If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, fan games are the ultimate love letter. Unofficial sequels or remakes of existing game franchises created by ordinary gamers, they range from casual ROM hacks to full-out new games created from scratch. A true labor of love, they’re almost always developed by fans working on them as a side project, who very likely won’t get any payment for the final product.
Above: Don’t look for the Nintendo Seal of Approval on that Arwing
In fact, many fan-game makers often get shut down before they can finish. Game developers and publishers, looking to protect their intellectual property, frequently order fan-game makers to shut down production or risk being dragged into court. It’s a heartbreak for the people who put so much time into the games, but also for us; it’s bitterly disappointing to find out about promising new games that extend the franchises we love, only to realize they’ll never make it out the door.
So here, we’ll give you a glimpse of 10 impressive-looking fan creations, in the hopes that our support will help their causes. While some have been shut down or possibly abandoned, others just might see the light of our monitors.