Retro Power

Retro Power Project Announcement

I’d be lying if I told you that my college writing classes were my favorite, but since graduation I have slowly come to not only tolerate putting ink to paper, but actually quite enjoy it. There was something almost inexplicably cathartic about my Indy Pop Con article. I knew after its warm reception I had to do something else to add to the retro gaming community, but what else was there?

After exchanging emails with my now partner in crime the thought struck me, “I love Nintendo Power.” I mean who among us in the community doesn’t shed a tear now and then at its absence, but my sentiment wasn’t just about missing the beloved magazine itself, but more so the gaping hole it has left in our community since its disappearance.

Now, I fully admit I didn’t read the magazine in its entirety, I was mostly limited to its existence during the 1990s, however I do think my point will still stand. What I miss most from the magazine of yesteryear is the sense of community it brought. See, it wasn’t just about learning what the cryptic messages of “Simon’s Quest” meant. Underneath the somewhat malicious business model, Nintendo invited gamers to share their thoughts about the goings on of the game industry, or even artwork inspired by their favorite game. So without further ado, let me introduce “Retro Power” to you.

Retro Power hearkens from a time when we gamers didn’t divide ourselves by gender or by arguing about the minutiae of silly detail found in the most obscure of games. It seeks to recapture a time when games were just games, and we just had fun with them. It will feature a write in section in which you the reader may answer our question of the month, or ask us whatever you want. If you so choose, you may also send in your best retro gaming inspired artwork for all the world to see, or even a picture of your latest thrift shop haul. And lastly for your eyeballs’ pleasure will be exclusive interviews, and articles written by yours truly and my aforementioned writing partner, Valerie. And with that I’ll let her introduce herself.

Hello retro gamers! My name is Valerie. I’m really looking forward to helping bring you Retro Power, & hearing your feedback! It’s going to be a lot of fun working with Alex, we’ve been friends on twitter for years now & have created a rapport. I was actually invited by the Editor in Chief of 1 More Castle to write stuff for the site back before it even got started, but the time wasn’t right for me… I needed Alex, apparently. So here we are, ready to pool our talents & histories for your entertainment!

Speaking of histories, on my own part, I’m a younger sibling– I was watching video games before I was even playing them myself, so video games & I go way back. I’ve probably spent almost as much time watching other people play video games as I have spent playing them myself! I have always had an interest in games beyond just the playing of them– I like to examine the dynamics, think about the decisions made during the making of the game, see how different the experience is for different people, compare controls, all that fun stuff. I’m the sort of person who will try just about any game once, just to analyze it. That sort of thing gets exponentially more fun the more people chime in with their opinions, don’t you agree? Everyone has had a different gaming experience, so each opinion can be different & yet entirely valid. The retro gaming community has such a richness of diversity, & that’s one of the things I love most about it. Hey you dudes & ladies. Keep on rockin’.

Retro Power
Valerie drew this for you. Don’t worry, she’ll keep her art submissions to a minimum…


The Almost Not Entirely Quite Untrue Story of How Retro Power Came To Be

There I was putting up the moat to The Castle when I spotted Mel Valerie waiting on the other side of the drawbridge. She was staring at me with an incredulous look on her face, but I couldn’t quite figure out why. “Hey Valerie, I thought you were inside The Castle already! How’d you get out here?”  She didn’t quite know how to react, so the only response I got was a shrug and a slightly-unnerving stare. I decided to break the silence. “Since you’re here, do you want to come in? I mean, I just need to know if you know how to write.” “I know hooooow to write,” she responded. And she showed me her resume, “Not bad, not bad, but there’s just one problem: you…” “Are a girl?”, she interrupted. And before I could say anything else, she whipped out a baseball cap and jersey and donned them faster than I could remember the first line to “Oh Canada.” “Look, I can fit in with the boys now. No problem!” I held my hand up before she could go any further in her explanation, “The problem isn’t that you’re a girl, we already have a girl writing for The Castle. It’s just that I, gosh how do I put this. I don’t know how much game you have.”

And in the time it took to say ‘Wiggity wiggity wack’ she threw off her baseball cap and brought out a tv, a teapot and a Nintendo 64 with Magical Tetris Challenge already inserted. “Let’s play!” she said. So we sat there in front of The Castle and I annihilated her at the game, but something important happened– we became friends in the midst of the strife, and I could tell she really liked games by the way she played, she just wasn’t familiar with this particular one. “Ok Valerie,” I said, “How would you like to collaborate on a column for the castle? I’m not the most organized person and I can tell by your resume you are, so I think we’d work well together.” With a slightly smug smile brought on by the compliment, she nodded slightly “I like that idea.” The rest, as they say, is history. So stay tuned to The Castle for a brand new collaboration, until then it’s the second star on the right and straight on ’til morning.


This month’s reader question is:

“Do you remember you first experience with gaming?”


Readers, please send us your responses, any questions you may have for us, your retro game inspired art and your game haul pics to