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News for nerds

Narita Boy, the stunning 80s-themed “radical action-adventure” from Studio Koba, has resurfaced once more, this time with a perfectly pitched new trailer and a “spring 2021” launch window – the closest thing we’ve had to a release date so far.

“Flashback to the 80s,” exclaims Studio Koba in a bout of scene-setting on Steam. “The Creator, a genius of his time, creates a video game console called Narita One with its flagship title being a game called Narita Boy. Meanwhile, inside the binary code, the digital realm connects with reality. Him has returned and deleted The Creator’s memories. Supervisor program, Motherboard, and her agents have activated the Narita Boy protocol.”

What follows is a side-scrolling, dimension-hopping adventure that pits players – armed with the mythical Techno-Sword, capable of transforming into a shotgun (and also a laser beam) – against “corrupted enemies and hulking bosses to save the electronic synthwave world from the invading Stallions”. Storywise, that all sounds like delightful nonsense, but it’s hard to fault Narita Boy’s 80s-inspired retro-futuristic presentation, which gets an ample airing – alongside what may well be the funkiest theme tune of 2021.

Narita Boy took its first tentative steps toward reality back in 2017, when it successfully managed to secure £142,000 in Kickstarter crowdfunding. And while it unfortunately managed to miss its originally anticipated December 2018 launch date by quite some margin, it’s continued to resurface sporadically ever since, with today’s new trailer being accompanied by the news that Team17 will now be publishing the game.

Narita Boy is expected to arrive some time this “spring” on Steam, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One. Additionally, it’ll be available on Game Pass for PC and console from launch day. And if you fancy taking it for a spin before then, a demo is currently available on Steam – but you’ll have to act fast as it vanishes again when the Steam Game Festival ends on 9th February.