SAN FRANCISCO – Even though they make me feel kind of sick, I’ve played plenty of VR games. Some of them have even been pretty good. But for most VR games, I can’t shake the feeling that they’d be just as much fun on a traditional screen.

That’s definitely not the case for Pixel Ripped 1989: a retro throwback to the Game Boy adventures of my childhood, which also happens to be one of the cleverest applications of VR tech I’ve seen so far.

(Image credit: Arvore Immersive Experiences)

At GDC, I met with Brazilian developer Ana Ribeiro, who showed me Pixel Ripped 1989 firsthand. (She was so excited about her game, she cosplayed as its protagonist, Dot.) Like me (and a lot of other folks my age), Ribeiro grew up playing Game Boy games on the go. The monochrome screen and stripped-down gameplay captured her heart the same way that NES and SNES titles seem to inspire a lot of other indie developers, and she decided to put her own modern spin on the concept.


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