Fanger’s Lightmare

Fanger’s Lightmare is a homebrew game for the N64 by Team Vintage Horror Pictures and released on 31 Oct 2022 for the 2022 64brew Game jam. It’s based on the classic Q*bert arcade game but with a bit of a classic horror twist.

You can download the ROM from the download page for this homebrew game by using the password vintagenightmare or see the source code on Github and download from Drive.

Fanger’s Lightmare gameplay and style

The game is very closely based on the Q*bert arcade game from 1982. It takes place upon a triangular isometric stack of blocks and the objective is to change all the block to the same colour. Once that’s done, you get onto the next level where you repeat the process but each block requires an additional step.

The hard part is that over-stepping makes them cycle back to the first colour so you can’t just step around willy-nilly. The good thing is that if you step ‘off’ the edge of the stage, it changes the colour of that tile without moving Fanger around.

Sounds simple enough? Well, throughout the game lightning strikes and if Fanger is caught on any of the affected squares, you lose a life. At first the lightning strikes are somewhat infrequent but each level increases the speed at which they appear.

Lightning strikes!

The style of Fanger’s Lightmare is based on classic horror movies from the black & white era of filmmaking with creepy castles and (not full) moon. The main character is a vampire, but he’s meant to be a bit more cartoony or camp; or even a bit “Mr. Bean”-like, as they said in the interview.

The lightning might not even be lightning but flashes of sunlight since vampires are famously allergic to it. I kind of doubt it though since the background suggests that it is night time.


There are six levels in the game, but the sixth one (pink) cycles through the first six colours but never reaches the seventh so it’s impossible to win.

‘Spooky’ theme

It is kind of obvious, but the game has a vampire, lightning and a creepy castle in the background. The music also gives it something of a ‘haunted castle’ kind of feeling.


Fanger’s Lightmare was made by Team Vintage Horror Pictures, which consists of:

  • Pepsiman – Programming
  • Brozilla – Audio conversion
  • Gary Jones III – Art and music
  • Erockbrox – Level design

Review and conclusion

I kind of like Fanger’s Lightmare in the sense that it’s a somewhat less stressful version of Q*bert. The edges of the stage aren’t deadly (in fact, they’re helpful) and the lightning appears in predictable squares and at predictable intervals. Though that keeps it from being frustrating, it does make it somewhat dull and repetitive.

The game is fairly easy to beat. The lightning always strikes in the same place so you’ll be safe as long as you stay on the edges of the map. As long as you flip the tiles row by row, it should be pretty easy. The levels are all the same, so just repeat the process while watching out for the faster lightning time and higher tile walking count.

Each stage can be beaten quite easily by using the pattern/strategy above, so the only limitation. The developers did originally plan on making a level editor so that there would be more variety than the standard triangle shape, but that was cut out due to descoping.

Once you get to level 6, the tiles no longer change to the target colour so it’s impossible to win. I suppose this prevents it from getting too long and overstaying its welcome. It could be a bit more fun with shifting light (rather than being always being in the same spot) so that no tile could be considered ‘safe’, but still having a somewhat predictable pattern.

Given that this is a first project for many of the people here, it’s a pretty good first attempt. With a bit more time they could have polished off the edges and made Fanger’s Lightmare just a bit more complete.

Articles across the web

Fanger's Lightmare is an N64 homebrew game by Team Vintage Horror Pictures where you play on a Q*bert-inspired stage dodging lightning.
Article published on N64 Squid


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