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Gaming

Images: An angry Atari princess, bull and ninjas

How do you top the 8-bit graphics of old? Can you? Aspiring coders give it a shot, in a contest that honors the aesthetics of the past.

An angry Atari princess, bull and ninjas

In the Retro Redux contest, teams of aspiring developers had 24 hours to develop a game for the Atari Flashback system, an update of the old 2600 console. At right is the title page for a game designed by students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The game's central character is a vengeful princess irked by a sexist video game culture.

Credit: Parsons School of Design


An angry Atari princess, bull and ninjas

The designers of this game, who called themselves team Flashsmack, were riffing on the fact that in games of the past, the princess was often a helpless victim waiting to be saved. In their entry, the player controls the princess, who wants to take revenge on the old games.

Credit: Parsons School of Design

Retro Redux contest entry

An angry Atari princess, bull and ninjas

A member of team Flashsmack, working on the princess game.

Credit: Marty Heitner

Retro Redux entrants

An angry Atari princess, bull and ninjas

In this game, an angry bull tries to escape from Pamplona, with his eye on eventual refuge in France.

Credit: Parsons School of Design

Retro Redux contest entry

An angry Atari princess, bull and ninjas

A scene from the game in which a bull downs Spaniards. The group that designed this game, students from from the School of Visual Arts, called themselves the Pixel Pirates for the purposes of the contest.

Credit: Parsons School of Design

Retro Redux contest entry

An angry Atari princess, bull and ninjas

The Pixel Pirates, creators of "Bull Run!"

Credit: Marty Heitner

Retro Redux entrants

An angry Atari princess, bull and ninjas

The title page for "Piranha!!", another entry.

Credit: Parsons School of Design

Retro Redux contest entry

An angry Atari princess, bull and ninjas

In this game, a school of piranha hunt for human treats.

Credit: Parsons School of Design

Retro Redux contest entry

An angry Atari princess, bull and ninjas

Members of team Superfriends, creators of the piranha game, with Katie Salen, Parsons MFA design and technology director.

Credit: Marty Heitner

Retro Redux entrants

An angry Atari princess, bull and ninjas

In this entry, ninjas battle each other in a blossom-strewn cherry grove. Designed by a team that called itself Club Awesome, the game took top honors in the Retro Redux competition.

Credit: Parsons School of Design

Retro Redux contest entry

An angry Atari princess, bull and ninjas

The winning game's title page.

Credit: Parsons School of Design

Retro Redux contest entry

An angry Atari princess, bull and ninjas

Members of Club Awesome, creators of "Ninja Garden."

Credit: Marty Heitner

Retro Redux entrants

An angry Atari princess, bull and ninjas

Members of team G Bunch, another group of aspiring designers.

Credit: Marty Heitner

Retro Redux entrants