Bust out the floppy drives! It’s time to play some 8 Bit Boy!
8 Bit Boy is a game about a man who loses his job and suddenly finds himself sucked into a 8-Bit platforming game.
The level design in 8 Bit Boy was quite disappointing. With the physics of the game being very hit-or-miss with a lot of the levels and plenty of the jumps being “pixel-perfect-or-die”, the poor level design in light of the physics of the character movement was very discouraging in all. If I could find something to compare it with, it would be like trying to complete Star World in Super Mario World with Super Mario Bros. 3 ice-terrain physics. Not fun. Even when you take the time to explore and collect coins to get more 1-ups the game doesn’t reward you with them. What you get when you collect 100 coins is a power-up roulette that doesn’t really help much since you can’t get far enough to actually use the power-ups. This problem doesn’t just go away, either. Everything is deadly. Spikes are deadly (well that one gets a pass), water is deadly – even the teensy spots of water that your character is obviously taller than, everything that’s not a platform can and will kill you.
The graphics in 8 Bit Boy were very charming. The looks of the game definitely carried that retro platformer feel. Even the initial loading screen reminded me of something similar to loading a game on a Commodore 64 when I was younger and the nostalgia began to set in. Sadly, the nostalgia train ran out of gas after the first 7 levels when I realized I was just defeating the same monsters over and over again. A lot of the enemies and levels seem like the same thing that you completed before – and that can be a very bad thing – especially for something in the side-scrolling platformer genre.
The music in 8 Bit Boy, sadly, was just as disappointing. Aside from the frustration of constantly having to readjust the music and sound effect levels every time I’d start the game up, the same 3-4 tunes playing over and over again in an already frustrating game did not help the problems I was facing. The physics were poor, the choice in level design in light of the physics was poor and the music was okay – at first. After the first 5 times hearing the same music across levels that look like they were just ripped from parts of the previous didn’t help me enjoy the game or ease my frustration.
Another thing about 8 Bit Boy that I found frustrating was the save system. The game has an auto-save function that saves after you complete each level or die in a level. Once you get game over, it reverts back to the last save and reloads you there. There is no world map to reload to, there is no reloading to the first level in your world or reloading with the default number of lives. So if you get down to that last life in a level, prepare to have to manually reload that 0 life file over and over….of course there is a workaround to this issue, but it is equally as frustrating…to get around this problem – you have to RESTART THE ENTIRE GAME.
Overall, 8 Bit Boy was a decent enough reminder of the good old days of playing 8 bit platformers as a kid, but it doesn’t do a great job at recreating a fun experience. Poor physics, poor level design choices and even worse save system choices make this game something to pass on. I wanted to like this game – I wanted to love it. It doesn’t have to be like a AAA game, but it just doesn’t do what indie games are supposed to do – stand out. Even at a sale price of $3.99, it’s best to be avoided. They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but 8 Bit Boy is a dish best not served at all.