One of the great things about a developer going to the insane amount of trouble it takes to completely rewrite an old game for a new platform is that you don't have to worry about quality control. No one is going to go through that amount of trouble for an average game, and that's exactly the case with NXEngine-evo. It's an upgraded and refactored version of NXEngine by Caitlin Shaw, which was itself an open source clone of a 2006 game called Doukutsu Monogatari, or Cave Story. Cave Story itself has a fascinating origin story, being the product of a passion project by a sole indie developer over years of work. The end result changed attitudes towards indie gaming and very much paved the way for the new pixelated platformer renaissance we're currently enjoying.

NXEngine-evo keeps Cave Story alive and working on modern hardware. If you want to help keep it going, take a look at the project's Patreon page.

Cave Story is a brilliantly playable 2D platform game with beautifully hand-crafted graphics and an evolving plot that starts with the central protagonist waking in a cave with no memory of previous events. There are problems to be solved and weapons to be collected as the player pieces everything together and progresses through the game. It's unlikely that Cave Story would be playable on modern hardware and certainly not on the many platforms on which you can build NXEngine without this open source recreation. The new version is a brilliant way to experience the game – even while the original assets are still proprietary. The new engine can be scaled to run on modern resolutions (up to 1920x1080) and adds support for SDL2, animated character portraits, localization, additional platform ports, and many other bug fixes. It's a big improvement over the rather outdated engine included in Libretro, and a fantastic way to play the game. It's Cave Story's best incarnation yet, and the best way to experience the game if you've yet to play it through.

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