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18 July, 2024
Dango Dash

Dango Dash Interview with Rebusmind

Dango is a Japanese dumpling made from a mix of rice flours and served three to five dango to a skewer. Dango Dash is the Game Boy Color game released over two decades since the platforms release date and available now!

Speaking to Macho Nacho, the game’s developer, Rebusmind, said they drew on their nostalgia as the main inspiration for Dango Dash. The DMG was their original Game Boy and while they didn’t have many games they’d play what they had for weeks.

Dango Dash Gameboy

“I still remember putting many hours into games like Wario Land or Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, which offered a lot of content for the time,” they said.

When they read about GB Compo 21 – a Game Boy focused game jam – that took place over three months Rebusmind immediately wanted to recreate their childhood feelings.

Around spring of 2022 Rebusmind thought they were done. New levels, story, and music by Scott Semanski had been added to the game jam verson but it had doubled the file size.

Game Boy Color roms will double their size when the previous storage has been exceeded but it caused two key problems.

Dango Dash
Dango Dash Rebusmind

“We would have to use a bigger cartridge, which costs more to produce, and even though the file was bigger, most of the new space was completely empty, as I had just crossed that threshold,” Rebusmind said.

It left Rebusmind with two options. Cut content back to the old file size or delay the release to fill the space with more content.

“I was pretty bummed out at first, as I was so happy that the game was done, but then I started looking back at what I had and I became more and more dissatisfied with the story, as it was not going anywhere really, just a bunch of loose mini stories without any payoff,” they said.

When Incube8 Games were interested in expanding the game Rebusmind first worked on the story, giving goals to characters and creating more of an arc. When more story didn’t fill up the cartridge extra stuff was added. More levels for each character and to bridge story points along with a completely new last boss.

“I love to design boss fights,” they said.

Dango Dash Gameboy
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While there are only a few boss fights in the game, for Rebusmind the final boss not only had to push the limits of the player but the limits of the console it’s on.

“There’s tile-swapping effects for a rainy background, particles, long animations for the boss itself and its attacks, and a complex set of actions and movements for both his standard attacks and contextual specials,” they said.

For the skilled player you may beat him first try. But most of us, including the creator themselves, will have to learn his moves and develop tactics to counter them.

It’s difficult not to imagine a kid losing themselves in that small square screen, just like Rebusmind and many others did all that time ago, with the delightful Dango Dash.


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