Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure is a brand-new platformer game for the NES. After running a successful campaign in 2017 to fund production of Eskimo Bob: Starring Alfonzo, I've been hard at work creating something even bigger and better. This time, Bob is missing, and it's up to Alfonzo to find him. Great care was taken to preserve everything that made the original so much fun, while at the same time creating something new and exciting. I'm extremely proud at how this game has turned out.
I will also be porting the game to Nintendo 3DS and Steam, complete with achievements. All backers for the digital tier or above will be given the choice between a 3DS or Steam download key in addition to the NES ROM. These ports will be released after the NES launch, later in 2019.
Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure is packed with tons of new features and content!
- Four different playable characters
- Over 90 levels split into 6 episodes
- More than 30 types of enemies to encounter
- Seven unique boss battles
- Unlockable boss rush mode
World map for level selection
- Secret exits and branching paths
- Password function to save progress
- Two-player melee mode
- And so much more...
Programming for this game is already complete. The game has been in development for the past year and is fully playable. All that is left to do now is produce physical copies of the game on cartridge, as well as print boxes and manuals, which is why your help is needed!
In Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure, you take the role of Alfonzo on a quest to find your missing best friend, Bob. Knowing that Bob's favorite food is fish, you decide to collect as many fish as you can while searching for your friend. With your trusty stick by your side, travel through over 90 levels filled with puzzles, traps, and enemies around every corner. Luckily, you aren't alone on your adventure! You will meet new friends along the way, each with different abilities to help you on your quest. These include the power-punching Magnus, the near-invulnerable Fenwood, and the sword-wielding Girl.
Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure will be available both as a ROM and in physical cartridge form! Cartridges will be available in both "Classic Grey" and "Snowy White" colors. There are even bundle options available if you'd like to receive more than one copy of the game.
You can even get the 24-track soundtrack for Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure on either CD or vinyl LP!
The original Eskimo Bob was a 40 kilobyte NROM game, similar in size and scope to Super Mario Bros. This is the most basic type of NES game. For Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure, I wanted to push things further, so I decided to use a mapper to allow me to use a technique called bank switching.
The NES can only access 40 kilobytes of data at a time, no matter how large a game is. 32 kilobytes of this is program (PRG) data, and 8 kilobytes is graphical (CHR). Bank switching allows for multiple banks of PRG and CHR data to be accessed from within the same ROM, effectively tricking the NES into accessing more data than it was originally designed to handle. This technique was used for most games released later in the NES's lifecycle.
In the case of Alfonzo, I used 4 PRG banks and 16 CHR banks, bringing the total size of the ROM up to 256 kilobytes. In terms of the original NES, this is comparable in size to games like Super Mario Bros 2, Zelda 2, or Punch Out. Using these extra banks has given me space to include more levels, characters, enemies, and environments than I had in the original. It also allowed me to add new features such as world maps, secret exits, cut scenes, and animated backgrounds.
A prototype cartridge of Alfonzo has been thoroughly tested on real NES hardware as well as various clone systems, including the RetroUSB AVS, Retro-Bit RES+, Hyperkin RetroN HD, and RetroN 5. The only system found to be incompatible with the game was the RetroN 5.
The cartridge contains a multi-region CIC, allowing it to be played worldwide on both NTSC and PAL systems. The game is also coded to recognize which type of system it is running on, using different timing settings for each region. This means the game will look and sound great, no matter where you play it.
The ROM will run on any emulator that supports mapper 11, including Mesen, FCEUX, Nestopia, and most other modern NES emulators. It has been tested and works with both Everdrive and Powerpak. I have also compiled an MMC1 version of the game, allowing for compatibility with emulators that do not support mapper 11. Both versions of the ROM will be included with your download.
Spoony Bard Productions is a one-man team run by me, Tomas Guinan. I've been a part of the NES community since 1997, but it was 20 years before I created first NES game, Eskimo Bob, in 2017. Since then, I've also developed the NES version of Galf for Limited Run Games, and am now working on releasing Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure.
To say that I made Alfonzo's Arctic Adventure by myself wouldn't be entirely true. There is one song in the game that was composed by Elijah, my 12-year-old son. It's actually the final song featured in the game's trailer! If you're interested in hearing more of his work, check out Mango Schmango on Youtube.
I would also like to thank my wife, Shannon, who has been the most loving and supportive partner/beta tester I could ever ask for. I never could have done this without her constant support and encouragement.
Risks and challenges
After my first successful Kickstarter campaign in 2017, I have developed relationships with suppliers for print materials and cartridge hardware. Cartridge hardware is being provided by Infinite NES Lives, and print materials are being handled by Frank Westphal.
I've also learned a few lessons after the first campaign, especially in regards to packing and shipping out rewards. All rewards will now be sent to backers using boxes instead of bubble mailers.
My first game was complete when its Kickstarter launched. As a result, I was able to ship to backers three months before the original delivery estimate! As development of this game is also complete, I am confident in my ability to produce another quality product and deliver it in a timely manner. I hope my previous track record helps to instill confidence in backers as well. Should any unexpected delays occur, backers will be notified immediately.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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