Thumb Punks 01.14.21 - Aliens, Taekwon-Do, & Monkey Balls


Happy Thursday! This week we’ve got a stellar ‘lost’ SNES game, more aliens than you can shake a flamethrower at, and Wolfenstein 3D with a whole lot of balls.

A question for you – what do you think of the newsletter? Is there anything we’ve missed, anything you want more of, or anything you didn’t like? Hit reply to let me know – I reply personally to each and every email!

Thanks for reading

Benjamin @ Thumb Punks

P.S. Was this forwarded to you? Sign up here.


Pimpin' the Amiga 600 in 2021 (Modern Vintage Gamer, 11 minutes)

MVG takes a manky old A600 that hasn’t been booted up for 20 years and takes us through cleaning and modding the computer with a compact flash card and processor expansion.

Forgotten Games: Taekwon-Do (SNESdrunk, 6 minutes)

Now, this is the definition of a hidden gem – a one on one fighting game/Taekwon-Do simulator by Human Entertainment that only came out in Japan, features 5 different fighting styles, 19 different martial artists, and even a create-a-fighter mode. With punchy sprite work and combat, this looks well worth tracking down.

My Favorite NES Black Box Games (Sega Lord X, 14 minutes)

Nintendo’s iconic Black Box games are some of the top titles for the system. Sega Lord X takes us through the highs and lows of the range, and highlights his personal faves.

Castlevania: The Complete History (Part 1) (Slope’s Game Room, 55 minutes)

Seminal vampire series Castlevania needs no introduction, but this comprehensive vid takes a deep dive into its history and games. Part 2 is available now on their Patreon.


Would you like your retro video game, website, ‘zine, or other project featured here? Just hit reply and send us the details!



Capcom vs. SNK: An oral history (Polygon, 36 minutes)

Polygon are back with another humdinger of an article, this covering one on one crossover fighter franchise Capcom vs. SNK. With interviews with all the key players behind the series, it’s the definitive text on these belting titles.

Silent Debuggers (Hardcore Gaming 101, 8 minutes)

Similarly to the more recent Alien: Isolation, this TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine dungeon crawler sees you inch around a locked down space station avoiding monsters. Although flawed, it’s a pioneering piece of survival horror.

Retro Revisited: Alien Breed: Tower Assault (Vintage is the New World, 8 minutes)

Continuing the Aliens theme, Alien Breed: Tower Assault goes under the microscope. While a tad on the difficult side, it remains an excellent blaster.

Tiger Electronics: The Handheld on a BUDGET. (Old School Gamer Magazine, 5 minutes)

The Tiger range of LCD games were a cheaper alternative to the more expensive Game Boy back in the day, with this article bringing back fuzzy memories of swapping handhelds in the school playground. You can play emulated versions of many of the titles at


New ZX Spectrum adventure Neadeital, influenced by Tir-Na-Nog and Dun Darach, is out now. Download a digital copy here.



Japan-Exclusive Yakuza PSP Game Gets Fan Translation (PSP)

Yakuza: Black Panther (no, not that Black Panther) has a reputation as a fine entry into the series made inaccessible to most in the West by being in Japanese. Fret not – a fan translation is now available, although be aware that it only covers the main story of the game, with side missions coming at a later date.

A playable build of the cancelled Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary Edition has been made available online (PC)

A 10th Anniversary Edition of the original Tomb Raider was in development for the PSP, and then cancelled, with attempts to reskin it as an Indiana Jones and National Treasure game both suffering the same fate. The Tomb Raider version is now available to play on your PC to see what could have been.

Return to Castle Monkey Ball (Browser)

Surreal – it’s original Wolfenstein 3D, with you as a troop trapped in the monkey ball from Super Monkey Ball. Roll over Nazis and collect bananas to achieve a high score. Inspired stuff!

NBA Jam 2K21 - Tournament Edition (SNES)

eskayelle’s NBA Jam hack gets a new update, and it’s a corker – on top of the previous version’s additions, all 30 teams are now available, there are new Legends and All-Stars, and court and uniform colors have been modernized. Boomshakalaka!


This wooden Nintendo merch is eye-poppingly gorgeous. Check it out here.



Jonas Neubauer (7-time Classic World Tetris Champion) has recently passed away at 38 years old (Reddit, 5 minutes)

We’re sad to report the death of Jonas Neubauer from a sudden medical emergency, especially at the too-young age of 38. A huge loss to the Tetris and gaming communities, and his loved ones. If you’d like to leave your condolences, there’s a Group Greeting here.

Konami's X-Men and Rare's Killer Instinct headline the next batch of Arcade1Up cabinets (Destructoid, 2 minutes)

New Arcade1Up cabs are incoming – one containing the Dragon’s Lair duology and Space Ace, another with X-Men, Captain America and The Avengers, and the iffy The Avengers in Galactic Storm, and a final machine with – wait for it – Killer Instinct, Killer Instinct 2, and BattleToads Arcade. You’ll find us scrabbling for change down the back of the sofa.

Ask Iwata book releases in English this April (Eurogamer, 2 minutes)

Collecting highlights of his Ask Iwata interview series, along with words from his colleagues, this book of writing by late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is shaping up to be a must-buy.

C64 Gamers Choice Award 2020: Top 20 Popular Games for 2020 (RetroGamerNation, 12 minutes)

Here it is – the countdown of the 20 most popular Commodore 64 games in 2020. It’s fantastic to see so many new top-notch titles still being released for the computer.