The competition is open to all skill levels, with 8 categories to recognize every specialty:
Best Game - Awarded to the best reviewed game by the panel of judges.
Best Art - Awarded to the game with the best use of pixel art.
Best Soundtrack - Awarded to the game with the best chip-tune soundtrack.
Best Narrative - Awarded to the game with the most compelling story.
Best Supporting Art - Awarded to the game with the best cover art, manual, concept art & design
Audience Choice - Awarded to the best reviewed game by fans
The New 8-bit Hero - Awarded to the most helpful member of the community
The Wombat - Awarded to the most surprising, unique, or unexpected game created
HOW To submit
SUBMISSION DEADLINE WILL BE 11:59:59 on MARCH 10th, 2019
SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS will be posted here on MARCH 1.
Howard Phillips - Game Master and former Product Analysis Manager at Nintendo of America. Creator of Nintendo Fun Club News and Nintendo Power.
Mark Erickson - Illustrator and Game artist for titles such as Galaga, Tetris, Mega Man 2, Bad Dudes and hundreds of others.
Justin Vachon - Product Designer at IGN Entertainment
Amanda Whittle Van Hiel - writer for Zelda Universe and host of Zelda News
1. All content has to be original, either created by the entrant or used with permission.
2. For this competition, we're following the Nintendo content guidelines from 1988. We'd like to see those other games too, but for the contest, let's keep it clean. So:
• No sexually suggestive or explicit content including rape and/or nudity
• No language or depiction which specifically denigrates members of either sex
• No random, gratuitous and/or excessive violence
• No graphic illustration of death
• No domestic violence and/or abuse
• No excessive force in a sports game beyond what is inherent in actual contact sports.
• No ethnic, religious, nationalistic or sexual stereotypes or language
• No profanity or obscenity in any form, including language or gestures that could be offensive by prevailing
public standards and tastes.
• No promotion of illegal drugs, smoking materials, and / or alcohol.
• No subliminal political messages or overt political statements.
...and if in doubt, use your best judgment.
3. All games must be delivered by the deadline. Late games—no matter how awesome—can't be considered for the competition.
• TOP GAMES will be featured at our booth at SXSW, GDC, and several other upcoming retro game conventions
• TOP GAMES will be featured in a Nintendo Force Magazine article
• TOP GAMES' digital demos will be bundled with every POLYMEGA® Base Unit on a special playlist.
• The winner for BEST GAME and AUDIENCE CHOICE will receive physical distribution through Infinite NES Lives
• The winner of each category will receive a Nifty NESmaker trophy, which is also a playable special edition of the creators’ game.
Mock-up only. Actual trophy may vary.
1. Can I work in a team? Absolutely, as many as you like.
2. Can I work on multiple games? Absolutely, as many as you like.
3. What about the rights to my game? You keep all of them. The only thing you give us by submitting is the right to showcase your game at conventions and events and on our website for promotional purposes.
4. Do I have to submit a finished game? No, in fact, we encourage you submit a demo or proof of concept. Keep the scope limited to produce the best possible free sample of your game.
5. Where do I go for help? We, the developers, will not be providing any programing support for the duration of the contest. If you have questions about how to do particular things in the program, go to the forums or the Facebook group and participate in the community! Or for general assembly language questions go to NESDev.com and NintendoAge.
6. Do I have to use the pre-built modules that come with NESmaker? Absolutely not. We encourage you to reach out, and push the limits of what NESmaker can do by creating your own modules and game engines. You're welcome to use the existing code base if you're just starting out, but it's definitely not a requirement.