The PJ Tatler

The Great Gatsby, Nintendo Style

Can’t repeat the past — why of course you can, old sport! You just hit the replay button. But how do Jay’s shirts look in an 8-bit format?

According to the game’s Web site, a San Francisco developer found an old dusty Nintendo game cartridge at a garage sale, bought it for 50 cents and discovered a game never released in the U.S.”The Great Gatsby” is old-school Nintendo in all its 8-bit glory. With dastardly villains, the requisite keyboard soundtrack and fantastic flat visuals. The advertisement on the site reads, “It’s the roaring 20s, and trouble’s in store for Nick Carraway. It’s hard to enjoy a party when you’re being chased by wacky waiters, dizzy drinkers, and crazy dancers! Now you have to find Gatsby, the mysterious man you saw disappear on the hillside … or did he?”

The game has less mysterious beginnings than a garage sale discovery, but it doesn’t make the game any less incredible.

The Atlantic adds:

Here’s what really happened: Charles Hoey, a developer at the San Francisco-based Barabarian Group and Great Gatsby fan, was messing around with Photoshop one day when he hatched the idea for the game. Hoey partnered with Pete Smith, an editor at, and released the game about a year later. According to The Washington Post, Hoey and Smith considered creating “a full literary classics arcade” with Jane Eyre as their next submission but instead decided to put the source code online for other developers to make their own classic NES games.

Nintendo Gatsby (a rather Runyon-esque sounding character name, come to think of it) probably contains more three-dimensional performances than the Redford/Mia Farrow adaptation of the book. Though personally, I’m holding out for the Atari 2600 version of The Last Tycoon, myself. Or Tender Is the Night for the TRS-80.

(H/T: The Brothers Judd.)