Doom changed everything: when id Software's revolutionary first-person demon-killing simulator launched back in 1993, it kicked off a video game arms race to see who could pump out the best shooter in the shortest amount of time. These "Doom clones" weren't all bad, but for every half-decent game released, there were just as many shameless cash-ins.
One of the more infamous Doom clones was called Chex Quest. Released in specially-marked boxes of Chex cereals back in 1996, the game was actually a total conversion mod of Ultimate Doom (basically, the game used new art on top of Doom's existing engine). Of course, the company didn't want little kids running around and blasting the forces of Hell into tiny red chunks — instead, players were tasked with zapping green alien blobs with an increasingly goofy arsenal of cereal-themed weapons.
It's just as silly as it sounds, but the game was successful enough to warrant two separate sequels, along with a host of different fan-made mods ... and now, apparently, an HD upgrade.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the greatest cereal-based video game experience ever, one of original creators is remaking Chex Quest from the ground-up. Not only that, but he's using the Unreal Engine 4 — just in case you needed to blast Flemoids in 4k.
Speaking with Zam, Chex Quest co-creator Charles Jacobi recently revealed that the 20th anniversary update was in the works on Epic Games' high-powered development engine:
"I've always kind of wondered about like 'Well, what would it be like if I just did a remake of the first one, but with a modern game engine?' And at my professional job, I use the new Unreal, Unreal 4, and I love it. It's a really powerful tool set, especially for content people ... I don't necessarily need to be a programmer and I can build lots of functionality with it. So I've started building, basically, a high-def remake of the first one."
Jacobi went on to confirm that this was more of a passion project than anything else — meaning that he's building the game in his free time. As a result, it may be some time before the project is in a playable state, but for now, at least, fans have some high-res screen shots to tide them over.
If this all sounds ridiculous — a 20-year-old packaging promotion getting an HD upgrade — that's because it is. However, it's important to remember that, for all its silliness, Chex Quest was actually a huge success: gamers ate it up (no pun intended) and Chex saw a huge boost in sales after the game was released. At the end of the day, the game serves as a good reminder that just because an idea is silly doesn't mean it's a bad one.
Currently, there's no firm release date for Chex Quest HD — but if you'd like to follow along with development, you can check out the update's official thread over at ChexQuest.org.