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Posted at 11:23 AM ET, 02/15/2011

Great Gatsby 'Nintendo' game released online

By Melissa Bell


Give up all hope of getting any work done today. "The Great Gatsby" has come to a computer near you.

According to the game's Web site, a San Francisco developer found an old dusty Nintendo game cartridge at a garage sale, bought it for 50 cents and discovered a game never released in the U.S.

"The Great Gatsby" is old-school Nintendo in all its 8-bit glory. With dastardly villains, the requisite keyboard soundtrack and fantastic flat visuals. The advertisement on the site reads, "It's the roaring 20s, and trouble's in store for Nick Carraway. It's hard to enjoy a party when you're being chased by wacky waiters, dizzy drinkers, and crazy dancers! Now you have to find Gatsby, the mysterious man you saw disappear on the hillside ... or did he?"

The game has less mysterious beginnings than a garage sale discovery, but it doesn't make the game any less incredible. The San Francisco developer, Charlie Hoey, actually created, coded and published the game with the help of his friend Pete Smith as a tribute to their nostalgic love of old NES games. The duo started working on the game almost a year ago, beginning with the iconic Gatsby cover. They thought they would create an 8-bit tribute to it, but once they finished, they decided to try to create one level of the game. Four levels later, they decided to release their product to the world.

"There's not a single just-okay sentence in that book," Hoey said by phone, sounding more than a little shell shocked by the game's popularity. They only put the game online Monday morning, but by Tuesday it had ricocheted around the Web, bringing the site down with the number of requests to play the game.

They considered a full literary classics arcade, with their next submission being Jane Eyre (which would be amazing), but instead they put the source code online for any other developer hankering to create another classic NES game.

So, go let yourself be borne back ceaselessly into the past NES glory.

By Melissa Bell  | February 15, 2011; 11:23 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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