Rescueware in Today’s World- Piko Interactive

Piko Interactive are an independent publisher/developer based in the United States that focus on both original games and finishing formerly forgotten titles for old consoles.  Piko Interactive have taken on many classic game challenges and brought them to modern gamers through various sources- physical cartridge for the original hardware and modern distribution services such as Steam.  Rescueware is the action of completing a classic game that was never published, or licensing a finished title and fixing it and re-releasing it.  Rescueware is not “reproductions” which are generally illegal copies of said games, rather rescueware are legal releases with full support of the original copyright/trademark owners.

First up is Jim Power originally released for the Super Nintendo and DOS way back in 1993 by Electro Brain.

Re-release information: Original DOS version, Original Super Nintendo version and the SNES version with refined controls all available on Steam in one purchase.

The refined Super Nintendo version of Jim Power has some other minor changes made to it other than just refined controls.  This updated version also features hit hearts to make the game a little easier.  Also, the “3D” parallax scrolling has been turned off in the refined version- this should help with seeing things in the levels more clearly as you play.

In the future Piko Interactive plans on releasing the formerly unreleased Sega Genesis version of Jim Power for this pack.  Future downloadable content will include the 8-Bit Nintendo Entertainment System version of Jim Power and the soundtrack by Chris Huelsback (composer of the music for all of the known Jim Power games).  Just announced, Piko will also release a CD32 version of Jim Power.  Awesome news.

Second, we have Super 3D Noah’s Ark.  Originally released for DOS and Super Nintendo in 1995/1994 respectively.  Released by Piko Interactive on Steam earlier this year.

Super 3D Noah’s Ark was one of only two titles to reach the Super Nintendo that used the Wolfenstein 3D engine- the other being a VERY watered down version of the title game.  Piko Interactive have rebuilt the original game using a modern version of the Wolfenstein 3D engine (the original source code was lost years ago).  This allows for easier hacking by fans, ability to play with SNES styled weapons and modern controls among other things.  Comes with the original DOS game, when purchased on Steam, and is DRM free.

This one may not be considered rescueware since Wisdom Tree are still around but I consider it rescueware.  Why?  Because Wisdom Tree weren’t rebuilding the game using newer versions of the original engine, nor making the tweaks that Piko Interactive have.

Recently, Piko Interactive made available news about a couple of more games.  First, Generals of the Yang Family and Smart Mouse which I have precious little information on.  All I know right now is that they are being translated into English and bugs are being fixed.  Sounds like they are probably role playing games of some sort, or text heavy action games.  Either one is fine with me as new games that are interesting are hard to come by.

Brave Battle Saga is a turn based role playing game similar to the Breath of Fire games on Super Nintendo.  Role playing fans will enjoy this one.  Coming to Sega Genesis.

Piko are working on releasing a Wisdom Tree Collection for the Sega Genesis and Nintendo Entertainment System.  Also, they are planning a plug and play device for Wisdom Tree games.

Finally, Piko are going to support Steam in a big way.  They are working on getting their library of games on Valve’s popular digital distribution service.  If you purchase the cartridge game, you will receive the corresponding Steam code for free (must request it at time of purchase).  If you purchase the Steam version and then purchase the cartridge version, make sure to let them know, you will receive a corresponding discount on the physical game.  How cool is that?

Check out Piko Interactive’s website for up to the minute developments.

Additional coverage we have made available on Piko Interactive games is available here.