooter which has you take on a swarm of aliens crashing down to earth. The soundtrack is perfect, the game is engaging and fast paced, but above all else it exudes the nostalgic charm of a retro GameBoy title. I can honestly see this being a worthwhile title in my old collection of 20 foot cartridges.

Submission Link

GBJam Thieves Beneath the Face

Thieves beneath the Face

Thieves beneath the Face is a homage to the initial Zelda games, where grid-based movement and zone exploration team up to provide a decent experience. You play as an orphan on a quest to steal a name for himself. The journey will take you through the sprawling city above ground as well as the dark dungeons underneath.

Submission Link 

Tetsujin GBJam


Tetsujin is a slick 2D action game involving cyborg ninjas and lots of stabbing. Of all the titles I played from this Jam, this is by far one of the tightest in terms of controls and visuals.

Submission Link

Jack B. Nimble GBJam

Jack B. Nimble

An endless runner that focuses on whipping, Lots of whipping. There’s a certain amount of familiarity here compared to the older GameBoy titles in which the game is simple yet challenging. No save points, no continues. If you’re dead you start again and do better.

Submission Link

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Author:Andy Moore

Andy can usually be found screaming obscenities at whatever game happens to be in front of him at the time, usually because he can't make that final double jump past the laser ghost alien centaurs. When he isn't gaming, he's usually thinking about it. Well, Gaming or alcohol. Catch him on his Twitter handle @MrAndypanda

2 Responses to “GBJam Top Picks”

  1. November 14, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    I never owned a GameBoy before the GB Advance, so I don’t have that nostalgic fondness for the retro look like some other gamers might have. I do, however, enjoy an interesting story so out of all these games I think I’d be most inclined to check out Thieves beneath the Face.

    I’d also be interested in Office except that Smudged Cat Games already did a really great 2D Portal-esque game called Gateways that I reviewed last year.

  2. December 30, 2013 at 5:13 am #

    Thanks for playing my game, I hope you enjoyed it! :)

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