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Jet Set Radio style meets badminton in this stylish sports game

And a hand-embroidered platformer you can play now

an image of four animated characters with the text “Raddminton.”
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

While my memories of badminton bring back images of sweaty, awkward encounters in middle school gym class, Virtuoso Neomedia’s Raddminton takes the lighthearted sport and turns it into a sleek and intense competition — complete with flaming birdies and sporty streetwear.

We have flaming hot shuttlecocks and more in Cool WIP, Polygon’s weekly roundup of eye-catching clips, and screenshots of works in progress. Each week, the Polygon staff scours the internet for the most interesting games still under construction, to give you a sampler of the coolest up-and-coming projects.

This week we have an incredible group of games ranging from ridiculously ambitious to downright silly. There’s a game with literally hundreds of marbles, a game that was entirely embroidered by hand (yes, you read that correctly), one title coming to the Game Boy Advance, and a 3D fighting game inspired by anime fight scenes.

Badminton has never been so hardcore (and also stylish)

This badminton game, Raddminton, from Virtuoso Neomedia looks like the most intense way to play the sport. Ethan Redd, a developer behind the animation and models, posted a GIF of a match in action where characters hit a shuttlecock (also known as a birdie) that’s on fire back and forth. The game gives off major Jet Set Radio vibes with its sleek animation style and fashionable characters. Raddminton doesn’t have a release date yet but you can follow the team on the studio’s Twitter account.

Imagine Super Monkey ball, but with like, hundreds of Monkey Balls

Part of what I love about game jams are that they give developers a chance to experiment with new concepts and push the limits of their game. Here, developer Sophie Houlden tried to see how many marbles they could fit onto one course. You can watch their progress here, but at one point they fit 350 marbles onto a stage. It was a trip to watch it all unfold on Twitter. There’s a build of the game available to download now and you can follow Houlden on their Twitter account to catch all their future creations.

A game coming to Game Boy Advance

Oh thank goodness, I get to play a brand-new Game Boy Advance game in the year 2021 (or likely a little later since making games takes time). Created by a duo, Rik and Jeremy, Goodboy Galaxy is an action platformer where you get to explore the universe as a dog. What’s cute is that the developers are planning to release a physical copy for the GBA. The team still plans to release the game on PC and Nintendo Switch as well, but it’s fun to see indie developers work on GBA games amid the fervor behind renewed classics like the Advance Wars remake.

The next frontier of game graphics? Embroidery

Developers talk a lot about “hand-drawn” games. Well, Brad Smith and Camille Carpentier have upped the ante by releasing a game that has been completely hand-embroidered called Katjepult. The game is a “simple” 2D side-scroller and platformer starring a cat. The two made it for a game jam and you can actually play it in your browser right now.

Attack and dethrone God in this anime-style fighting game

A unique art style can really make a game. So when you get something that looks interesting solely based on the gameplay, it’s really special. Such was the case when I saw this untitled game from Wazen. The developer posted a video that showed a compilation of recordings from the game, and at one point, we can see a character jumping up and targeting a helicopter in a flurry of attacks. There’s no release date or name for the game, but you can check out their work on the developer’s Twitter account.