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Play 'Ripple Dot Zero', the game designed by your favorite Swedish illustrator

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You get to be a boomerang-wielding, jetpack-riding battle penguin. What else do you need to know?

ripple dot zero
ripple dot zero

As if Simon Stålenhag hadn't given the world enough joy with his splendid retro-futurist illustrations, the Swedish artist has also authored a video game in a similarly atmospheric and engrossing style. Spotted by Verge reader pxl, Ripple Dot Zero is a throwback '90s platformer that evokes the look, sound, and gameplay of early 16-bit era games.

Armed with a sword, a pair of oversized sneakers, and a take-no-prisoners attitude, you take the role of a "battle penguin" as you quest through 20 levels of nostalgic 2D fun. Along the way, you'll collect magic pills to teleport you to bonus areas, you'll rescue fellow penguins from captivity, and you'll unearth jetpack and gyro-blade boomerang upgrades.

The game, playable for free online, took more than five years to develop from start to finish, with the two-man Pixeltruss team working on it in their spare time. Tommy Salomonsson was responsible for the gaming mechanics while Simon took charge of recreating that old school gaming feeling. If there's any downside to Ripple Dot Zero, it's that the game requires Flash to play and isn't available to download to mobile devices.