What Remains, 8-bit critical fiction game


In our globalised space and time, media rarely completely die, but has peaks of use, ages, is being dismissed, and then rediscovered and eventually used again, or reinvented. 8-bit aesthetics and technicality floats in some of these statuses, and occasionally is adopted, even clamorously as in the case of prof. Nick Montfort recently using a Commodore 64 for his visuals during a public lecture. “What Remains” by Iodine Dynamics (Arnaud Guillon, Chun Lee, Dustin Long, Aymeric Mansoux and Marloes de Valk) is an 8-bit game for the popular NES console, encoding real event from the 80s in a plot to save the world. We can consider it a piece of interactive fiction, covering a wide range of topics, including crucial environmental issues, the propaganda manipulation of public opinion, and whistleblowing, too. The mixture of a retro aesthetics and setting with current urgent topics creates a specific and very original mood. Surely appealing to an older generation it short circuits memories of an easier time (was it?) and critical thinking, in an excellent synthesis.


Iodine Dynamics – What Remains