This jam is now over. It ran from 2020-02-01 02:00:00 to 2020-03-04 07:59:59. View 15 entries


Jam Starts: January 31, 2020 at 6:00pm Pacific

Jam Submissions Allowed From: January 31, 2020 at 6:00pm Pacific to March 3, 2019 at 11:59pm Pacific


The theme is:

“Before the NES/FamiCom”

Will you bring a classic into the modern age?
Will you take a modern classic back like Ed Fries did with “Halo 2600?”
Will you base your game on the amazing box art from the era?
Will you limit yourself to controls from the era?

The world is your oyster.


The jam will be hosted here on It is highly recommended you also share on Twitter using the hashtag #ShacknewsJam, join in on the community chat in the jam forums here (See "Community" link near top of page), and share in the Chatty.


The goal of the jam is to highlight the creativity of budding and experienced game developers who frequent the Shacknews Chatty, as well as grow the Shacknews community.  Games will be rated on Fun and Use of Theme.

Are there prizes?

YES!  There is a total of US$1200 in the prize pool.

For the Developer's Choice category, the top three places will be paid US$300, US$200, and US$100 respectively.

Use of Theme will be used as a filtering factor.  If your average "Use of Theme" weighted rating is under 3.0 or the median score for the jam (whichever is lower), you will not be eligible to receive a prize.  Rating will be based on the average of the weighted "Fun" and "Use of Theme" scores, with "Fun" used for the tie-breaker if two games have the same rating.  ONLY SUBMITTERS MAY VOTE.

The Shacknews Editor's Choice category will pay the top three places US$300, US$200, and US$100 respectively.

Payment will be made within two weeks of the completion of the competition via PayPal.


  • Do I have to be a Shacknews community member to participate? No, anyone is welcome to participate, although we are hoping that you'll like the community and join it afterwards, or at least go check out the award-winning articles on the site.
  • Can I work with a team? Yes.
  • Do I have to start from scratch? Mostly.  You may use code frameworks and generic assets you created in advance, but your gameplay and most assets should be created during the game jam.
  • Can I submit more than one game? Yes.
  • Can I create a mod for an existing game? No.
  • Can I make a not-safe-for-work game? Yes, but please put the [NSFW] tag in the title and don't have anything explicit in the thumbnail artwork.
  • What language, engine, or tools can I use? Anything that you have legal licenses for.
  • Are there restrictions on sound or music? You must have licenses for it or have created it yourself.
  • By submitting my game, do I give up any rights to my work? No.  Your game is your game.  However, you may not charge for your game jam game during the submission or voting window.  Your game entry may not be a "Pay What You Want" entry or have any paywall (hard or soft) whatsoever.  Once voting is closed, if you want to sell your game, feel free.  If your game is for sale during the voting window or has embedded advertisements, your game will be immediately removed from the competition.
  • Why were the rules changed? We had some entrants exploit holes in the rules to submit pre-existing games, stuff the ballot box, and suppress votes from participants.  The rule changes should prevent these exploits in the future.
  • What existing assets can I use? While it's encouraged to create original assets for your game, you're welcome to use any assets you have the legal right to use.  Please credit any sources that you use.
All submissions
Browser playable (7)
Windows (7)
macOS (1)
Linux (1)

No submissions match your filter

Battle endless hordes as you and your friends fight to survive!
A platform game inspired by Pitfall!
Push through hoards of enemy ships in this reimagination of an old classic.
Play in browser
Defend the planet from alien hords.​ 80's inspired tower defense game.
Text and book.
Play in browser
Sci fi woman fighting robots in platformer game
Ever wonder what that astronaut was doing on the cover of Atari 2600's Super Breakout?
Play in browser
Play in browser
manipulating a retro game's scene with the 3d world
Apple //e Retro version of Valve's Portal