UFO 50, the latest game from the Spelunky team, will finally arrive September 18

The fictional game compendium was originally due in 2018.

And now for a game that’s actually 50 games — at least.

UFO 50, the latest project from Spelunky studio Mossmouth, is due to hit Steam on September 18, about six years after it was originally expected to launch. That’s merely an observation, not a criticism — UFO 50 is an ambitious project that offers 50 full, retro-styled games in a single package, and it’s all coming from a team of just six people.

In UFO 50 lore, UFO Soft was a game developer who was active between 1982 and 1990, peak NES and Genesis years. The games collected in UFO 50 feature recurring characters and sequels from UFO Soft’s fictional past, and they’re restricted in terms of color and audio, as if they had actually been developed for bygone hardware. Mossmouth is manifesting an alternate timeline of video game history here, and it looks like a ton of fun.

“The story of UFO 50 is that the games were all created in the ‘80s by a fictional company that was obscure but ahead of its time,” the game’s FAQ reads. “They're also connected by a unique 32-color palette and other restrictions we decided on to make them feel more authentic. (However, we don't force sprite flickering or slowdown, as we didn't feel that it would make the games more enjoyable.)”

Every game in UFO 50 is unlocked from the start, and the collection features a wide variety of genres, including platformers, RPGs, roguelites and shoot-em-ups. None of the titles are mini- or micro-games, and while they’re all done in an 8-bit aesthetic, their visual and mechanical styles evolve with the years. Every game is playable solo, and half of them include multiplayer elements.

All that said, I think Mossmouth is selling itself short by calling UFO 50 a collection of just 50 games. Sure, it includes 50 individual experiences inspired by classic games of the 1980s, but there’s also one huge, hidden title in the collection — UFO 50 itself. Don’t forget to factor that into your pricing deliberations, Mossmouth.

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