Squidlit: Game Boy Loving Indie Majigger With a Squid


Harking back to the glory days of the 1990s, this title does everything within its mighty powers to be as close to the Game Boy experience as possible.


Whilst much of the AAA mainstream gaming scene desperately tries to offer the most realistic graphics humanly possible (or face death threats from angry gamers otherwise), much of the indie scene does the opposite.

Now that was a big old paragraph, eh? But it’s true. Squidlit brilliantly replicates the fuzzy greens of Nintendo’s Game Boy era.

A handheld console so popular it ran from 1989 through to 2003 and shifted over 118 million units worldwide. Despite being in “black and white”.

Squidlit is here to relive those heady days. It’s about a squid in the world of Blipston, which is full of invertebrates.

You must battle to restore peace to Blipston (collecting muffins along the way)!

Straight up, it looks the part! It’s from Squidlit Ink, a two woman team of Alex Barrett and her wife Samantha Davenport.

The former started the project to learn coding basics and do funky Game Boy music. Technologically, we have no more than:

  • 10 eight-pixel wide sprites in a line.
  • 40 sprites at any time.
  • 160 x 144 pixel resolution.
  • Four shades of what the devs call “grellow”.

And this translates to the soundtrack, too, which features four sound channels shared between “voices” of music—and the sound effects.

That means it’s all rather bleepy bloopy and comes across like this.

Whilst that’s all very great and everything, is Squidlit any good? Happily, yes.

Not only is it ridiculously cheap, it’s a fun little experience. If you’ve ever played a Game Boy game, you’ll know what’s in store here.

It really delivers on that front. It’s a simplistic little platformer, but an engaging one that uses its nostalgia effect as a gameplay mechanic. It’s like playing a Game Boy game! Hurray!

For the £2 ($3) asking price (available on Steam, Nintendo Switch etc.), you can’t really go wrong. It’s short, sure, but it harks back to a simplistic time.

One where all you had to do was jam the game cartridge in and play. And for that, we love Squidlit and its commitment to the squishy cause.

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