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Do you remember the pause screen in the original Battletoads game? It had this funky, really confident drum beat that was slightly crunchy-sounding on account of the old hardware. You can listen to it here. One person thought it was so great that they made an entire game as tribute to that pause screen.

 

Entitled Pause Screen From Battletoads, this game has you falling in an endless loop through an underground tunnel, while an annoying whistling sound repeats itself. You can press the Spacebar to pause the game and escape that annoying motion for the relief of that groovy pause screen.

 

But that’s not all there is to Pause Screen From Battletoads. It’s inspired in part by Frog Fractions which, if you’ve played it properly, you’ll know puts on a front to hide the adventure inside. As you’re falling in Pause Screen From Battletoads, you should at one point see a text box appear at the bottom of the screen that says “PAUSE TO ESCAPE.” This is your first clue.

 

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To avoid spoilers, I won’t tell you how you’re supposed to interpret this clue, so keep guessing. What I will reveal, however, is that once you work it out you’ll start to see the game collapse in on itself. The sprites will fracture, the tilesets will begin to deteriorate, and you’ll begin to enter the glitchspace in the beyond.

 

There is a proper little adventure to be had here, and there is an ending, so if you ever get stuck just try something new and you should, eventually, break through the corruption. Here are some notes from the developer that may help: “The point of the game is figuring out how to play. If you are frustrated, there is a Help Screenthatmay aid you. Also: Avoid spamming the keys as you could skip important clues. Pressing “R” will restart the room you are in.”

Chris Priestman

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