The Messenger | Header

2018 has the potential to continue an amazing year of gaming, and one game that looks to continue this trend is The Messenger. This retro inspired Metroidvania looks like a mixture of Symphony of the Night and Ninja Gaiden, with a little Odallus the Dark Call thrown in for good measure. What truly makes it unique is that while playing you will find opportunity to switch between 8 and 16 bit graphical styles, which also affects gameplay. The premise certainly got my attention, and if it got yours as well, you can find out more about it later in 2018. The Messenger is slated to release for PC and consoles. Read the full details in the press release below, and stay tuned to oprainfall for more details as they hit.

The Messenger | Shop Keep


Award-Winning Metroidvania-Style Ninja Adventure Game Features Art and Music Reminiscent of Beloved Nintendo Classics, Combining Fan Favorite 8-Bit and 16-Bit Visuals and Gameplay

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC (JANUARY 4, 2018) – Sabotage Studio, an indie studio that specializes in combining retro aesthetics and modern game design, today announced that The Messenger, a new action platformer with generation-leaping visuals, will be available for Windows PC and console later this year. First presented as an 8-bit action platformer, this epic ninja tale takes the hero forward in time, supported visually by a shift to 16-bit, where the adventure and gameplay mechanics become much deeper than players would expect.

The Messenger | Ice

In The Messenger, you play as a young ninja tasked with carrying a powerful scroll, upon which his clan’s survival depends, through his cursed world. As he battles the demon army that besieged his village, what appeared to be a simple homage story and love letter to 8-bit platformers, slowly evolves into a clever time traveling tale, revealing itself as a 16-bit Metroidvania game packed with deep replay value and deadpan humor. Do you have what it takes to decipher the secrets of The Messenger?

The Messenger | Intro

The Messenger is designed and developed by a talented team of industry veterans with a love for classically-inspired arcade games and gaming experiences optimized for streaming and speedrunning communities. The Messenger has also already received industry recognition among the indie game community having recently won the Best Music Award and Best Gameplay Design Award at the Montreal Independent Games Festival in November 2017.

The Messenger | Scroll

“The Messenger is Sabotage’s first game and a love letter to the beloved retro-console games from the late 80s and early 90s,” said Martin Brouard, Co-Founder of Sabotage Studio. “The early feedback we received at the Montreal Independent Games Festival and the Montreal International Game Summit has been overwhelmingly positive. Now we can’t wait for the rest of the world to experience The Messenger later this year!”

“I’ve wanted to make a game like The Messenger since I was eight years old,” said Thierry Boulanger, Co-Founder of Sabotage Studio. “Together at Sabotage we set out to make the kind of game that inspired us to get into the industry in the first place, with an over the top story, arcade-style challenges and visually striking pixel art. The Messenger is that game, and we’re thrilled to finally announce and share it with a like-minded audience that loves new games inspired by generations of classic video game greatness.”

The Messenger | Boss

Key Features Include:

  • The Way of the Ninja: Challenging retro-inspired gameplay with tight platforming controls put players on the path of becoming an ultimate ninja master.
  • Nostalgic Art Design: Travel seamlessly through time with shifts between authentic 8-bit and 16-bit pixel art environments and gameplay reminiscent of fan-favorite NES and SNES games.
  • Colorful, Over-the-Top Characters: The Messenger features a memorable cast of (often silly) villains, bosses and low-level goons.
  • Catchy Soundtrack: Renowned musician and audio wizard Eric “Rainbowdragoneyes” Brown is responsible for all of The Messenger’s audio, most importantly its trademark chiptune soundtrack. The entire soundtrack was made using Famitracker, providing an authentic and timeless NES vibe.
  • Play, Play and Play Again: Replay the game with all upgrades from previous runs to discover hidden levels and new story arcs.

About Sabotage Studio

Founded by industry veterans Thierry Boulanger and Martin Brouard in April 2016, Sabotage Studio is a Quebec City based independent game studio whose goal is to create modern games that honor retro aesthetics. Thierry and Martin share the skills and experience to successfully lead a top-notch indie production: strong creative vision, game industry savvy, sound team management habits, cutting-edge programming skills, producing and marketing chops, fueled by an inexhaustible passion.

Known for their leadership and joie de vivre, the dynamic duo is surrounded by a small team of senior game artisans, all good friends and former colleagues, who are very passionate about video games and have worked extensively together over the past ten years. Having won the prestigious NUMIX Award as Quebec’s most promising Startup in the Indie Games category, Sabotage continues to build its reputation as one of the top indie game studios to watch.

Josh Speer
Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.