If you are fond of challenging, bite-sized platformers, I have excellent news for you! Bzzzt is a delightful and innovative addition that brings to mind highly popular games in the category, such as Celeste and Super Meat Boy. Furthermore, we are distributing keys as a part of IGN Plus. HURRAY!
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Get ready to experience Bzzzt, a high-speed platformer by solo developer Karel Matejka (also known as KO.DLL), who has dedicated four years to working on this game independently. They painstakingly curated every aspect of the game except the (extremely catchy) music, which was skillfully crafted by their longtime friend Martin Linda. According to Karel, Bzzzt draws inspiration from a multitude of games, including Manic Miner, Mario, Oddworld, Mega Man, VVVVVV, Shovel Knight, Geometry Dash, Hollow Knight, and many others.
In my opinion, it certainly channels the spirit of Celeste and Super Meat Boy, although unlike Super Meat Boy, it offers several difficulty options that allow you to make up to three mistakes before having to restart the compact stage.
Check out our exclusive interview with Bzzzt’s sole developer, Karel Matejka. We discuss their solo game development journey, retro games that serve as inspiration, and more.
Hope you revel in the game and the interview. Cheers!
The following interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Brian: I understand that reviving the old-school vibe and love for retro games fueled the creation of Bzzzt. (It reminds me of Super Meat Boy with a touch of Celeste, and more)
Karel: I have always been captivated by the vintage 8-bit games. As a child, I was spellbound by a novel form of entertainment I had never encountered before. This was the driving force behind my decision to start developing games on my own. After spending more than 30 years in the game industry, working on major titles, I decided to “time-travel” back to the eighties, become an indie developer, and see if I could produce a game that reflected that nostalgic feeling, without any of the limitations of the old computers. I aimed to pay homage to the games I grew up playing, but with fresh design approaches, superbly tight controls, vibrant artwork, high-frequency animations, and ultra-fast gameplay.
It was inconceivable for me to create “just another” retro game with loose controls, frustrating platforming, and jerky camera movement. This is why I sought inspiration in modern games as well. Celeste features remarkably refined controls and an assistance system for players. Super Meat Boy inspired me to intensify the frenetic gameplay, and Cuphead served as the inspiration for the ever-changing gameplay and boss stages. The list of games that influenced Bzzzt is almost endless: Manic Miner, Mario, Oddworld, Mega Man, VVVVVV, Shovel Knight, Geometry Dash, and Hollow Knight, to name a few.
Hope players will have as much fun playing the game as I did creating it. It has been an incredibly long journey, but definitely worthwhile. Bzzzt is not just a journey to the past; it is a testament to how I recall the evolution of precision platformers from their inception to the present. Oh, and there are leaderboards, trophies, and Steam achievements!!! 🙂 And if you are still not decided, there is a free demo on Steam.
Bonus: What is one game you’ve played lately that really captured you?
Karel: Haha, I am playing HEROES OF MIGHT AND MAGIC 3 again right now. It captured me 25 years ago and still can’t let go. 🙂
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