A video game “de-make” is when someone takes a game and then recreates it on a lower-performing platform. Like, taking an N64 game and remaking it for the NES. I find that if I play a game I really like, it is really neat to see how someone can make it work for a different platform. As a Nintendo kid, I was kind of used to getting the lesser version of games anyway. Unfortunately, a good portion of these games live as demos and aren’t completed. They are still pretty fun to try out though! I included five different de-makes that I have enjoyed throughout the years. This isn’t a definitive list, but five games I think are worth looking at.
Halo 2600 (Atari 2600)
Halo, but on the Atari 2600? Yes, please! This game was written by Ed Fries who is the former vice president of Microsoft’s game publishing department. He was on the team that helped acquire Bungie as well. This game has you controlling Master Chief as you battle through 64 screens with random enemies throughout. There are a few different worlds and even weapons for you to get on your journey. The game strangely works really well with the limits of the Atari 2600.
Dead Space Demake (PSX)
Where to get: Itch.io
Last year a remake of Dead Space was released to modern consoles with improved graphics. What many people don’t realize is that there was also a very cool take on the game as it was remade for the PlayStation 1. The PlayStation was home to some great horror games like Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Parasite Eve, and so much more, so it makes sense that Dead Space would fit right in on the console. This is not the full game, but a short little intro that you can try out.
Disco Elysium (GameBoy)
Where to Get: Itch.io
Disco Elysium is one of those games where I constantly hear “you have to play it!” when I mention it to people. It is a unique story-driven RPG that has you playing as a detective. Strangely, it translates very well as a GameBoy game. Again, this is not a complete de-make of the original game as it just recreates the beginning. It is still a lot of fun to experience this gritty RPG game in a Pokemon-esque presentation.
Low Knight (A Hollow Knight Pico-8 De-make)
Where to get: Lexaloffle
Pico-8 is such a fun system to find new games for. It is a fantasy console created by Lexaloffle Games that tries to recreate the days of 8-bit games. If you have an RGB30, it may be the best handheld to experience these games on. Low Knight takes the hit Metroidvania game Hollow Knight and translates it to a very enjoyable 8-bit experience. The game may look simple, but it captures the challenge of the original. This is a very cool project to check out!
Silent Hill 2 20th Anniversary De-make (GameBoy)
Where to get: Itch.io
My favorite horror series has to be Silent Hill. The first 3 games are fantastic and when I heard someone made a de-make for the GameBoy, I was so sold. Unlike some of the games on this list, this one can be completed! The creator claims it is an as-is not finished version of the game, but it can be finished. There are a few bugs here and there, but it is a fun experience for those who are a fan of the original. It is fun seeing a game that is so scary on the PS2 be recreated with cute GameBoy graphics. This could be a fun way to replay the game before the remake of the original (hopefully) releases this year!
Playing a de-make can be a ton of fun, to experience those games in a new light is a special – albeit a tad odd – experience. If I missed any good ones that you enjoy, certainly if you know of any fully completed ones, please let me know in the comments or stop by our Discord as well. And if you would like these “Top 5” sorts of things, be sure to check out a few others we have here. Thanks for stopping by!