Shut Up and Take My Money: 72Pins NES Cartridges

By on December 18, 2013

Shut Up and Take My MoneyFilm and video game makers are always trying to make their visuals bigger, better, and more spectacular. However, very few seem to realize the truth at hand: graphics reached their peak with 8-bit. But then 8-bit became 16-bit, which became 64-bit, which became 3D handheld madness, which became Hal 9000.

Meanwhile, we’re left with longing for a 8-bit world that just isn’t compatible with this shoddy system known as reality. But what if… what if 8-bit never went out of style? What if modern games, movies, and TV shows still had those blotchy sprites and ambiguous cubism? Why, if such a thing were possible, surely people would pay money for it… and that’s the kind of sentiment that was shared at the meeting where 72Pins was born.


72Pins gets us. There’s something special – dare I say “artistic” – about the 8-bit video game aesthetic. Zombies weren’t horrifying, half-decayed images that haunted our dreams, but green squares with cartoon worms coming out of their head. For something created by basic programming code, 8-bit is versatile as a creative medium, and scholars agree that if he had the option, Michaelangelo would have worked exclusively with very basic pixelation.

So 72Pins takes pop culture – games, movies, and TV – and reinterprets them as classic NES games.  And since what we’re talking about is essentially fan art, NES cartridges make the best platform (no pun intended) to showcase the art! Just imagine, holding that gray plastic cartridge for the Shaun of the Dead NES game that never was.

What do they have? Have you ever heard of this little show called Breaking Bad? Why don’t you check out Bad Breakers!? It’s easy to recognize Walter White’s characteristic goatee in glasses in that 8-bit format. Another little-known movie featured on 72Pins is a little-known feature called Star Wars. While they don’t have scenes from the theoretical game, the cartridge does feature pixelated scenes from the movie. And here’s a treat for Arrested Development fans: an entire set of six designs, including Mr. Bananagrabber and Stair Kart.

And then there’s the video games. How would our favorite turn of the century games look if they were made 30 years ago? Imagine blowing on your World of Warcraft cartridge to get to work. Or, a real treasure, a version of Half-Life 3 that actually exists! They even have inside jokes, like a somewhat blasphemous NES cartridge for the original Sonic the Hedgehog.

This site is a haven for gamers and geek culture lovers! Check out their full selection and find the classic game that’s right for you!

About Matt Ellis

Freelance web writer. I like science, comics, and long walks on the beach. I write and draw this webcomic in crayon.

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