NEO-GEO HOMEBREW CARTRIDGES
The NEO-GEO hardware was finally abandoned by the SNK group in July of 2004.
However, many retired game systems are kept alive with continued 3rd party software
support designed and programmed at home 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 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 homebrew development. There are however 2 or 3 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 are working on.
NEO BITZ by Jeff Kurtz (USA)
Jeff Kurtz is pretty much the pioneer of NEO-GEO homebrew development. Jeff
has created several interesting games and has also dedicated a website to the subject.
His titles include Neo Pac-Man & Poker Night along with several interesting demos
which he has pieced together to show what the future may hold. Jeff actually assembled
most of his development tools himself. He put alot of work into this project and we
thank him for that.
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.
Vektorlogic by Jeff Ferrier (UK)
Vektorlogic is an arcade distributor located in the United Kingdom. Their
first NEO-GEO title, Neo Sparks, was announced in 2000, but then later cancled.
Recently, they made new announcements for some more upcoming titles, one of which
was actually released and made available. Super Bubble Pop, a 3-dimensional
action/puzzle game came out on May 14, 2004. Possible future titles that they are
working on include an action/platformer called Tommy K. See pics below.
This unique game first surfaced back in 1999. It holds the honor of being
the first RELEASED homebrew game for the Neo-Geo system. It is CLEARLY a clone of
the game Boulder Dash released back in 1984 by First Star Software. Boulder Dash
was released on several 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 game in 1994), hence why rumors
abounded in the beginning that it might be a long lost official proto. This was
proven to be false. However, the game can be readily found for $100 - $200, so for
those who may have fond memories of the gameplay and/or wish to add it to their
library of games, they can obtain it rather easily. Others may want to pass. It
does not appear to be "finished" and may not even have an ending but maybe someday
a more complete revision will surface.
HACKS...not quite the same as homebrew
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.