As with that original, Super Rad Raygun takes place in 198X, which is a time when big hair was in, and communist robots were destroying the world. It’s a game that its creators describe as a “nod to video games and pop culture of the 1980s and pokes fun at the politics of that era.”
At first glance, Super Rad Raygun looks like a Mega Man-style title, which it is, but less obvious is that it’s also designed to reflect its programmer’s personal experiences with Multiple Sclerosis. In between promoting the original Rad Raygun in Seattle for PAX Prime, the team would walk the city’s streets. But Chris Bryant, the programmer, would have to take breaks every 10 – 15 minutes due to the effects of the disease on his body. It was during these rests that the team discussed the game’s designs, and when doing so they decided at one point to incorporate Bryant’s struggles into Super Rad Raygun.
Hence, when powering up Rad Raygun in the game with one of the new upgrades, a limited-energy system balances out the increase in power as you’ll need to take a break to recover every now and then.
Alongside these new upgrades, the Super expansion of Rad Raygun has new weapons, and new enemies from the Far East and the South American coast. It’s also being revamped in a whole new gameplay engine. What won’t change, though, is the game’s 144p resolution and its four shades of monochrome off-green. It is an homage to the games of the ‘80s after all.