14 GIFs that will make you wish science was an 8-bit video game (and it will be!)

22 Mar 2016

Einstein is just one of the playable pixel art scientists in Science Kombat. Photo via Vlad_Nikon/Shutterstock

Kudos to illustrator Diego Sanches for these pixel art visions of super scientists with superpowers, playable soon via Superinteressante.

Science Kombat features pixel art masterpieces from Diego Sanches, an illustrator and designer from SãoPaulo, Brazil.

While he now works as a full-time freelancer from his own studio, Sanches has a background in game design and is also the co-creator of Quad Comics, an annual series of sci-fi comics set in a post-apocalyptic universe.

Isaac Newton Science Kombat GIF

Isaac Newton, 8-bit style

His 8-bit imaginings of science luminaries such as Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton and Marie Curie, however, were created for a new game called Science Kombat for Superinteressante magazine.

Albert Einstein pixel art by Diego Sanches

Don’t mess with Albert Einstein

There are seven playable scientists in all (sadly, only one woman, but we can place some of the blame on history books for that one), and each character has been devised with six basic attacks and two special attacks.

Charles Darwin pixel art

Charles Darwin pixel art by Diego Sanches

A pixelated Charles Darwin demonstrates his special move, Evolution

Naturally, these special powers are derived from the discoveries and inventions of each scientist, so Curie takes opponents down with radioactive substances while Nikola Tesla zaps them with a Tesla Coil and Pythagoras uses the hypotenuse to bring the smackdown.

Marie Curie pixel art

Marie Curie in Science Kombat

Marie Curie’s special moves are a perfect throwback to retro combat games

The ‘final boss’ to be defeated in the game appears to be a mish-mash of deities with god-like powers.

Science Kombat final boss

Science Kombat final boss

Some additional characters and moves were suggested by users on Imgur, where I first stumbled across these images. Trifone48 claimed: “Schrödinger has a special move too. Or he doesn’t,” while CoinsareBinaryDice suggested: “Heisenberg has one. Uncertain how it works though,” and MeetwoodFlak chimed: “Pavlov rings a bell, causing his enemies to drown in their own saliva.”

Stephen Hawking GIF

Stephen Hawking pixel art by Diego Sanches

One of Stephen Hawking’s special moves is Wormhole

The best news is that Sanches was commissioned to create these animations for a Science Kombat video game from Superinteressante, a Brazilian science and culture magazine published monthly by Editora Abril.

Pythagoras pixel art from Science Kombat

Pythagoras theorem GIF

A lesson in kick-ass geometry from Pythagoras

You’ll have to register for news of the game’s release, but it promises to be a tribute to old-school gaming and the greatest scientists of history, while also allowing players to “kick some ass with your brain”.

Nikola Tesla GIF

8-bit Nikola Tesla by Diego Sanches

Nikola Tesla demonstrates his electrifying moves

Superinteressante is also behind the combat game Filosofighters, where you can play as Plato, Karl Marx, Simone de Beauvoir and many more. Have a go to get a taste of what you can expect from Science Kombat – it’s immensely fun.

Meanwhile, check out all of Sanches’ fantastic 8-bit GIF animations here and sign up for alerts on when Science Kombat will be a playable reality here.

Copyright of all animations: Superinteressante magazine, Editora Abril

Science Kombat credits:
Original idea, texts and executive production: Fred Di Giacomo and
Otavio Cohen

Game design, art and animations: Diego Sanches
Programming: Cheny Schmeling, Murillo Lopes and André Cabral
Art Direction: Abraão Corazza

Interface: Daniel Ito and Juliana Moreira
Soundtrack and Sound FX: Juliana Moreira
Text Edition: Karin Hueck

Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic.com’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note.

Einstein street art image via Vlad_Nikon/Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.