Tuesday, August 14, 2012

8-Bit Awesome!

8 bit night
8 Bit Night
8-Bit Night, by Russian developer Retro Souls, is yet another indie puzzle platformer game in a retro style. Despite the sudden resurgence of platform games in the indie world, especially in the retro style, 8-Bit Night separates itself from purist platforming with a twist of genuinely unique game mechanics. In terms of delivery, the game has a really swell soundscape that oozes that old-time arcade feel along with slightly stylized graphical effects that enhance the overall experience.

Publisher: Retro Souls
Reviewed on: PC

8 bit night gameplay
8 Bit Night's themed levels reference a slew of retro classics

8-Bit Night, the brainchild of Denis Grachev, has a simple and fairly standard objective of getting all the coins on each given level to move on. Gameplay is crisp and doesn't have any of that accursed drifting that I occasionally find in platform games. Climbing up ladders, jumping across hazards and dodging enemy bullets is simple enough, but the truly neat about 8-Bit Night is that it has multiple perspectives between which the player can switch on the fly. Upon starting the game, the player will notice that there is a "shadow" version  of the main character standing on the opposite side of the stage. Each movement causes the shadow to move in the inverse direction, for example, moving to the right causes the shadow to move to the left and vice versa. In conjunction with the ability to actually flip the level on both x and y axes, the player can control the shadow version of the player, and collect coins located on the other side of the stage. Though packaged like a 2d platformer, thinking of the stage as 3 dimensional adds a neat mechanic that keeps the gameplay always feeling fresh.
8 bit night gameplay
The level in mid-rotation

With the ability to rotate the stages, the level design becomes a huge part of how the game is presented. Aptly designed by the developer himself, each of the 53 levels require quite a bit of thinking, and has frustrated me often when attempting the level multiple times. While being in the primary plane, your shadow self doesn't take damage from enemies, but upon switching, the character will die if proper positioning isn't taken care of. However, the switching mechanic plays a major factor into getting into hard to reach areas, and is a necessary way of completing the game.
8 bit night gameplay
Skulls 'n' Ladders

The retro feel that 8-Bit Night presents is spot on, and the added bloom lends the game a sort of dreamy look. The bips and boops are tailored to perfection, and even the death sequence has a stylized retro jingle. 8-Bit Night adds foliage and rain effects through many levels, which just gives the game that extra edge of immersion. The soundtrack that accompanies the game is a fabulous mix of chiptune soundscapes, with every track just oozing nostalgia.

8 bit night gameplay
8 Bit Night gameplay
What 8-Bit Night does so fantastically is its dedication to that retro feel. It might not have the most original gameplay, but its mechanics enough twist to make the game a genuinely fun experience. It might be appropriate to compare this game to Fez, in its mechanics, but both games deliver such different experiences that I could hardly call the games similar. 8-Bit Night is such a game that will make hours disappear, all the while keeping me blissfully trapped with my head ringing with blips and beeps.

Freshness rating: Fresh like buying local organics

Get it here! ($4.99)

1 comment:

  1. sounds kinda like the game version of all those fan three dimension visualisations of stuff like super mario bros.