Styx is a Nintendo 64 homebrew game by Team Ultra Rare released on 30 Oct 2022 for the 2022 64brew Game jam. You play as an employee at the Styx warehouse where you have to sort and fulfill orders before the time runs out.

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

Styx story and gameplay


The story in Styx is fairly straightforward. Before each level, you have a conversation with your ghostly manager/foreman Tony where he explains how to play and the new challenges that the next level will bring.

During these conversations, he makes several references to ‘He’, the big boss of the company who doesn’t like it when you’re unproductive.


At the end of the game, you’ll be replaced by a magic logistic automation spell to save the company money. You’ll then be presented with a pay stub based on how long it took you to complete the game.

The game’s plot is a play on the Amazon company (get it? Styx is a river, like the Amazon). Where you have a somewhat uncaring manager making you pack boxes all day for $15 an hour. Not to mention the ever-increasing complexity of tasks, ever-aware overlord and eventually being replaced by an automated system.

Though one must ask – who is ordering all this stuff? And more importantly – how is it all being made? The world may never know.


Styx’s gameplay is very reminiscent of Overcooked – customers place orders and it’s up to you to fulfill them.

Items appear on a conveyor belt in a somewhat random order, and your job is to pick them up and place them in the output portal. The challenge is that it’s not a 1-to-1 relation, the customers will often order things that are not the next item on the belt, which means that you’ll need to do some planning.

Across each level there are some empty tables. These allow you to store items that you don’t need for when a future order comes up. If the tables are full, there’s also a bin in which excess items can go.

There are a few special items like cats/mice and crows/scarecrows that cannot be put next to each other, and broomsticks that can be ridden as a way of holding multiple items at a time.

At certain points in the level, orders will stop for about 10-20 seconds allowing you to reorganise your table inventory with items from the belt. This is usually followed with a few urgent orders, so be sure to be prepared.

The way you lose in the game is if you make too many mistakes, ‘he’ will come and get you. A scary ghostly spirit will chase you around the stage. If he catches you, it’s game over. However if you manage to avoid him and carry on making deliveries he will go away. These things can anger him:

  • Letting an order expire
  • Dropping an item on the floor
  • Delivering a wrong item
  • Placing a cat/mouse or crow/scarecrow on a table together
  • Using the broom

The strategy to win is as follows. The game tells you to store unwanted objects on the tables, that’s obvious, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

On normal orders, you get just about enough time to place three items on tables before the time runs out. This means that if you already have desired item out on a table or conveyor belt, you can use that time to reorganise.

Next, if you have many of the same item out on the field don’t be afraid to use some of your spare time to bin some of them to make space.

I’m not sure how the RNG works, but I believe that the ordered item usually appears after 3-4 items on the conveyor belt.

Finally, if you manage to get ‘him’ on your tail, try to perform tasks in circles. I think that mistakes you make in this period don’t have a penalty.


Level 1: Orientation

This is the tutorial level. You start with pumpkins and hats, with candles appearing later on in the stage.

Level 2: Return Bin

Now there are a whopping 4 new items to manage, plus it introduces the mechanic of having to deal with periods of no orders followed by a rush.

Four new items:

Level 3: Scares

Two new items (Crow and Rat). These new items will disappear if placed on a table with a Scarecrow or Cat.

Two new items:

Level 4: The Broom

Broomstick added which can be ridden while holding another item. There is very limited storage space so speed and organisation is key.

Only one new item:


Level 5: Mayhem

Two conveyors (placed in a low-visibility position) and two order portals. Can get tough when dealing with multiple orders, but the bin next to a conveyor belt can be a life-saver.


The music for the game has a very 1950’s kind of vibe with a squealing theremin in the main theme and level 1/2/5 theme. There’s also a nice beat for dialogue scenes, reminds me of Battletoads a little bit.

The sound effects for the boss talking are great, sort of a mix between Banjo-Kazooie style of speech with Splatoon inklings.

‘Spooky’ theme

Styx is spooky in every sense of the word. All the characters, items and even the backgrounds have a Halloweeny theme to them.

When you make too many mistakes and ‘he’ comes after you, it can also be downright nerve-wracking with the music and distorted graphics.


Styx was made by Team Ultra Rare, who also participated in the two previous game jams. They consist of:

  • Lambertjamesd – Programming and design
  • Jtn191 – Audio (Music & SFX)
  • SapphireTactics – Graphics (Animations, models and textures)

Conclusion and review

I first played Overcooked 2 a few years ago at Eurogamer Expo (before Covid) and I really loved it. It’s one of those great couch multiplayer games that are loads of fun when you have good synergy with your teammate. It never occurred to me that I’d see a single-player version of the game on the Nintendo 64.

Styx does differ in a few aspects though. Namely that you only have one order at a time and there is no ‘processing’ of items (though this was planned but removed due to time constraints). There’s also the ever-present overseer coming to terminate you for any mistake you make.

The satire of Amazon is great and on-point without being too in-your-face. The story is well-paced and fun to read through.

The graphics have a fun cel-shaded style to give it a more cartoony style, and the large pixel sizes on the background and furniture remind me of Minecraft a little bit. The contrast between the happy(ish) gameplay and the chase scenes really helps cement the differences between a child-friendly Halloween style of ‘spooky’ and a terrifying paranormal thriller, getting the best of both worlds.

If I had to complain about something, maybe it would be that the complexity of the game doesn’t change much after level 2. I never really used the broomstick and accidentally placing forbidden items together by accident is pretty rare. Even the final level with two order portals manages to stagger them enough that’s it’s fairly simple to fulfill them with ease.

That said, it’s a great bit of spooky fun that’s easy to jump into and just challenging enough. Give Styx a go and you won’t regret it (unless you get terminated)!

Articles across the web

Styx is the winner of the 2022 64brew game jam where you play as a skeleton working in a warehouse working to fulfill Halloween deliveries.
Article published on N64 Squid


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