Welcome to Set Side B!

Our Mascot

Please watch your step, the floors have just been waxed….

We’re a new daily (we hope!) blog devoted to what I call the “flipside” of gaming: indies, retro and niche.

“Indies” are typically games made by small teams, but it matters less who makes or publishes them than how interesting their ideas are. A good example of a game that I consider indie that was put out by big names is Pocket Card Jockey for the 3DS; it was made by Game Freak and published by Nintendo, but its style and gameplay have that independent spirit we’re looking for and adore.

“Retro” games are older titles. The meaning of retro keeps expanding: nowadays, Dreamcast, Gamecube and even PS2 games could be considered retro, but it still seems to best fit that era when hardware sprites were the norm.

“Niche” refers to those side genres that have relatively small numbers of fans whose dedication makes up for their lack of size. Shmups, dating sims, visual novels, builders, roguelikes, pet sims, interactive fiction, all kinds of weird and fun amusements that remind us of the wide range of things that a video or computer game can be.

Of course, we’re far from the only blog these beats. For others, please consult our rather luxurious sidebar and links page. We will happily link to lots of things that other people have written. Spread the love, spread the word. Still, we hope to provide a wide enough range, and an engaging enough voice, that you’ll come back to us many times. Not that you have to visit us to read us: please avail yourself of our RSS feed, that can be found at setsideb.com/feed.

We were inspired to start this blog by the passing of the old blog GameSetWatch, which covered much of this same territory from around 2005 through 2011 or so. It still hung around in archive form until its current owner, Informa, custodian of the Game Developer nee Gamasutra family of properties, deleted it during a recent site reorganization. It can still be found on the Internet Archive’s ever-helpful Wayback Machine, for however long that survives.

Speaking personally (rodneylives, aka John Harris), GameSetWatch is where I wrote a series of articles for awhile, the roguelike column @Play. I will be resuming that series here and on our sister site RetroStrange.

A few other contributors should be showing their faces in the coming days, so please keep your eyes open for them!

We’re still getting some things settled so the look of the site may change a lot in the upcoming weeks. But for now, welcome to Set Side B!