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SYFY WIRE Nostalgia

Fans are HD-resurrecting 1990s cereal shooter Chex Quest, and here’s what it looks like

By Benjamin Bullard
Chex Quest HD game logo via dev YouTube page 2019

You may not think you remember Chex Quest, a clever and surprisingly well-crafted first-person shooting game that, for a hot minute in the 1990s, came packed inside boxes of Chex cereal. But if you’re the right age, a peek at the new HD trailer for this fan-made update will probably jump-start your memory better than a good breakfast.

We won’t beat around the bush here: this clip has some of us falling down a deep nostalgia hole. Back when memes were still just a glint in the young internet’s eye, Chex created a real-world viral sensation by bundling the game into millions and millions of cereal packages, essentially giving every kid within reach the same experience at the same time.

Polygon reports the game was built on the backbone of the original Doom, but Chex Quest skirts any shade of violent gunplay by framing the experience in more wholesome terms: you’re a valiant, smooth-voiced volunteer from Chex Squadron, and you’re not waiting around with your trusty Zorch device for the United Nations (of cereal) to make up its mind about who’s gonna go out and blast those nutrition-robbing Flemoids back into the dimension whence they came.

If you made it to the gameplay portion of the clip, which starts around the 2:20 mark, you’ll be pleased to find that it sounds like the HD version isn’t messing with the old-school sound effects. Zap! Zap-zap-zap! goes your Zorch device, as the goopy-green Flemoids utter their last 8-bit alien gasps.

They’re not messing around with the development tools, either. “Chex Quest HD will be a faithful recreation of [the original] game using a modern game engine, Unreal Engine 4,” the game’s Facebook page explains. “It will feature all of the same ‘weapons,’ enemies, power-ups and levels from the original. The levels will be redesigned in regards to their layouts, but the themes and overall aesthetics will be consistent with the original levels.”

The game’s all-volunteer development team says they’re bringing Chex Quest into the HD era with full permission from General Mills, that it’ll include all five stages from the original game, and — best of all — that it’ll cost even less than a box of Chex (that means free) to play.

The team hasn’t yet said when we’ll be able to dig into Chex Quest, and we’re still not sure about where it’ll appear (though a digital platform like Steam seems a safe bet). But we’ve gotta admit: It’s been a while since we’ve gotten this excited about cereal.

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