UFO 50 preview: Actionally Good 52

I had the chance to play UFO 50 at Summer Game Fest 2024, and got a good look at four of the 50 games in the collection.
UFO 50
UFO 50 / Mossmouth

UFOSoft doesn’t exist. However, its lack of existence hasn’t stopped the company from developing a 50-in-1 game package filled with something from every genre, from Final Fantasy-style old-school JRPGs to deck builders and vertical platformers. The package is called UFO 50, and it answers the age-old question: what if every game on those plug-and-play consoles was worth playing?

It’s developed by Derek Yu, best known for Spelunky, but also has input and game designs from a number of famous indie developers such as Time Barons’ Jon Perry and Downwell’s Ojiro Fumoto. UFOSoft doesn’t exist but if it did it would be made up of some of the greatest minds in gaming. I had the chance to play UFO 50 with Yu and Perry at Summer Game Fest 2024, and managed to get a good look at four of the 50-game collection.

UFO 50 game screenshot
UFO 50 / Mossmouth

You open up on a page of 50 thumbnails, each with enticing images and no titles. Yu said he was hoping players would just click on the pictures that enticed them, and see what was inside. The first game we tried was one of the longer ones in the collection, a JRPG in the style of the old Final Fantasy games. 

There are a few restrictions that each of the games follows. At most, they use a 32-bit color palette to give players the feeling of the ‘80s, and each of them is a complete game from start to finish. This one included towns to visit, NPCs to talk to and trade with, and an overworld with random battles. I only got to see a small part of this game, but even from this snippet, it was clear that this is as fully fleshed out as the classic NES JRPGs.

UFO 50 screen
UFO 50 / Mossmouth

Next, I tried out a side-scrolling space shooter. This seemed very standard at first until it was pointed out that there was a polaroid option. You can hold down the button to shoot, and let go to fire a special, but best of all is the attack shaped like a polaroid frame, which fires forward and deletes all the enemies inside it. This is the theme of a lot of the games inside UFO 50. They are all the types of games you’ve seen before but with a twist. Each has something delightful and unexpected about it.

The next game I tried was a deck builder, where the cards you collect are different friends. They each award popularity and/or trouble. You invite people to your party one by one, and the more popularity you have the more money you receive to purchase more friends with. However, if you get three trouble, the police will arrive and kick you all out. Some of the friends have special abilities, like the ability to cancel out one trouble, adding to the tense stick-or-twist tactics.

UFO 50 game screenshot
UFO 50 / Mossmouth

The final game I tried was a strategy game where you play as ants trying to build their colony. There is an open world with different tactics-based levels to play. These involve feeding the queen to create more ants, who will help you out building your colony. 

UFO 50 is massive. As well as containing 50 standalone games, these also tie together to tell a story. Each game has a release date and playing them in chronological order tells the story of the developments at UFOSoft, the company that never existed. It’s nothing like Spelunky, or Time Barons, or Downwell, but it has that spark of genius all the same.

Published |Modified
Georgina Young


Georgina Young is a Gaming Writer for GLHF. They have been writing about video games for around 10 years and are seen as one of the leading experts on the PlayStation Vita. They are also a part of the Pokémon community, involved in speedrunning, challenge runs, and the competitive scene. Aside from English, they also speak and translate from Japanese, German and French. Their favorite games are Pokémon Heart Gold, Majora’s Mask, Shovel Knight, Virtue’s Last Reward and Streets of Rage. They often write about 2D platformers, JRPGs, visual novels, and Otome. In writing about the PlayStation Vita, they have contributed articles to books about the console including Vita Means Life, and A Handheld History. They have also written for the online publications IGN, TechRadar, Space.com, GamesRadar+, NME, Rock Paper Shotgun, GAMINGbible, Pocket Tactics, Metro, news.com.au and Gayming Magazine. They have written in print for Switch Player Magazine, and PLAY Magazine. Previously a News Writer at GamesRadar, NME and GAMINGbible, they currently write on behalf of GLHF for The Sun, USA Today FTW, and Sports Illustrated. You can find their previous work by visiting Georgina Young’s MuckRack profile. Email: georgina.young@glhf.gg