Pit Pot

It's easy to dismiss Pit Pot's particular kind of design as unfair or bad nowadays, but to do so would be a mistake. I always appreciate when a game is bold enough to ask you to really understand it to succeed and I think there's still a lot of value in that approach. Because of how intricate and mysterious Pit Pot is despite its conceptually simple mechanics and one button control scheme, I can easily see myself going back to it and continuing to poke at its many curious corners.

Tengoku Yoitoko

Despite my problems with its endgame, Tengoku Yoitoko is absolutely worth trying. It’s rare to see a game with such an unusual combination of elements and a take on platforming that’s more than just “jump on enemy, they’re dead”. When it’s at its best, this game consumes your thoughts in a way that makes you eager to slowly peel back its layers and see what secrets it has in store for you. Its combination of RPG and platforming elements makes you think about them and how they manage to come together in such an interesting way and I had a lot of fun taking notes and piecing together the NPC hints to figure out how to tackle the game’s challenges.

Miracle Ropit’s Adventure in 2100

There's some legitimately creative and cool stuff here in the year 2100, it all just needed a better wrapper of a game to fit into. I’m a fan of the variety of the alien world and how visually inspired each location is. In particular, this game actually does a remarkable job of using black backgrounds to establish atmosphere and mystery in the game’s later stages. I also really enjoyed seeing the variety of environmental hazards the game decides to throw at you, whether that’s plants floating in the void or doors that randomly push you away or send you back to an earlier point in the level. Even though the game is pretty dreadful to control, I found myself appreciating the boldness of its many eccentricities.

Woody Pop

After all is said and done, my biggest problem with Woody Pop is how very unlike Sega it feels. Sega games have immediate energy and evoke excitement in ways that makes their games unique to this day, whether that's through high octane gameplay or even just an announcer that's really happy to be there. Woody Pop is just tepid though, even for its time, with action that remains the same the whole way through, an almost complete absence of music in a game that could have really used it, and visuals that lack any lasting charm and fail to make the game's setting feel alive.