Tapeworm Disco Puzzle Playdate! Tapeworm Disco Puzzle, the defiantly retro title from the delightfully unhinged LowTek Games in Dundee has hit the totally bonkers Playdate console – complete with worm-cranking action.
For those of you who have been blissfully unaware that a new lo-fi console has now hit the market, the Playdate is an adorable wee, bright yellow handheld, developed by Panic Inc. The titchy toy features a black and white one-bit e-ink(ish) screen, a D-pad and two control buttons, plus a mechanical crank, because you would, wouldn’t you?
Initially announced in Edge magazine and funded through Kickstarter, the Playdate was released in April 2022 to a thrilled audience of indie gamers and developers alike.
Games are published by Panic in seasons, with new games being released online each week. A total of 24 games are included in the first season, with two new titles released per week, all included in the price of the console. To keep it even more fun, owners have no idea which games are released each week and are only revealed to players when they are automatically downloaded.
Tapeworm Disco Puzzle Playdate?
Originally released for NES, PC and Dreamcast – because retro rules – Tapeworm Disco Puzzle is a grid-based puzzle game where players take the role of a night club owner, who also happens to be a tapeworm. It’s your job to make sure your customers – who are adorable bloody-thirsty fleas – enjoy themselves. You’ll be helping them “collect blood, playing bangin’ tunes and getting them to gigs on time.”
You have to find musical notes located throughout a perilous tract of intestine (owner unknown), as well as helping your flea mates, reach delicious vials of blood (owner also unknown). You only have a certain number of moves in order to complete these goals, though you can pick up cassette tapes which will grant you extra moves through the power of music. Think of the game as a cross between Lolo and Snake, only with more intestines. It features 100 levels, five of which are boss levels that act a bit more like snake.
The Tapeworm Disco Puzzle Playdate version is a native port, written in C, by Valdir Salgueiro. The crank controller is used as an option to wind the worm back into the tape.
While it’s not part of the season pack, the game can be purchased on Itch.IO – for a mere $6 – and sideloaded onto the console.
Ally Low, the founder of LowTek and the creative powerhouse behind the game, told the Scottish Games Network:
It does feel a little weird doing retro stuff for a brand new piece of hardware,” however the success of the game highlights the growing demand for retro titles across a whole range of different platforms.
While the Playdate version is the first time TDP has hit a handheld, the game is now available on NES, Dreamcast, PC, Evercade, with LowTek promising more to come. The NES version of the game recently featured in the top 100 NES ‘retro’ homebrews at the number #2 spot.
You can find the new Playdate version of Tapeworm Disco Puzzle over on Itch.IO, along with the PC, Dreamcast and NES versions.
The difficulty starts off easy but really cranks up by the end.
The 100 levels should last you a few hours but you’ll be itching for more”Ally Low