Side scrolling video games were the staple for video games. It was just a given that most of the titles we picked up during the early years of gaming would be based around side scrolling but as time went on and we got bigger 3D worlds, we saw fewer titles released for this genre. That doesn’t mean you won’t find any new side scrolling titles to play today. In this list, we’re going to look at some fun new exciting video games you can pick up this year. Whether they are brand new IPs, continuations for classic video game installments, or a callback to an earlier generation of gaming, here are some titles to keep on your radar.
#10 Cyber Shadow
Cyber Shadow throws players into a future where synthetic life has taken over and begun to harvest the powers of others around the world. Here players are taking the role of Shadow, a cyborg ninja that has vowed to help those in need and to fight for his fallen clan. Not only is this a bit of a nostalgia trip to those that enjoyed the earlier years of gaming but it’s a title that’s been generally well-received. It’s currently available as it just missed the 2020 release year for a launch in January of this year. Likewise, you can find this game available on both PC and console platforms such as the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
#9 Mighty Goose
Might Goose is an upcoming run and gun shooter where players take the role of a supped-up goose that takes on the Void King. Set in a galaxy where the Void King has taken control with his army of minions, our protagonist will be equipping a wide range of weapons to blow away any hostile creature or robot that stands between him and the Void King. The game offers pixelated art with high-speed action-packed gameplay, but we’re still waiting for it to hit the marketplace before we can try this game out for ourselves. Currently, the game is slated to release on June 5, 2021, so we don’t have too much of a wait to endure before we can get our hands on this game.
#8 Skul: The Hero Slayer
Another game that released in January of this year is Skul: The Hero Slayer. This is a 2D platformer where players are going through an action roguelike title where you’ll get different maps and challenging enemies to battle against. In terms of the narrative, the world was mainly conquered by demons and while humans have put up a fight, there wasn’t much fear of humanity taking charge. That was until humanity banded together and decided to attack the demonic kingdom together which they succeeded. Now there is just one small little demon left, a skeleton that can use various heads to unleash different attacks. While our protagonist Skul may be small and seemingly an insignificant character in a world that’s now dominated by hardened adventurers, players will have to use all of Skul’s powers to fight off his attackers.
#7 Kaze and the Wild Masks
If you grew up in the 1990s playing video games then the developers are hoping to take you back to those years with Kaze and the Wild Masks. This is an action platformer where players take the role of a long-eared rabbit character named Kaze who has to save their friend after a strange curse spreads across the island. Here players will be battling off evil vegetables that have come to life all while carefully moving around the hazardous level environments. With over thirty main stage levels along with fifty bonus levels you can stumble upon, there is a ton of content for players to get through. The best way most players can describe his game is that it’s a bit like a Donkey Kong Country title.
#6 Narita Boy
Narita Boy is another pixelated side scrolling adventure game that fans can jump into right now. The title has players going straight back into the 1980s where a mastermind developer creates a video game called Narita Boy. This game blew up and everyone was picking up a copy around the world. However when a virus takes over the creator’s memories, players are dragged into this digital world and are forced into battling all kinds of hostile enemies to reclaim what was stolen. There are some light puzzles to go through and hack and slash combat as well. With that said, it’s a short title that’s worth checking into if you haven’t already given it a chance.
#5 Until We Die
Until We Die is a game slated to come out this June from indie development studio Pixeye Games. This is a side scrolling strategy game where you’re tossed into a world full of mutants and monsters. Players are following a crew trying to survive the harsh world within an underground train station. However, with an onslaught of monsters to battle, players will need to run around researching new technologies and preparing their fortifications. Meanwhile, you still have to gather supplies such as food to ensure that your people are well fed and protected. As mentioned, this game is slated to hit the marketplace on June 3, 2021, so keep this title on your radar as its getting ready to launch in the coming week.
#4 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a massively popular IP with its line of comic books, movies, television shows, toys, and of course video games. Speaking of video games, there’s a good wide range of titles to pick from but most look fondly back at the earlier installments much like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time. Now, later this year, we’re going to receive a game that takes that original old 1980s style look and brings out another pixelated beat ‘em up title to go through. We don’t have a ton of information right now about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge but players can expect to take on one of the iconic turtles and fight against the classic Foot Clan along with the various iconic villains from the series. To top it off, what’s a TMNT game without multiplayer? You’ll have both four-player local and online multiplayer support when this game launches sometime within the 2021 calendar year.
#3 Ghost ‘n Goblins Resurrection
Another blast from the past game players might find some enjoyment with is Ghost ‘n Goblins Resurrection. This franchise is coming back completely reimagined where you’ll once again have to save the day by battling all sorts of demonic enemies that pop up along the way. This franchise can sometimes be viewed as pretty difficult, but over the years it’s gained a massive following. You can likely expect another hard game here but surrounded by simple controls. As you progress, players will unlock more weapons and magical skills to use but that doesn’t mean you will have to go through this game alone. For the first time in the series, you’ll find a two-player co-op experience available here and as it stands we should be getting this game on June 1, 2021, so there’s not much of a wait we’ll have to endure before we’re able to try this title out for ourselves.
A game that is currently out right now but through early access is 30XX which is another roguelike action platformer. This particular title takes place after the events of 20XX where our protagonist has awakened thousands of years into the future. Now you’ll discover that life has changed after humanity was taken over by the arrival of a Synthetic Mind. If you enjoyed 20XX then chances are you’ll have just as much enjoyment out of 30XX with a new collection of levels, enemies, and powers. However, this is a roguelike title so there will be plenty of changes made along the way to keep you on your toes. Best of all, when you’re completely done with this game you’ll find that there is a level editor that will come packed with all the tools to build up your own unique levels and campaigns. With that said, since this is in early access, you’ll likely find plenty of changes made along the way until the game is fully launched into the marketplace.
#1 Streets of Rage 4 Mr. X Nightmare DLC
Streets of Rage is an action beat ‘em up title that came out back during the days of the Sega Genesis platform. If you had this console chances are you had the Streets of Rage collection. There was just so much enjoyment from these titles that it was a bit of a welcomed surprise to see Streets of Rage 4 suddenly get announced and released within 2020. Decades later we’re loving this gameplay all over again with a narrative that takes place after the events from the previous installments. With that said, fans are getting ready for the DLC expansion that’s coming out for this game. Mr. X Nightmare. While Mr. X is no longer a threat, the gang decides to get some training in for whatever else may pop up and that’s when Dr. Zan was able to tap into the brain of Mr. X to bring out some simulation battles. There are brand new stages, additional new characters, weapons, and enemies featured in this game. We’re still waiting on a release date for this game but it’s likely to come out at some point this year.