Solo developer Rakugaki-Otoko has been creating their freeware SNES-inspired 2D action platformer Jack the Reaper for about four years. It’s nearing completion these days, but it’s still not quite finished – even so, a new demo was released on December 24th. You can download it here.
Jack the Reaper starts after the moon has somehow fallen to Earth. The souls that were contained on the satellite then escape back into the world of the living. This is where Jack steps in with his scythes to beat the souls and their bigger bosses back to rest.
The idea behind Jack the Reaper is to present it as if it were made for the SNES, at least in terms of graphics and music. But it plays more like a Kirby game, specifically Kirby 64, as Jack learns to absorb souls to replenish health and gain new powers.
The abilities that the souls grant include, for example, a boomerang that can be chucked to defeat enemies, and a shield that renders Jack invulnerable from frontal attacks. Later in the game you’re able to combine soul powers to become more powerful.
You can learn about the three other playable characters, other abilities, and generally track the game’s development over on the TIGSource forums.