The NEO-GEO hardware was officially abandoned by SNK in July of 2004. However, many retired game systems are kept alive with continued 3rd party homebrew software support designed and programmed by its greatest fans. Usually the games tend to be simplistic as it is very difficult and time consuming to create, design, and develop games. One quick method is known as "hacking". It uses the existing game code from a game and alters it slightly. These hacks are far easier to make, and they take much less time then actual creative development. There are however several genuine homebrew designers who have already created some rather interesting products. Below is a quick look at some of the first NEO-GEO Homebrew developers and the titles which they worked on.

NEO BITZ by Jeff Kurtz (USA)
Jeff Kurtz is considered to be the pioneer of NEO-GEO homebrew development. He assembled most of the development tools himself, put together several early demos, and made these resources available to the community on his website. His early projects included a Neo Pac-Man clone and a casino card game program which began it's development as Poker Night. This early game was the foundation for Jeff's first major homebrew release, Knight's Chance. .

a dedicated bootup screen! a warning to leaches!
Ready! lots of fun!
title screen gameplay


NEO DEV by Weltherrschaft (Germany)
Hey, these guys are pretty damn good! Not much is known about them but their Neo Pong game was excellent. Another game called Neo no Panepon may have also come from their development team but I am not certain. Someone needs to talk to these guys and get the real story on these games.

title screen gameplay
who made this? wierd game!


Vektorlogic by Jeff Ferrier (UK)

neo super bubble pop

Vektorlogic was an arcade distributor located in the United Kingdom. Their first NEO-GEO title, Neo Sparks, was announced in 2000, but then later canceled. Later, they made new announcements for some more upcoming titles, one of which was actually released and made available. Super Bubble Pop, (LEFT PIC) was a 3-dimensional action/puzzle game that came out on May 14, 2004. Other titles that they were working on included an action/platformer called Tommy K, (RIGHT PIC).

UPDATE: Recently, Piko Interactive purchased Vektorlogic's unfinished NEOGEO projects.


tommy k.

Digger Man


This unique game first surfaced back in 1999. It holds the honor of being the first PUBLICLY RELEASED and PURCHASEABLE homebrew game for the Neo-Geo system. Digger Man was a clone of the popular game Boulder Dash released back in 1984 by First Star Software. Boulder Dash was released on several video game & computer systems, and was well received. The games main objective is to collect all the gems hidden throughout the playfield while avoiding obstacles and enemies. The Neo-Geo version also steals many sprites & sounds from Face's Gururin (an officially released NEOGEO game from 1994), hence why rumors abounded in the beginning that it might be a long lost official proto. This was proven to be false. The game was actually programmed by freelancer Kyle Hodggets who in turn sold it to a software manufacturer/distributor called "The Game Room". The game is playable, but is plagued with many bugs and glitches. It is also an incomplete game with no ending programmed and is not fully compatible with all NEOGEO hardware.

With some minor tweaking, this game could be vastly improved. Here is a list of things that could be done to enhance and complete this interesting and fun game.


1- Have the game boot up to a proper title screen. (title screen logo is present but comes up at the wrong time in attract mode)

2- Fix the silent audio problem (correct the SM dependent M1 file) which causes SILENCE on 7 out 10 power ups.

3- Change the NGH number from 0066 to 09DM

4- Apply the proper fix layer graphics (credit and level indicators)

5- Put in a freeplay option for the MVS mode and correct the "always on yet says insert coin" incorrect freeplay for HOME mode.

6- Add the missing objects to the how to play screen and have it appear after hitting start on the title screen.

7- Add some kind of ending even if just the words "congratulations" in standard text on the screen to "properly" end the game.

8- Add a stage number display to the screen when playing (game has 16 stages) but player has no idea what stage they're on.

9- Improve the collision detection to be far more generous as it is way too unfair.

10- Add a basic HOME console option screen for selecting the player (boy or girl), 1 or 2 player game, difficulty/stage select.

11- Add memory card support to save on any of the 16 levels.

12- Have the ability for the player to accumulate and carry over the dynamite through levels. (last level is almost impossible without this)

13- Add a high score screen.


by Phenix Soft
by Dragon Co.,LTD

A hack is in nowhere near in the same category as a homebrew. While a homebrew game requires every bit as much effort as any other game that is developed from the ground up, a hack does not. Hacks are put together by changing out or swapping lines of code and/or by implementing some additional minor programming.

The number of hacks that have surfaced is quite staggering. I have literally lost count. Pretty much, every neo-geo game has or will be hacked at some point. They have no real value or interest to me personally, but to some people they are cool I guess. I will say that not all hacks are created equal. Some of them are mere text or pallette swaps to make a game appear to be updated while others clearly show that more extensive time was spent into creating them.

In 2003 a rom hack of SVC Chaos became highly desirable and sold quite well because operators had waited patiently for the title and when SNK finally released it, they did so on a jamma PCB rather than an MVS cartridge. And even later, when SNK finally did produce MVS cartridges, hacked cartridges STILL sold better because they had the secret characters unlocked which the players much prefferred.

anonymous source
unknown source